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Inward-attention meditation increases parasympathetic activity: A study based on heart rate variability

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Abstract

Phenomenon of the heart rate variability (HRV) during various meditation techniques has been reported. However, most of these techniques emphasized the skill of slow breathing (<0.15 Hz). This paper reports our study on HRV during meditation which emphasizes inward attention. Inward attention has been an important approach for the Zen-meditation practitioners to enter into transcendental consciousness. Two groups of subjects were investigated, 10 experimental subjects with Zen-meditation experience and 10 control subjects without any meditation experience. We analyzed HRV both in time and frequency domains. The results revealed both common and different effects on HRV between inward-attention meditation and normal rest. The major difference of effects between two groups were the decrease of LF/HF ratio and LF norm as well as the increase of HF norm, which suggested the benefit of a sympathovagal balance toward parasympathetic activity. Moreover, we observed regular oscillating rhythms of the heart rate when the LF/HF ratio was small under meditation. According to previous studies, regular oscillations of heart rate signal usually appeared in the low-frequency band of HRV under slow breathing. Our findings showed that such regular oscillations could also appear in the high-frequency band of HRV but with smaller amplitude.

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... This study tested the effect of a paced respiration exercise known to increase PSNS activity (Bernardi et al., 1989;Bernardi, Porta, Gabutti, Spicuzza, & Sleight, 2001;Sakakibara et al., 1994;Tsai et al., 2015;Wu & Lo, 2008) on the perceived duration of sub-second negative and neutral stimuli. Participants were asked to complete four duration judgment tasks. ...
... This study tested whether a paced respiration exercise known to increase PSNS activity (Bernardi et al., 1989(Bernardi et al., , 2001Sakakibara et al., 1994;Tsai et al., 2015;Wu & Lo, 2008) would reduce the perceived duration of negative and neutral events. The results showed that PSNS activity was significantly greater in the paced breathing condition than in the normal breathing condition. ...
... The results showed that PSNS activity was significantly greater in the paced breathing condition than in the normal breathing condition. This replicates previous findings that a respiration rate of six breaths per minute is effective in increasing PSNS activity (Bernardi et al., 1989(Bernardi et al., , 2001Sakakibara et al., 1994;Tsai et al., 2015;Wu & Lo, 2008). SNS activity was unaffected by the breathing manipulation. ...
Article
Theories of human temporal perception suggest that changes in physiological arousal distort the perceived duration of events. Behavioural manipulations of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity support this suggestion, however the effects of behavioural manipulations of parasympathetic (PSNS) activity on time perception are unclear. The current study examined the effect of a paced respiration exercise known to increase PSNS activity on sub-second duration estimates. Participants estimated the duration of negatively and neutrally valenced images following a period of normal and paced breathing. PSNS and SNS activity were indexed by high-frequency heart-rate variability and pre-ejection period respectively. Paced breathing increased PSNS activity and reduced the perceived duration of the negative and neutrally valenced stimuli relative to normal breathing. The results show that manipulations of PSNS activity can distort time in the absence of a change in SNS activity. They also suggest that activities which increase PSNS activity may be effective in reducing the perceived duration of short events.
... This is also the first experiment to use an objective measure of MF as a manipulation check. A relationship between higher levels of MF and high-frequency HRV (associated with increased activity in the parasympathetic or rest-and-digest component of the autonomic nervous system) has been found in several meditation studies [28,29]. Wu and Lo [29] found that meditation techniques characterized by slow breathing resulted in regular oscillations (or coherence) in high-frequency HRV. ...
... A relationship between higher levels of MF and high-frequency HRV (associated with increased activity in the parasympathetic or rest-and-digest component of the autonomic nervous system) has been found in several meditation studies [28,29]. Wu and Lo [29] found that meditation techniques characterized by slow breathing resulted in regular oscillations (or coherence) in high-frequency HRV. Mankus, Aldao, Kerns, Mayville, and Mennin [30] found that higher levels of MF were related to higher levels of HRV (using a metric that indexed the degree of parasympathetic influence on heart rate) in participants with elevated general anxiety symptoms, who have more difficulty with emotion regulation. ...
... Although there is numerous literature that looked on the effect of various yoga and/or meditation techniques on HRV of normal individuals [2,[18][19][20], its effect in the diabetic population is limited. Studies have proved that meditation programs are beneficial for diabetic patients in improving their glycemic control and increasing their adherence to treatment protocols by way of reducing their psychological stress levels [21,22]. ...
