Changes in the Brain during Prayer and Meditation.

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Changes in the Electrical Activity of the Brain in the Alpha and Theta Bands during Prayer and Meditation.

Focused attention meditation (FAM) is a category of meditation based on an EEG pattern, which helps the wandering mind to focus on a particular object. It seems that prayer may, in certain respects, be similar to FAM. It is believed that emotional experience correlates mainly with theta, but also with selective alpha, with internalized attention correlating mainly with the synchronous activity of theta and alpha. The vast majority of studies indicate a possible impact of transcendence in meditation on the alpha wave in EEG. No such reports are available for prayer. Seventeen women and nineteen men aged 27-64 years with at least five years of intensive meditation/prayer experience were recruited to participate in the study. We identified the two largest groups which remained in the meditation trend originating from the Buddhist system (14 people) (Buddhist meditators) and in the Christian-based faith (15 people) (Christian meditators). EEG signal was recorded with open eyes, closed eyes, during meditation/prayer, and relaxation. After the EEG recording, an examination was conducted using the Scale of Spiritual Transcendence. Buddhist meditators exhibited a statistically significantly higher theta amplitude at Cz during meditation compared to relaxation. Meanwhile, spiritual openness favored a higher theta amplitude at Pz during relaxation. Our study did not reveal statistically significant differences in frontal areas with regard to alpha and theta, which was often indicated in previous studies. It seems necessary to analyze more closely the midline activity in terms of dispersed neural activity integration.

PMID: 33371283 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 21;17(24):

Authors: Dobrakowski P, Blaszkiewicz M, Skalski S