How meditation enhances brain function

What is the mechanism by which meditation enhances brain function ? At the Investigating the Mind conference held in Washington DC in November 2005, sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute , Dr. Wolf Singer (picture), Director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, presented an intriguing hypothesis.

Dr. Singer’s research focus is the so-called binding problem: how are processes integrated within the distributed cortical architecture? His theory is that precisely calibrated neural clocks serve to coordinate the massive number of parallel, distributed subprocesses in the brain . Stated differently, various parts of the brain work together—talk to each other—by operating at the same frequency, sort of like neural walkie-talkies.

The frequencies Singer has identified as serving the integrative function are in the beta- and gamma frequency range . That’s interesting because gamma frequencies have also been identified as those enhanced by meditative practice (previous post).

This leads to a radical new hypothesis for how meditation enhances brain function: it improves synchronization, boosting the efficiency with which the parts and processes of the brain can work together.

2 Responses to “How meditation enhances brain function”

  1. Yanni Maniates Says:

    Thankyou for all your interesting posts. I teach and practice meditation, intuitive development and self-mastery skills and I very much appreciate the information and references you provide in your blog.

    Peace and Joy be with you!

    Yanni Maniates

  2. Numenware, a blog about neurotheology » Blog Archive » 25 top neurotheology research topics Says:

    […] What are the short- and long-term effects of meditation of brain function and structure? (How meditation improves brain function, Meditate and thicken your cortex, Two types of meditation, two types of brain patterns?, […]

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