... The normalized units of HRV were again concordant with other meditation studies. Zen meditation practice also showed a significant increase in the HF norms as well as a significant decrease in the LF norms [18]. ...
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Objective: This study aims in understanding the effects of Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM), a type of mindfulness meditation, on the autonomic balance of type 2 diabetic patients through assessment of heart rate variability (HRV). Methods: After the initial screening of 30 type 2 diabetic subjects, 10 type 2 diabetic subjects between the age group of 30 and 65 years were randomized into two groups, diabetic test (n=5) and diabetic control group (n=5). Diabetic test group practiced IAM technique under the guidance of a trained practitioner. Both the groups continued the same dietary pattern and medications during the 6-month study period. HRV was taken for all subjects at baseline and after 6 months. In our study, we have focused on the power spectral analysis of HRV which include normalized units of high frequency (nHF), low frequency (nLF), and low frequency-high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio). Results: Mean percentage change in nHF, nLF, and LFHF ratio showed significant changes in between-group comparison (p<0.05). Normalized units of HF increased (p=0.049) while LF (p=0.036) and LFHF ratio (p=0.024) decreased significantly within test group after 6 months of IAM practice suggesting the potential of IAM in improving the parasympathetic tone, thereby tuning the mind and body to calm down during stress. Conclusion: Our study has shown demonstrable improvement in autonomic function which reflects reduced stress after the practice of IAM in diabetic patients.
... MHR was regarded as a general marker of the autonomic nervous system with a reduction in heart rate indicating a shift towards more parasympathetic-dominated regulation . HFNU is a frequencydomain HRV index being described as a measure of relative vagal cardiac outflow that was shown to increase in response to mindfulness or meditation-based interventions in previous studies (Krygier et al., 2013;Tang et al., 2009;Wu & Lo, 2008 ...
... Taken together, these results suggest that MIs can exert a short-term, both The reported increase in high-frequent HRV (HFNU) at T1 could be interpreted as a shift towards increased vagal tone or more parasympathetic activity in response to the MI. While straightforward and in line with previous research (Tang et al., 2009;Wu & Lo, 2008), recent methodological reviews, however, recommend interpreting normalised and ratio values jointly with the absolute power in the frequency band (Heathers, 2014). An exploratory inspection of our data revealed that the absolute high-frequency power initially decreased from pre-MI to post-MI (and later increased again), indicating that the increase in HFNU was mainly driven by a very pronounced decrease in the low-frequency band. ...
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Objective Mindfulness‐based interventions are a widely used and highly accepted adjunct treatment in oncology. Due to a paucity of research in advanced cancer and other terminal illnesses, we aimed to evaluate the stress‐reducing effects of a brief, standardised mindfulness intervention for use in palliative care. Methods This study was a randomised, crossover trial where patients participated in both a single mindfulness intervention and a resting state control condition. The order of the conditions was randomised. Study outcomes encompassed self‐report data on stress and well‐being and measures of heart rate variability. All outcome data were measured at four times per day. Results Forty‐two patients participated in this study. We found significantly stronger reductions in self‐rated stress and mean heart rate as well as an increase in heart rate variability after the mindfulness intervention. Psychophysiological effects were strongest in the immediate pre‐ to post‐intervention comparison, while the effect on subjective stress persisted after 20 to 40 min. No significant differences were found for self‐rated well‐being. Conclusions Despite the rather small magnitude of effects, the brief mindfulness intervention showed to be effective and accepted by patients in very advanced stages of a disease and could be offered by trained healthcare professionals in palliative care.
... This is due to the changes produced in pertinent areas of the brain which improves the performance of the brain and circulatory system. The heart pumps slowly and steadily; significantly reduces the possibility of overload; as a result, there is less likelihood of stress and fatigue [27][28][29]. ...
... Researchers find that heartrates are notably reduced during meditation when compared to heart rates at rest [27]. ...
