Participation in the transcendental meditation program and frontal EEG coherence during concept learning

Author: Dillbeck MC//Vesely SA
Conference/Journal: Int J Neurosci
Date published: 1986
Other: Volume ID: 29 , Issue ID: 1-2 , Pages: 45-55 , Word Count: 233

This study assesses variation in frontal bilateral EEG coherence among normal subjects during trials of a concept learning task; the task used a concept-reversal paradigm found from prior research to distinguish frontal lobe patients from normal adults. Subjects were either participants in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program or controls matched for age, sex, and intellectual ability, and additional experimental factors were whether or not the subject gained information on a given trial and whether or not the trial occurred before, during, or after the shift of concept. It was hypothesized that: (1) higher frontal EEG coherence (alpha and beta frequencies) would be associated with trials on which information was gained; (2) higher coherence in the same frequencies would be found in the two concept-solution periods in contrast to the concept-reversal period that divided them; and (3) these patterns would be more clearly expressed among TM program participants. Each hypothesis received partial support. The first hypothesis was true only for TM program participants for alpha coherence, and only during the first concept-solution period for beta coherence. The second hypothesis was true for alpha coherence only, and the third hypothesis received support for alpha coherence. Results were not attributable to muscle or eye artifacts. However, a different response style was found to the change in concept among the two groups; control subjects displayed greater arousal (muscle artifact) during the concept-reversal period, while TM program participants displayed less arousal.