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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 406261, 11 pages
Review Article

Neurophysiological Effects of Meditation Based on Evoked and Event Related Potential Recordings

Patanjali Research Foundation, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar, Uttarakhand 249405, India

Received 28 November 2014; Revised 28 January 2015; Accepted 8 February 2015

Academic Editor: Carlo Miniussi

Copyright © 2015 Nilkamal Singh and Shirley Telles. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Evoked potentials (EPs) are a relatively noninvasive method to assess the integrity of sensory pathways. As the neural generators for most of the components are relatively well worked out, EPs have been used to understand the changes occurring during meditation. Event-related potentials (ERPs) yield useful information about the response to tasks, usually assessing attention. A brief review of the literature yielded eleven studies on EPs and seventeen on ERPs from 1978 to 2014. The EP studies covered short, mid, and long latency EPs, using both auditory and visual modalities. ERP studies reported the effects of meditation on tasks such as the auditory oddball paradigm, the attentional blink task, mismatched negativity, and affective picture viewing among others. Both EP and ERPs were recorded in several meditations detailed in the review. Maximum changes occurred in mid latency (auditory) EPs suggesting that maximum changes occur in the corresponding neural generators in the thalamus, thalamic radiations, and primary auditory cortical areas. ERP studies showed meditation can increase attention and enhance efficiency of brain resource allocation with greater emotional control.