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Objective: To analyse and compare the effect of a 30-minute Heartfulness meditation session on vital parameters of experienced and new meditators. Methodology: The study conducted on a mixed group of participants include both experienced and new meditators of various age groups, Body Mass Index (BMI); patients with known illness as well as healthy volunteers. Variations in heart rate, respiratory rate and systolic blood pressure is recorded before and after a 30-minute heartfulness meditation session and analysed statistically. Results: At baseline, average heart rate (HR) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) is significantly lower in experienced meditators compared to new meditators. Heartfulness meditation is highly significant in moderating HR, RR and SBP. Conclusion: A 30-minute session of Heartfulness meditation produces significant relaxation of the autonomic nervous system and favourably moderates basic vital parameters across all groups. This influence is higher in New meditators particularly the younger group probably because stress is more amplified due to greater responsibilities in life and meditation is an effective tool in reducing stress. The enthusiasm and open mindedness of youth to try new things is also contributing factor for getting better benefits from the heartfulness meditation session. In the case of experienced meditators, the elderly group showed greater changes, probably because they put in the time and effort to pursue the practice of meditation seriously, and thus able to derive a greater benefit.
... ventral ACC activity correlated with the above physiological signs of parasympathetic dominance. Wu and Lo (2008) did not measure EEG activity but also found increased HRV during meditation. 10 In addition, Amihai and Kozhevnikov (2014) found elevated HRV during vipassana meditation. ...
... Wu and Lo (2008) used HF analysis to assess HRV.11 Amihai and Kozhevnikov (2014) used HF analysis to assess HRV.12 Butler et al. (2006) had subjects focus on trying to "look on the bright side" and "find anything positive you can in the film or the conversation" during a conversation about elicited emotions. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) substituted for HRV and was measured using a custom algorithm based on HF.Bornemann et al. (2016) had subjects engage in a biofeedback exercise designed to upregulate vagal tone. ...
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Daniel Kahneman was not the first to suggest that attention and effort are closely associated, but his 1973 book Attention and Effort, which claimed that attention can be identified with effort, cemented the association as a research paradigm in the cognitive sciences. Since then, the paradigm has rarely been questioned and appears to have set the research agenda so that it is self-reinforcing. In this article, we retrace Kahneman’s argument to understand its strengths and weaknesses. The central notion of effort is not clearly defined in the book, so we proceed by constructing the most secure inferences we can from Kahneman’s argument regarding effort: it is cognitive, objective, metabolic expenditure, and it is attention. Continuing, we find from Kahneman’s argument that effort-attention must be a special case of sympathetic dominance of the autonomic nervous system that is also an increase in metabolic activity in the brain that has crossed a threshold of magnitude. We then weigh this conception of effort against evidence in Kahneman’s book and against more recent evidence, finding that it does not warrant the conclusion that effort can be equated with attention. In support of an alternative perspective, we briefly review diverse studies of behavior, physiology, and neuroscience on attention and effort, including meditation and studies of the LC-NE system, where we find evidence for the following: (1) Attention seems to be associated not with the utilization of metabolic resources per se but with the readying of metabolic resources in the form of adaptive gain modulation. This occurs under sympathetic dominance and can be experienced as effortful. (2) Attention can also occur under parasympathetic dominance, in which case it is likely to be experienced as effortless.
... These authors emphasized that inward meditation appears to push the ANS balance to a parasympathetic predominance. 89,90 On the contrary, sometimes stress can seem more like a way of life. Chronic stress is ongoing stress that seems endless, such as a demanding job, difficult family life, or experiencing ongoing hardship. ...
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Introduction: We have recently recorded, processed, and published preliminary research (Part I) on brain activity by quantitative electroencephalography (EEG) tomography (QEEGt), comparing separate subjects remembering their near-death experiences (NDEs) and mystical experiences (SCE). Several reports have affirmed that NDE and SCE are related to important functional changes in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamus regulate pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and arousal in response to emotional cues. When activated, the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for emergency actions by controlling the glands of the endocrine system. Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to how much an individual's heart rate (HR) varies, and it is a powerful method to assess the ANS. Several reports have affirmed that NDE and SCE are related to important functional changes in the ANS. We used the continuous EEG monitoring (CEEG) system to compare the memories of two groups with a NDE and a SCE. CEEG permits continuous electrocardiogram monitoring, allowing calculation of HR and HRV during SCE and NDE remembering. Hence, using HRV methodology, it is possible to assess the emotional effect of remembering NDE and SCE. Conclusion: We demonstrated the usefulness of using the CEEG methodology, which allows us to continuously assess the ANS through the HRV methodology, showing important significant functional changes in the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and comparing SCE and NDE.
