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Progress in Brain Research

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https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732848/preface
#1
EDITORIAL
Narayanan Srinivasan
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732847/meditation-induces-physical-relaxation-and-enhances-cognition-a-perplexing-paradox
#2
Kishore K Deepak
Meditation induces physical and mental relaxation. Experimental evidence has also suggested that meditation enhances cognition. The relaxation (physical and mental) and cognitive enhancement are quite opposite tasks. It is quite surprising, how meditation produces these two quasi opposite effects. It is well known that continued practice of sensori-motor and cognitive maneuvering would result in enhanced capacity of attaining physical and mental relaxation through decreased sympathetic excitation. It is further known that meditation results in better attentional regulation...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732846/yoga-balancing-the-excitation-inhibition-equilibrium-in-psychiatric-disorders
#3
Urvakhsh Meherwan Mehta, B N Gangadhar
Social behavioral disturbances are central to most psychiatric disorders. A disequilibrium within the cortical excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter systems underlies these deficits. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate are the most abundant excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain that contribute to this equilibrium. Several contemporary therapies used in treating psychiatric disorders, regulate this GABA-glutamate balance. Yoga has been studied as an adjuvant treatment across a broad range of psychiatric disorders and is shown to have short-term therapeutic gains...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732845/contemplative-neuroscience-self-awareness-and-education
#4
Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, Patricia A Jennings, Shiri Lavy
Accumulating research in education shows that contemplative practices contribute to and foster well-being of individuals in sustainable ways. This bears special importance for teachers, as it affects not only them but also their students. Based on accumulating behavioral and neuroscientific findings, it has been suggested that a key process by which mindfulness meditation enhances self-regulation is the altering of self-awareness. Indeed, accumulated work shows that the underlying networks supporting various types of self-awareness are malleable following meditative practice...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732844/mindfulness-training-as-cognitive-training-in-high-demand-cohorts-an-initial-study-in-elite-military-servicemembers
#5
Anthony P Zanesco, Ekaterina Denkova, Scott L Rogers, William K MacNulty, Amishi P Jha
Cognitive ability is a key selection criterion for entry into many elite professions. Herein, we investigate whether mindfulness training (MT) can enhance cognitive performance in elite military forces. The cognitive effects of a short-form 8-h MT program contextualized for military cohorts, referred to as Mindfulness-Based Attention Training (MBAT), were assessed. Servicemembers received either a 2-week (n=40) or 4-week (n=36) version of MBAT or no training (NTC, n=44). Sustained attention and working memory task performance along with self-reported cognitive failures were assessed at study onset (T1) and 8-weeks later (T2)...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732843/evolution-from-four-mental-states-to-the-highest-state-of-consciousness-a-neurophysiological-basis-of-meditation-as-defined-in-yoga-texts
#6
Singh Deepeshwar, H R Nagendra, Bal Budhi Rana
This chapter provides a theoretical introduction to states of consciousness and reviews neuroscientific investigations of meditation. The different states of consciousness consist of four mental states, i.e., cancalata (random thinking), ekagrata (non-meditative focusing), dharna (focused meditation), and dhyana (meditation) as defined in yoga texts. Meditation is a self-regulated mental process associated with deep relaxation and increased internalized attention. Scientific investigations on meditation reported changes in electrophysiological signals and neuroimaging measures...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732842/the-contemplative-exercise-through-the-lenses-of-predictive-processing-a-promising-approach
#7
Giuseppe Pagnoni
The theory of predictive processing in the comprehensive articulation proposed by Karl Friston is a framework that boasts an impressively wide explanatory power in neurobiology, where processes apparently as diverse as perception, action, attention, and learning unfold, and are coherently orchestrated, according to the single general mandate of free-energy minimization. In the present opinion piece, I argue that the adoption of this theoretical perspective can provide a much needed unitary framework for contemplative research as well, whose explosive growth in terms of the number of published studies and amount of collected data has not been matched yet by a similarly extensive effort to theoretically organize the findings, so that a deeper understanding of meditation-related processes can be attained...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732841/nondual-awareness-consciousness-as-such-as-non-representational-reflexivity
