Research Literature


Research Papers

Cahn, B. R., DeLorme, A., Polich, J. (2009) Occipital gamma activation during Vipassana meditation International Quarterly of Cognitive Science – Cognitive Processing (Springer)

Long-term Vipassana meditators sat in meditation with eyes closed vs. a control rest state of mind wandering for 21 minutes. EEG recordings were compared for the final 6 minutes. Meditation was associated with a decrease in frontal delta (1-4 Hz) power and an increase in occipital (back of the head) gamma power.

Harmony, T. (2013) The functional significance of delta oscillations in cognitive processing Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience

Review of studies suggesting that delta oscillations inhibit distractions when there is a need to concentrate.

Lutz, A., Greishar, L. L., Rawlings, N. B., Ricard, M., Davidson, R. J (2004) Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice PNAS (National Academy of Sciences of the USA)

Provides experimental evidence that Buddhist practitioners engaging in non-referential compassion meditation self-induce sustained high amplitude gamma oscillations. Furthermore, these oscillations tend to be synchronized between different regions of the brain.

Killingsworth, M. A., and Gilbert, D., T. (2010) A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind Science 330 (2010): 932

Killingsworth and Gilbert conclude that a human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.

Cahn, B. R., DeLorme, A., Polich, J. (2013) Event-related delta, theta, alpha and gamma correlates to auditory oddball processing during Vipassana meditation doi: 10:1093/scan/nss060



Electric Fields of the Brain: The Neurophysics of EEG, 2nd Ed. by Paul L. Nunuz and Ramesh Srinivasan (Oxford, 2006)

Rhythms of the Brain by Gyorgy Buzsaki (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Analyzing Neural Time Series Data: Theory and Practice, by Mike X. Cohen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014)

Waking, Dreaming, Being: self and consciousness in neuroscience, meditation, and philosophy, by Evan Thompson (Columbia University Press, New York, 2015).

How the Mind Works, by Steven Pinker (W.W. Norton, New York, 1997)

  2 Responses to “Research Literature”

    • William,

      Thanks for the reference to these articles. I think I had seen the first one, but not the second. Yes, the term ‘meditation’ is used in so many different contexts, it’s important that we come up with a better set of terms to help define what we’re talking about.

      Looks like I need to get an account with

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