... Studies with non-clinical samples that included HRV assessment demonstrated mostly positive effects of MBI on HRV immediately after the intervention (Christodoulou et al., 2020;Krick and Felfe, 2020) as well as in follow-up at week 20 (Arredondo et al., 2017). Similarly, an increase in HRV after Zen or Vipassana meditation compared to baseline has been reported (Wu and Lo, 2008;Krygier et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Objectives Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) can reduce both stress and depressive symptoms. However, the impact of mindfulness on stress level in depressed subjects remains unclear. This study aims to assess electrophysiological correlates of mindfulness in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) at baseline, under stress exposure, and in relaxation following stress exposure. Methods Perceived mindfulness was assessed with the Freiburger Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) in 89 inpatients (mean age 51) with MDD [mean Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) 30]. Electrophysiological parameters [resting heart rate (RHR), heart rate variability (HRV), respiration rate, skin conductance, and skin temperature] were recorded at 5-min baseline, 1-min stress exposure, and 5-min self-induced relaxation. Results Freiburger Mindfulness Inventory was strongly inversely correlated with symptom severity measured by BDI ( r = –0.53, p < 0.001). No correlations between FM score and electrophysiological parameters in any of the three conditions (baseline, stress exposure, relaxed state) could be found. The factor openness was associated with higher VLF (very low frequency of HRV) in the baseline condition. However, this correlation was no more significant after regression analysis when corrected for respiratory rate, age, and sex. Conclusion Autonomous nervous reactivity in depression was not associated with perceived mindfulness as measured by FMI score and presented electrophysiological parameters, despite the strong inverse correlation between state mindfulness and symptom severity.
... The patterns and fluctuations in HRV datasets are classified in terms of all HRV parameters in frequency, time, and geometric domains, leading to the extraction of important cardiovascular information [1,2,3,4]. Among the frequency-domain HRV parameters that have mainly been considered are the low frequency power (Ln LF) and the high frequency power (Ln HF), which represent a mix of SNS and PNS activities and the majority of PNS activities, respectively [5,6,7]. For the geometric-domain parameters, Poincare plot analysis has frequently been performed for discriminating a young or healthy person from a person with any disease symptoms [8,9,10]. ...
Article
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a useful measure to evaluate activity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and monitor both pathological and psychological conditions. However, HRV analysis still has difficulties with changes in HRV parameters due to an increase or decrease in the average heart rate. At present, the interpretation of the average changes in HRV datasets and their HRV parameters is not fully understood. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze how much deviation in HRV parameters occurs from rescaling tachograms and normalizing HRV datasets. Four rescaled tachograms and their corresponding normalized HRV datasets were created by increasing the average heartbeat from 50 to 110 bpm in 20 bpm steps. The difference in low frequency powers (Ln LFs) calculated between two successive rescaled groups was 0.89, 1.03, and 1.04, as the average heartbeat increased from slow to fast, while the difference in high frequency powers (Ln HFs) was 1.06, 1.53, and 1.37. However, in the four normalized HRV datasets, the difference in Ln LFs and Ln HFs between two successive normalized groups was -0.28 and -0.12, 0.31 and 0.27, and 0.31 and 0.37, respectively. The results suggest that the normalized HRV datasets are more valuable than the individual rescaled-tachogram HRV dataset for obtaining measurements using frequency-domain HRV parameters for HRV analysis in clinical applications.
... Studies have shown that during meditation, parasympathetic activity increases and sensory and perceptual changes occur. These physiological changes are a state of self-healing relaxation that may have preventive and therapeutic effects on human health [27]. Meditation is also a positive mental exercise that alters brain and mind function and facilitates the regulation of attention, cognition, and mood. ...
