Human prefrontal cortical response to the meditative state: a spectroscopy study.

Author: Cheng RW, Borrett DS, Cheng W, Kwan HC, Cheng RS.
1Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Conference/Journal: Int J Neurosci.
Date published: 2010 Jul
Other: Volume ID: 120 , Issue ID: 7 , Pages: 483-8 , Word Count: 124

ABSTRACT The effect of Qigong meditation on the hemodynamics of the prefrontal cortex was investigated by spectroscopy with a single-wavelength probe (650 nm) and confirmed by standard near-infrared spectroscopy with a dual-wavelength probe. Deoxyhemoglobin changes were recorded with the single-wavelength probe over the left prefrontal cortex during meditation by Qigong practitioners, and non-practitioners instructed in the technique. Practitioners showed a significant decrease in deoxyhemoglobin levels suggesting an increase in prefrontal activation during meditation. The results were confirmed in a second set of experiments with the standard dual-wavelength probe, in which significant differences in the decrease in deoxyhemoglobin and increase in oxyhemoglobin concentrations were observed in practitioners as compared with non-practitioners. The study thus provides evidence that Qigong meditation has a significant effect on prefrontal activation.