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The effects of mindfulness meditation on spectral measures of EEG activity

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Bosworth, AM 2019 , 'The effects of mindfulness meditation on spectral measures of EEG activity', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Mindfulness meditation is associated with improvements in emotional regulation and attention, however the neural mechanisms underlying these relationships are not well understood. Meta-analyses of electrophysiological changes during meditation, indicate that meditative states are most consistently associated with increased alpha and theta power, and preliminary evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation practice may reduce frontal theta/beta ratio, a potential electrophysiological marker of attentional control. However, studies in this area are limited by methodological issues, such as the use of cross-sectional designs and lack of active control groups. This study aimed to address limitations of previous research by conducting a randomised control trial which examines whether electrophysiological changes occur after one week of mindfulness meditation training with neurofeedback. Participants with low meditation experience (N=33) were randomised into a one-week intervention (at least 20 minutes for seven days) of either mindfulness meditation training with neurofeedback or relaxation training with biofeedback. Measures of mindfulness, mood, and emotional regulation were taken at pre training and post training sessions. Results indicated that there was no change in theta power, alpha power or theta/beta ratio, from pre training to post training in the focused breathing condition for both groups, and measures of mindfulness, suggesting that the dose of meditation the experimental group received was not sufficient to lead to changes in electrophysiological measures. Future research could extend the duration of the mindfulness meditation intervention to address this possibility.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Bosworth, AM
Keywords: theta/beta ratio, attentional control, EEG, attention, neurofeedback-assisted, technology-supported, mindfulness meditation training
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Copyright 2019 the author

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