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Background Currently, the population with myopia climbs steadily, and is developing toward younger age, posing a great concern to the health of adolescents. Myopia in severe cases can cause irreversible consequences such as glaucoma, blindness, and other complications. At present, the solutions for myopia are glasses, medication, and surgery. This study aims to investigate the role of a physiotherapy category based on guided meditation for vision acuity training on adolescent myopia. Methods This is a prospective, randomized, multicenter clinical trial. One thousand one hundred forty primary and secondary school students aged 8–18 years old from 27 schools will be recruited and randomly divided into an experimental and a control group at a ratio of 2:1 in two phases, with a training period of 30 days in each phase and a follow-up period of 3 months. No interventions will be conducted during the follow-up period, nor will other interventions employed. Inclusion criteria will meet the diagnostic criteria for simple myopia and −6.00D ≤ spherical lenses ≤ −0.50D and cylindrical lenses ≤1.50D. The primary observation index will be to compare the statistical differences in distant visual acuity between the two groups; the secondary observation indexes will be ocular symptoms (mainly including eye fatigue, dryness, pain, double vision, neck pain, thought disorders, and lags in response), diopter, and astigmatism. Discussion The purpose of this two-phase trial is to compare the clinical effectiveness of focused vision-guided meditation with Chinese eye exercises that are also non-pharmacological, non-invasive interventions for myopia, and to maximize the benefit to the subjects. The results will indicate whether the training based on focused vision-guided meditation has the ability to improve distant visual acuity, relieve ocular symptoms, and ameliorate diopter. In addition, this trial will provide clinical efficacy of the training, which is expected to provide meaningful data for vision rehabilitation. At the same time, the vision acuity training method, which is permeated with the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) rehabilitation and health maintenance, will be applied to achieve the goal of preventing or alleviating myopic development and reducing myopia rate. Trial registration Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR2000038642. Registered on 26 September 2020
... As Ivaki et al. [36] has suggested, in future research, larger sample sizes would be needed to capture the effect of mindfulness-based interventions in the ANS. Additionally, some studies reported inconsistent results of the HRV factors in meditative states [34,59,60]. Other physiological factors, such as participants' circadian rhythm, respiration, or body posture, might have also influenced the non-significant result, also discussed in previous studies [37,61]. ...
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Background: Mindfulness, defined as the awareness emerging from purposefully paying attention to the present moment, has been shown to be effective in reducing stress and, thus, promoting psychological well-being. This study investigated the effects of a mindfulness-based education program on mindfulness, brain waves, and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in university students in Korea. Methods: This study is a quantitative and experimental research with a single-group pre-post design. Six sessions of mindfulness-based intervention were applied. In total, 42 students completed a mindfulness questionnaire before and after the intervention, and 28 among them completed pre-intervention and post-intervention measures of brain waves and ANS. Results: The level of mindfulness increased in the participants after intervention. Regarding brain waves, the alpha and theta waves increased, but the beta waves decreased. There was no significant difference in the ANS, presenting no change in heart rate variability. Conclusions: We identified the positive effects of the mindfulness-based education program for university students. The findings indicate that this program may help students not only relax, but also generate a mindfulness state in stressful situations, potentially leading to a successful university life. This study can be used as a basis for quality improvement and sustainability of mindfulness-based education programs for university students.
... Existing evidence-based treatments that directly or partially address interoception include: medications modulating interoceptive physiology, interoceptive exposure therapy (e.g., Meuret et al., 2018), and mindfulness-based therapy. Most evidence of treatment-related physiological and/or interoceptive changes comes from the mindfulness literature (Boccia et al., 2015;Bornemann and Singer, 2017;Delgado-Pastor et al., 2015;Ditto et al., 2006;Krygier et al., 2013;Wu and Lo, 2008), and there is growing evidence that mindfulness-based interventions are safe and effective for persons with schizophrenia (Alvarez-Jimenez et al., 2018;Hodann-Caudevilla et al., 2020;Vignaud et al., 2019), but more research is needed given the heterogeneity of interventions and methodological limitations of existing studies (Hodann-Caudevilla et al., 2020). Note that a foundational component of mindfulness-based intervention is the training of control over attentional set. ...
Article
Schizophrenia research has traditionally focused almost exclusively on how the brain interprets the outside world. However, our internal bodily milieu is also central to how we interpret the world and construct our reality: signals from within the body are critical for not only basic survival, but also a wide range of brain functions from basic perception, emotion, and motivation, to sense of self. In this article, we propose that interoception—the processing of bodily signals—may have implications for a wide range of clinical symptoms in schizophrenia and may thus provide key insights into illness mechanisms. We start with an overview of interoception pathways. Then we provide a review of direct and indirect findings in various interoceptive systems in schizophrenia and interpret these findings in the context of computational frameworks that model interoception as hierarchical Bayesian inference. Finally, we propose a conceptual model of how altered interoceptive inference may contribute to specific schizophrenia symptoms—negative symptoms in particular—and suggest directions for future research, including potential new avenues of treatment.
... Our data appeared to be consistent with the results of many previous studies, examining HRV during meditation and reporting the increase of parasympathetic activation during meditation. Previously, this effect was observed in novice subjects during meditation, compared to the non-meditating control group (37)(67) as well as in the experienced meditators compared to novices (68). At the same time, several other studies found a decrease of vagal tone associated HRV indices during meditation(35) (50). ...
