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Efficiency during activity increases with Transcendental Meditation practice, study finds
by Global Good News staff writer
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28 October 2013
When Dr Fred Travis wanted to study the effects of long-term practice of Transcendental Meditation during activity, he found several important results.
Dr Travis is director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management.
The first was increased coherence in the EEG (electroencephalographic) patterns in the frontal part of the brain. The level of coherence tended to increase with the long-term practice of meditation.
The second category of results exemplifies the principle of 'silence in dynamism', commented Dr Michael Dillbeck, editor of the volume of research in which this study is reprinted.* It is an efficiency of the brain that Dr Travis observed more fully in subjects who practised Transcendental Meditation, compared to those who did not; that is, their brains were dynamic and poised for activity when they needed to be, and silent and composed when no activity was necessary.
Dr Dillbeck explained, 'If you know that you're going to make a reaction, something is coming and you're going to have to react to it, the brain starts to prepare for that. But the brain gives a different kind of preparatory response based on what you have to do.'
In other words, if you are a runner at the starting block, all you have to do is hear the signal and then start running. Your brain is on high alert for that one sound and that one required response. 'So the preparatory response is really strong right before you start to act,' said Dr Dillbeck.
If, on the other hand, you are not yet sure of the required response, your brain does not need to be on high alert because it is uncertain what will be asked of it. For example, you may be sitting in front of a computer and waiting to see what colour appears. If green, you will respond with your right hand, if red, with your left. In this case, except for being alert, there is no other useful preparation your brain can make.
These findings are essentially characterizing the efficiency of the brain, Dr Dillbeck said. Of the three groups Dr Travis studied—nonmeditators, new meditators (those who recently learned the practice), and long-term meditators—the long-term practitioners of Transcendental Meditation showed the greatest efficiency of brain activity.
A future article will report more about this effect and its significance.
* During this interview Dr Dillbeck also announced the publication of Volume 7 of Scientific Research on Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program: Collected Papers. See related article: Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation covers wide range of benefits, new volume shows
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