Comparative Analysis of Depth of Meditation Between Long-Term and Short Term Meditators using Electroencephalography
Background and Aim: The present study was designed to evaluate the brain electrical activity among Long-term meditators (LTMs) and Short-term meditators (STMs) using Electroencephalography (EEG). Methods: This prospective study involved 40 mins of EEG recordings, carried out twice i.e. at Day 0 (Baseline) and at Day 10 (During meditation) in thirty-four (34) participants. Twelve (12) apparently healthy male, right-handed, practicing preksha meditation (Since >5 years, at least 5 days a week) were recruited as long-term meditators; Twelve (12) subjects who attended the 10-days short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention program were recruited as short-term meditators; Ten (10) male healthy controls, who did not participate in any dietary/yoga intervention were recruited among the staff members. The EEG waves were analyzed at Day 0 and at Day 10 using Wilcoxon Signed Rank test and Repeated measured ANOVA respectively. One-way ANOVA was used for the baseline EEG waves activity comparison among LTMs vs. STMs vs. Controls. The response to photic stimulation was also assessed during meditation. Results: Significant different patterns of alpha and theta waves (p<0.05) activity was observed for LTM vs. STM during meditation vs. baseline. Also, significant different baseline EEG waves (p<0.05) were observed among LTM vs. STM vs. Controls. Conclusion: Findings may be useful in defining the basic EEG features to differentiate meditators based on the duration of practice of meditation and depth of meditation.