#8
Zoran Josipovic
I introduce arguments toward a non-representational reflexivity theory of consciousness-as-such to address one of the key issues in the science of consciousness today: lack of understanding of the nature of consciousness itself. An expanded map of consciousness is outlined, which includes, in addition to the well-known contents of awareness and levels of arousal, the indeterminate substrate and consciousness-as-such or nondual awareness. The central idea presented is that consciousness-as-such is a non-conceptual nondual awareness, whose essential property is non-representational reflexivity...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732840/training-attention-for-conscious-non-rem-sleep-the-yogic-practice-of-yoga-nidr%C3%A4-and-its-implications-for-neuroscience-research
#9
Stephen Parker
The study of consciousness within cognitive neuroscience has been dominated in recent years by investigations originating from collaborations between neuroscientific investigators and Buddhist meditation practitioners. The results have been remarkable, particularly when quantitative and qualitative research methods have been combined as they are in the neurophenomenological methodology originated by Francisco Varela. The addition of qualitative data about the experience of the subject greatly enriches the interpretive potential of quantitative data and honors the ultimate subjectivity of all phenomena, if we accept consciousness as the universal first principle as some quantum physicists now do...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732839/tibetan-buddhist-monastic-debate-psychological-and-neuroscientific-analysis-of-a-reasoning-based-analytical-meditation-practice
#10
Marieke K van Vugt, Amir Moye, Joshua Pollock, Bryce Johnson, Marcel O Bonn-Miller, Kalden Gyatso, Jampa Thakchoe, Lobsang Phuntsok, Ngawang Norbu, Lobsang Tenzin, Thabkhe Lodroe, Jampa Lobsang, Jampa Gyaltsen, Jampa Khechok, Thupten Gyaltsen, David M Fresco
Analytical meditation and monastic debate are contemplative practices engaged in by Tibetan Buddhist monastics that have up to now been largely unexplored in Western contemplative science. The highly physical form of contemplative debating plays an important role in the monastic curriculum. Based on discussions and recorded interviews Tibetan monastic teachers and senior students at Sera Jey Monastic University and preliminary experiments, we outline an initial theory that elucidates the psychological mechanisms underlying this practice...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732838/toward-a-brain-theory-of-meditation
#11
Antonino Raffone, Laura Marzetti, Cosimo Del Gratta, Mauro Gianni Perrucci, Gian Luca Romani, Vittorio Pizzella
The rapidly progressing science of meditation has led to insights about the neural correlates of focused attention meditation (FAM), open monitoring meditation (OMM), compassion meditation (CM) and loving kindness meditation (LKM), in terms of states and traits. However, a unified theoretical understanding of the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related functions, including mindfulness, is lacking. After reviewing the main forms of meditation and their relationships, the major brain networks and brain states, as well as influential theoretical views of consciousness, we outline a Brain Theory of Meditation (BTM)...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732837/concentrative-sahaj-samadhi-meditation-training-and-visual-awareness-an-fmri-study-on-color-afterimages
#12
Amrendra Singh, V S Chandrasekhar Pammi, Anupam Guleria, Narayanan Srinivasan
All of us consciously experience the world around us through our sensory modalities. Empirical studies on the relationship between attention and awareness have shown that attention does influence perceptual experience or appearance in addition to better performance in perceptual tasks. The practice of meditation also changes perceptual experience in addition to better perceptual performance. For example, a study with Sahaj Samadhi meditators utilizing negative color afterimages had shown that concentrative meditation influences visual experience...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732836/fully-immersed-state-absorption-and-electrophysiological-effects-of-the-ovo-whole-body-perceptual-deprivation-chamber
#13
Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan, Federica Mauro, Stefano Lasaponara, Joseph Glicksohn, Fabio Marson, Aviva Berkovich-Ohana
Absorption, the ability to highly focus attention, as well as openness to self-altering experiences, is an important psychological construct, closely related to deep-meditation states and other altered states of consciousness. Yet, little is known about the electrophysiological profile of states of absorption, possibly due to the difficulty to induce this state in the lab. While most studies have used a visual Ganzfeld (homogeneous perceptual field), here we use a novel technique of full immersion-the OVO Whole-Body Perceptual Deprivation (OVO-WBPD) chamber, which is an altered sensory environment in the form of a human-sized egg...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732835/short-term-mindful-breath-awareness-training-improves-inhibitory-control-and-response-monitoring
