Expert meditators shown to enhance cognition

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Story Ideas | 0 comments

March 2024

It is well established that meditation has an auspicious effect on the way the brain functions, but a study published 7 March indicates that increasing one’s meditation skill level “could shape the way individuals’ brains work in a stable and consistent way”.

A group of Italian researchers investigated the difference in effect between expert and non-expert meditators. The “expert” group consisted of adults who had meditated every day for at least seven years. The control group were healthy adults with limited experience of meditation.

The chosen method was the tantric Ngalso, a self-healing meditation “to induce transitions from normal consciousness to inner mindful attention states”. It involves various techniques.

The study showed that the experienced meditators enhanced their brain activity, thus their cognitive effort, markedly compared to the control group. They had “significantly higher power spectra on alpha, theta and beta, and a higher sympathetic tone with lower parasympathetic tone after meditation”. A novel finding was a unique theta wave pattern, which is associated with enhanced self-awareness and attention.

On the other hand, in the control group “meditation emerged to be soothing and restorative for the mind and body, mainly activating the parasympathetic nervous system”.

The researchers, led by Francesca Borghesi, also noted that ECG (heart rate) results showed that the expert meditators put significantly more effort into the meditation than the control group, “thus suggesting that a higher effort is required for this meditation, in line with the principle ‘no pain, no gain’ in body and mind”.

Anders Bolling

Story Ideas

Near-Death Experiences are a hot topic in mainstream media

May 2024 The press is ramping up its coverage of Near-Death Experiences as more scientific research is published and more high-profile experiencers share their stories. Scientific American published a long-form piece on cutting edge research on consciousness and NDEs,...

Astrobiologist: Consciousness preceded life

May 2024 Most scientists believe that consciousness emerged after life, as a product of evolution. But there is reason to believe that consciousness preceded life, argues astrobiologist Stuart Hameroff and collaborators Anirban Bandyopadhyay and Dante Lauretta, in the...

Subconscious brain activity predicts winning investments

May 2024 A Dutch-Norwegian study on stock market predictions seems to indicate that the unconscious mind knows more about the future than does the conscious mind. “Consistently forecasting the stock market remains notoriously difficult, if not entirely impossible”,...

Jungian archetypes facilitate altered consciousness, study finds

May 2024 A new Japanese study shows how Jungian psychology can be applied in the context of shamanic rituals and altered states of consciousness. Eliciting archetypes can facilitate a shift in consciousness, the authors write in Frontiers in Psychology. According to...

Prominent neuroscientist questions views after NDE

May 2024 World-leading neuroscientist Christoph Koch speaks openly in the Philosophy Babble podcast that a Near-Death Experience has shifted his worldview. Koch shared with philosopher Bernardo Kastrup that the experience has influenced his move away from the...

New documentary on NDEs under way

April 2024 French filmmaker Anthony Chene is working on a comprehensive documentary about Near-Death Experiences (NDEs). A trailer was recently released. Renaissance is a two-hour film featuring in-depth interviews with three guests who have had profound NDEs, as well...

Study suggests telepathic link between identical twins

April 2024 A new study seems to confirm a phenomenon often talked about: People who share a close emotional relationship can communicate in a telepathic way. Such anomalous “shared experiences” are particularly often reported by identical twins. “Within the...

In long-form piece on death, The Guardian avoids crucial research

April 2024 A long-form story in The Guardian purports to cover the latest research on the process of dying and on Near-Death Experiences (NDE), the “extraordinary psychic journeys” some people have between cardiac arrest and resuscitation. However, the piece revolves...

Philosopher foresees future “worship” of a conscious universe

March/April 2024 Is secular science and philosophy trying to find a middle ground between religion and atheism? Philosopher Philip Goff suggests just that in an interview with Scottish newspaper The Herald. Goff is a leading proponent of panpsychism -- the theory that...