A systematic review of the neurophysiology of mindfulness on EEG oscillations

Article


Lomas, T., Ivtzan, I. and Fu, C. 2015. A systematic review of the neurophysiology of mindfulness on EEG oscillations. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 57, pp. 401-410.
AuthorsLomas, T., Ivtzan, I. and Fu, C.
Abstract

Mindfulness meditation has been purported as a beneficial practice for wellbeing. It would
be expected that the neurophysiology of mindfulness would reflect this impact on wellbeing.
However, investigations of the effect of mindfulness have generated mixed reports of
increases, decreases, as well as no differences in EEG oscillations in comparison with a
resting state and a variety of tasks. We have performed systematic review of EEG studies of
mindfulness meditation in order to determine any common effects and to identify factors
which may impact on the effects. Databases were reviewed from 1966 to August 2015.
Eligibility criteria included empirical quantitative analyses of mindfulness meditation practice
and EEG measurements acquired in relation to practice. A total of 56 papers met the
eligibility criteria and were included in the systematic review, consisting of a total 1,715
subjects: 1,358 healthy individuals and 357 individuals with psychiatric diagnoses. Studies
were principally examined for power outcomes in each bandwidth, in particular the power
differentials between mindfulness and the control state, as well as outcomes relating to
hemispheric asymmetry and event-related potentials. The systematic review revealed that
mindfulness was most commonly associated with enhanced alpha and theta power as
compared to an eyes closed resting state, although such outcomes were not uniformly
reported. No consistent patterns were observed with respect to beta, delta and gamma
bandwidths. In summary, mindfulness is associated with increased alpha and theta power in
both healthy individuals and in patient groups. This co-presence of elevated alpha and theta
may signify a state of relaxed alertness which is conducive to mental health.

JournalNeuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Journal citation57, pp. 401-410
ISSN0149-7634
Year2015
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.09.018
Publication dates
Print09 Oct 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Oct 2015
Accepted30 Sep 2015
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Lomas, T., Hefferon, K. and Ivtzan, I. 2014. The LIFE Model: A Meta-Theoretical Conceptual Map for Applied Positive Psychology. Journal of Happiness Studies.
A Qualitative Analysis of Experiential Challenges Associated with Meditation Practice
Lomas, T., Cartwright, Tina, Edginton, Trudi and Ridge, Damien 2014. A Qualitative Analysis of Experiential Challenges Associated with Meditation Practice. Mindfulness.
Prognostic and Diagnostic Potential of the Structural Neuroanatomy of Depression
Domschke, Katharina, Costafreda, Sergi G., Chu, Carlton, Ashburner, John and Fu, C. 2009. Prognostic and Diagnostic Potential of the Structural Neuroanatomy of Depression. PLOS ONE. 4 (7), p. e6353.
Pattern of neural responses to verbal fluency shows diagnostic specificity for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Costafreda, Sergi G, Fu, C., Picchioni, Marco, Toulopoulou, Timothea, McDonald, Colm, Kravariti, Eugenia, Walshe, Muriel, Prata, Diana, Murray, Robin M and McGuire, Philip K 2011. Pattern of neural responses to verbal fluency shows diagnostic specificity for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. BMC Psychiatry. 11 (1), p. 18.
Neuroimaging-Based Biomarkers in Psychiatry: Clinical Opportunities of a Paradigm Shift
Fu, C. and Costafreda, Sergi G. 2013. Neuroimaging-Based Biomarkers in Psychiatry: Clinical Opportunities of a Paradigm Shift. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 58 (9), pp. 499-508.
Mind the gap in mindfulness research: A comparative account of the leading schools of thought.
Hart, Rona, Ivtzan, I. and Hart, Dan 2013. Mind the gap in mindfulness research: A comparative account of the leading schools of thought. Review of General Psychology. 17 (4), pp. 453-466.
'I was so done in that I just recognized it very plainly, "You need to do something"': Men's narratives of struggle, distress and turning to meditation
Lomas, T., Cartwright, Tina, Edginton, Trudi and Ridge, Damian 2013. 'I was so done in that I just recognized it very plainly, "You need to do something"': Men's narratives of struggle, distress and turning to meditation. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 17 (2), pp. 191-208.
Critical positive masculinity
Lomas, T. 2013. Critical positive masculinity. Masculinities and Social Change. 2 (2), pp. 167-193.
Men Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation? Integrating Narrative, Cognitive and Electroencephalography (EEG) Evidence.
Lomas, T., Edginton, Trudi, Cartwright, Tina and Ridge, Damien 2013. Men Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation? Integrating Narrative, Cognitive and Electroencephalography (EEG) Evidence. Psychology of Men & Masculinity. 15 (2), pp. 213-224.
Engagement with meditation as a positive health trajectory: Divergent narratives of progress in male meditators
Lomas, T., Ridge, Damien, Cartwright, Tina and Edginton, Trudi 2013. Engagement with meditation as a positive health trajectory: Divergent narratives of progress in male meditators. Psychology and Health. 29 (2), pp. 218-236.