A 15O-H2O PET study of meditation and the resting state of normal consciousness

Hans C. Lou*, Troels W. Kjaer, Lars Friberg, Gordon Wildschiodtz, Søren Holm, Markus Nowak

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

    Abstract

    The aim of the present study was to examine whether the neural structures subserving meditation can be reproducibly measured, and, if so, whether they are different from those supporting the resting state of normal consciousness. Cerebral blood flow distribution was investigated with the 15O-H2O PET technique in nine young adults, who were highly experienced yoga teachers, during the relaxation meditation (Yoga Nidra), and during the resting state of normal consciousness. In addition, global CBF was measured in two of the subjects. Spectral EEG analysis was performed throughout the investigations. In meditation, differential activity was seen, with the noticeable exception of V1, in the posterior sensory and associative cortices known to participate in imagery tasks. In the resting state of normal consciousness (compared with meditation as a baseline), differential activity was found in dorso-lateral and orbital frontal cortex, anterior cingulate gyri, left temporal gyri, left inferior parietal lobule, striatal and thalamic regions, pons and cerebellar vermis and hemispheres, structures thought tO support an executive attentional network. The mean global flow remained unchanged for both subjects throughout the investigation (39 ± 5 and 38 ± 4 ml/100 g/min, uncorrected for partial volume effects). It is concluded that the H2 15O PET method may measure CBF distribution in the meditative state as well as during the resting state of normal consciousness, and that characteristic patterns of neural activity support each state. These findings enhance our understanding of the neural basis of different aspects of consciousness.

    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    Sider (fra-til)98-105
    Antal sider8
    TidsskriftHuman Brain Mapping
    Vol/bind7
    Udgave nummer2
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 4 feb. 1999

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