CHANGES IN MIDDLE LATENCY AUDITORY EVOKED POTENTIALS DURING MEDITATION I , '

  • Telles E
  • Naveen K
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Abstract

Surnmay.-In the present study of middle latency auditory evoked potentials during Brahmakumaris Raja Yoga meditation there was a decrease in the peak latency of the Na wave (a negative wave between 14 and 19 msec.) during meditation. Since the neural generator of this wave lies at the midbrain-thalamic level, from the results one can infer that the meditation reduces conduction time at this level. Meditation has been described as training in awareness, perception, and cognition (Brown, Forte, & Dysart, 1984). Specifically, it was seen that audi-tory perceptual sensitivity increased following the practice of Transcendental Meditation (Schwartz, 1979). In studies on meditation, auditory evoked po-tentials have been recorded to judge whether the evoked potentials would reflect changes in the underlying sensory pathway (McEvoy, Frumkin, & Harkins, 1980). The neural generators of middle latency auditory evoked potentials are at the midbrain-thalamic level and in the primary auditory cor-tex (Heschl's gyrus) (Liegeois-Chauvel, Musolino, Badier, Marquis, & Chau-vel, 1994). Hence, studies of middle latency auditory evoked potentials dur-ing meditation help in understanding whether changes occur at these levels during meditation. Middle latency auditory evoked potentials were recorded during medi-tation on the Sanskrit syllable 'OM' (Telles, Nagarathna, & Nagendra, 1994). After meditation on O M the peak amplitude of a specific component (the Na wave, a negative wave between 14 and 19 msec.), which corresponds to activity at the midbrain-thalamic level, increased (Deiber, Ibanez, Fischer, Perrin, & Mauguiere, 1988). The increase in peak amplitude suggested that more neurons were recruited at this neural level during meditation on O M (Woods & Clayworth, 1985). The present study evaluated middle latency auditory evoked potentials during Brahmakumaris Raja Yoga meditation, which involves meditation on a series of meaningful thoughts directed to the object of meditation (Praja-pita Brahmakumaris Iswariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, 1981). Sixteen male volun-teers (whose M age = 34.1 yr., SD = 9.8 and overall meditation experience was

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Authors

  • Ey Telles

  • K V Naveen

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