Mindfulness meditation usually takes place as personal, introspective activity. It is not known if this practice activates the brain differently when done alone or with someone else. Sixteen couples of expert meditators performed mindfulness-oriented meditation (MOM) and instructed mind-wandering (IMW) tasks in two conditions: once sitting in the same room (SR) and once in two different rooms (DR). Spontaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) data was collected during 7-minute recording sessions in the four experimental settings (MOM/SR, MOM/DR, IMW/SR, IMW/DR). Power in band was computed in separate clusters of independent components of the EEG signals. In addition to significant task effects, found in frontolimbic (MOM > IMW in gamma) and frontoparietal locations (MOM < IMW in theta), significant condition effects were found in frontal (SR > DR in delta) and in temporo-occipital regions (SR > DR in theta and alpha). Moreover, a significant interaction between task and condition revealed higher gamma activity in limbic areas during MOM/SR vs. MOM/DR settings. This effect was not attributable to gender, age nor the meditation expertise of participants. We thus show that the brains of two people work differently when they are doing something together or alone; some of these differences are specific to mindfulness meditation. Implications for devotional and clinical settings are discussed.

Inter-brain co-activations during mindfulness meditation. Implications for devotional and clinical settings

Bergamasco, Massimo;
2021

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation usually takes place as personal, introspective activity. It is not known if this practice activates the brain differently when done alone or with someone else. Sixteen couples of expert meditators performed mindfulness-oriented meditation (MOM) and instructed mind-wandering (IMW) tasks in two conditions: once sitting in the same room (SR) and once in two different rooms (DR). Spontaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) data was collected during 7-minute recording sessions in the four experimental settings (MOM/SR, MOM/DR, IMW/SR, IMW/DR). Power in band was computed in separate clusters of independent components of the EEG signals. In addition to significant task effects, found in frontolimbic (MOM > IMW in gamma) and frontoparietal locations (MOM < IMW in theta), significant condition effects were found in frontal (SR > DR in delta) and in temporo-occipital regions (SR > DR in theta and alpha). Moreover, a significant interaction between task and condition revealed higher gamma activity in limbic areas during MOM/SR vs. MOM/DR settings. This effect was not attributable to gender, age nor the meditation expertise of participants. We thus show that the brains of two people work differently when they are doing something together or alone; some of these differences are specific to mindfulness meditation. Implications for devotional and clinical settings are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/549071
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