#14
Joan P Pozuelos, Bethan R Mead, M Rosario Rueda, Peter Malinowski
Mindfulness meditation is thought to lead to positive changes in cognitive and affective functioning. However, the mechanisms underlying these changes are not well understood. One reason for this is that so far only very few studies considered the effects of specific meditation practices. We thus investigated the effects of engaging in one specific form of mindfulness meditation for a brief time period on behavioral and neural indicators of inhibitory control and metacognition. Performance on the Go/No-Go task and concurrent neural activity (EEG) was assessed before and after participants engaged in 3 weeks of mindful breath awareness meditation...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732834/state-trait-influences-of-vipassana-meditation-practice-on-p3-eeg-dynamics
#15
Ratna Jyothi Kakumanu, Ajay Kumar Nair, Arun Sasidharan, John P John, Seema Mehrotra, Ravindra Panth, Bindu M Kutty
Several studies have demonstrated that meditation naïve subjects can, in just a few weeks, become proficient enough in meditation to show cognitive improvements accompanied with functional and structural changes in the brain. Would long-term exposure to qualitatively different levels of meditative training bring about differences in cognitive processing? Would meditation prior to task performance help separate out these differences? Could the nature of the task influence the findings related to cognitive enhancements? To address these questions, we evaluated cognitive functions in three groups of experienced Vipassana practitioners (Novices: n=22, Mean±SD meditation experience=989±595h; Senior practitioners: 21, 10,510±5313; Teachers: 16, 14,648±9623) who differed in terms of duration and quality of meditative practice...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732833/contingent-negative-variation-and-p3-modulations-following-mindful-movement-training
#16
Stefano Lasaponara, Joseph Glicksohn, Federica Mauro, Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan
In the study of the electrophysiological correlates of attention, a phasic change in alertness has been classically related to a negative frontal-central shift called Contingent Negative Variation (CNV). Studies investigating the effects of meditation on the CNV in participants reporting frequent transcendental experiences (TE) reported reduced CNV in choice reaction time task (CRT), and increased CNV in simple reaction time task (SRT), suggesting that meditation can induce a more balanced attentional state...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30732832/the-neuroscience-of-meditation-classification-phenomenology-correlates-and-mechanisms
#17
Tracy Brandmeyer, Arnaud Delorme, Helané Wahbeh
Rising from its contemplative and spiritual traditions, the science of meditation has seen huge growth over the last 30 years. This chapter reviews the classifications, phenomenology, neural correlates, and mechanisms of meditation. Meditation classification types are still varied and largely subjective. Broader models to describe meditation practice along multidimensional parameters may improve classification in the future. Phenomenological studies are few but growing, highlighting the subjective experience and correlations to neurophysiology...
2019: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30514532/preface
#18
EDITORIAL
Chiara Ambrosio, William MacLehose
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30514531/gaetano-zumbo-s-anatomical-wax-model-from-skull-to-cranium
#19
Rose Marie San Juan
Gaetano Giulio Zumbo's anatomical model of a head, executed in the late seventeenth century and now in Florence's La Specola, is the earliest known life-size wax model for use in study and research. The model conjoins experimental wax techniques with human matter such as hair, teeth and bone, and confronts the observer not only with the interior of the head but also with the face, brutally dissected and in the process of decomposing. By contrast, the back of the head offers an entirely different display, an actual human cranium cut across its upper part and revealing carefully dissected and vibrantly modeled sections of the brain...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30514530/imagining-the-soul-thomas-willis-1621-1675-on-the-anatomy-of-the-brain-and-nerves
#20
Alexander Wragge-Morley
During the 1660s and 1670s, Thomas Willis (1621-1675) pursued an ambitious program of brain science. Instead of the speculative approach favored by René Descartes (1596-1659), Willis used comparative anatomy to figure out the workings of the brain and nerves. As a result, Willis is still cited by science writers as the "founder" of the modern neurosciences. This chapter, by contrast, builds on a wealth of scholarship showing that Willis in fact had aims that few scientists would recognize. One of his key objectives, for instance, was to work out how much influence the immaterial, immortal soul had over the mechanisms of the human body...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
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