Effects of transcendental meditation on fine motor skill

Author: Williams LR//Vickerman BL
Conference/Journal: Percept Mot Skills
Date published: 1976
Other: Volume ID: 42 , Issue ID: 43 , Pages: 607-13 , Word Count: 173

46 college female volunteers were given 66 10-sec. trials on the pursuit rotor task in 3 practice sessions (18, 30, and 18 trials/sessions). After the first 18 trials, the 23 subjects who were practiced Transcendental Meditators mediated for a 20-min. period followed by a 5-min. 'waking' phase prior to the performance of a further 30 trials on the rotor. A 4-min. rest was taken before resuming practice for the final 18 trials. The other 23 subjects, who were not meditators, followed the same procedures except instead of mediating they sat quietly with closed eyes. In terms of performance, learning, reminiscence and intra-individual variability, the two groups were similar. These results were not in accordance with the expectations that these parameters would reflect the facilitative effects of Transcendental Meditation on alertness, awareness, consistency, and resistance to stress. After the meditation session, inter-individual variability was increased for the mediation group. While the conclusion that the practice of Transcendental Meditation does not benefit acquisition of fine perceptual-motor skill appears strong, further investigation would assist in obtaining a more complete understanding of such effects on perceptual-motor behavior.