Author: S V Medvedev1, J A Boytsova2, Y A Bubeev3, A Y Kaplan4, E V Kokurina5, A Olsen6, A E Smoleevskiy3, N V Syrov7, L V Yakovlev7, Y S Zhironkina8, Telo Tulku Rinpoche9, Tanzin Chhonden10, Yeshi Dorje11, Stanzin Lhakpa12, Tenzin Lobsang13, Kunga Lhundup14, Ngawang Norbu15, Lobsang Phuntsok15, Lodoe Sangpo11, Thupten Sherap16, Tenzin Wangchuk16
1 Department of Psychology and Psychophysiology, Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Academician Natalya Bekhtereva Foundation, St. Petersburg, Russia. Electronic address: email@example.com.
2 N.P. Bekhtereva Institute of the Human Brain of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia. Electronic address: Boytsova.firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 Department of Psychology and Psychophysiology, Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
4 Department of Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russia.
5 Academician Natalya Bekhtereva Foundation, St. Petersburg, Russia; I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia.
6 Academician Natalya Bekhtereva Foundation, St. Petersburg, Russia.
7 Department of Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
8 Save Tibet Foundation, Moscow, Russia.
9 Center for Tibetan Culture and Information, Moscow, Russia.
10 Gaden Shartse Monastic University, Mundgod, India.
11 Gaden Jangtse Monastic University, Mundgod, India.
12 Tashi Lhunpo Monastic University, Bylakuppe, India.
13 Sera Mey Monastic University, Bylakuppe, India.
14 Drepung Gomang Monastic University, Mundgod, India.
15 Sera Jey Monastic University, Bylakuppe, India.
16 Drepung Loseling Monastic University, Mundgod, India.
Conference/Journal: Int J Psychophysiol
Date published: 2022 Aug 31
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2022.08.011. , Word Count: 306
Thousand-year-old Buddhist traditions have developed a wide range of methods for the subjective exploration of consciousness through meditation. Combining their subjective research with the possibilities of modern neuroscience can help us better understand the physiological mechanisms of consciousness. Therefore, we have been guided by specifically Buddhist explanations when studying the physiological mechanisms of altered states of consciousness during Buddhist meditations. In Buddhism, meditations are generally divided into two large categories: (1) one-pointed concentration and (2) analytical meditation. Maintaining both one-pointed concentration and analytical meditation on 'bodhicitta' ("the thought of awakening") and 'emptiness' is a necessary condition for transitioning into tantric practices. Tantric practices involve sophisticated visualizations of Buddhist deities, the 'energy structure' of the human body, and the visualization of the stage-by-stage process of dying accompanied with the dissolution of body elements. According to Buddhism, these meditations are characterized by the gradual withdrawal from "gross levels" of consciousness associated with the five senses. From a psychophysiological perspective, this withdrawal of sensory consciousness can be considered as the decrease of sensory stimuli recognition and attentional disengagement from the external world. We concentrated on how considered meditations affect sensory and cognitive processing of external stimuli. Auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in the passive oddball paradigm were studied both during meditations and in a controlled state of relaxed wakefulness. It was shown with a group of 115 Buddhist monks that during meditation, mismatch negativity amplitudes, amplitudes of N1 and P2 components of ERPs to deviant stimuli, and the amplitudes of the P3a component to novel stimuli all decrease. These outcomes suggest that the considered Buddhist meditations, compared to the control state of relaxed wakefulness, are accompanied by a decrease in physiological processes responsible for maintaining attention on the outside world and recognizing changes in the stream of sensory stimuli.
Keywords: Auditory ERPs; Auditory attention; Buddhist meditations; Mismatch negativity.
PMID: 36057406 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2022.08.011