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Meditation is a consciousness state associated with specific physiological and neural correlates. Numerous investigations of these correlates reported controversial results which prevented a consistent depiction of the underlying neurophysiological processes. Here we investigated the dynamics of multiple neurophysiological indicators during a staged meditation session. We measured the physiological changes at rest and during the guided Taoist meditation in experienced meditators and naive subjects. We recorded EEG, respiration, galvanic skin response, and photoplethysmography. All subjects followed the same instructions split into 16 stages. In the experienced meditators group we identified two subgroups with different physiological markers dynamics. One subgroup showed several signs of general relaxation evident from the changes in heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and EEG rhythmic activity. The other subgroup exhibited mind concentration patterns primarily noticeable in the EEG recordings while no autonomic responses occurred. The duration and type of previous meditation experience or any baseline indicators we measured did not explain the segregation of the meditators into these two groups. These results suggest that two distinct meditation strategies could be used by experienced meditators, which partly explains the inconsistent results reported in the earlier studies evaluating meditation effects. Our findings are also relevant to the development of the high-end biofeedback systems.
... Notably, this also holds for the cognitive processing of media stimuli (Wise, Bolls, Myers, & Sternadori, 2009). More efficient energy exchange (Grossman & Taylor, 2007), better information encoding (Park & Thayer, 2014), sustained attention (Luque-Casado, Perales, Cárdenas, & Sanabria, 2016), heightened focus (Wu & Lo, 2008), successful emotion regulation (Park & Thayer, 2014), and social cognition (Porges, 2011) have all been linked to PSNS dominance. Since these cognitive processes also play a role in constructing mental story models, PSNS dominance might be associated with their particularly fluent construction. ...
Article
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Fiction reading is a popular leisure activity associated with a variety of pleasurable experiences, including suspense, narrative transportation, and—as indicated by recent empirical studies—also flow. In the context of fiction reading, flow—generally defined as a pleasurable state of mind experienced during an optimally stimulating activity—is specifically related to an optimal balance between text-driven challenges and the reader’s capabilities in constructing a mental story model. The experimental study reported here focused on the psychophysiological underpinnings of flow in the reading context. Cardiovascular data were collected from 84 participants both during a relaxation baseline prior to reading and during reading. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of three versions of a chapter from Homer’s Odyssey. According to statistical readability indices, these versions were low, intermediate, or high in readability, and hence in cognitive challenge. Flow was measured immediately after reading with a self-report scale that was tailored to assess reading-specific flow experiences. Regression analyses revealed that cardiovascular activation patterns measured before reading that are reflective of parasympathetic dominance—that is, an inner state associated with relaxation and cognitive fluency—moderated flow experiences during reading. In line with the stipulations of flow theory in regard to matching challenge levels being the key determinant for flow, this pattern supported subsequent flow experiences only in response to text versions of high or intermediate, but not of low cognitive challenge. Differences in cardiac vagal tone during reading were, however, not sensitive to our experimental modifications and not predictive of flow experiences.
... This treatment modality improves emotional regulation by targeting the acceptance of emotional experience and executive control of emotions (Teper et al., 2013). Mindfulness meditation training has been shown to shift the HRV autonomic balance toward a state of predominant vagal control, both in resting and during meditation conditions, reflecting improved overall emotional regulation in healthy and clinical populations (Delgado et al., 2010;Wu and Lo, 2008). Lower vagal-mediated HRV was associated with a better response to acceptance and commitment therapy (an MBI) and cognitive behavioral therapy, although it could not differentiate between groups (Davies et al., 2015). ...
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Background: Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are effective for some, but not all patients with anxiety disorders, but no clinical features have been consistently able to differentiate which patients are more likely to respond. In this study, we tested heart rate variability (HRV), a proposed correlate of regulated emotional response, as a moderator of treatment response to an MBI compared with pharmacotherapy. Methods: Seventy-seven patients with GAD had HRV data collected before randomization to pharmacological treatment with fluoxetine or Body-in-Mind Training (an MBI focused on bodily movement attention). HRV was used to predict treatment response measured by the Hamilton anxiety rating scale at 0 (baseline), 5, and 8 weeks (end of the intervention). Results: The HF (nu) index of HRV was a strong moderator of treatment response between BMT and fluoxetine (estimate = 4.27 95%CI [1.19, 8.19]). Although fluoxetine was overall slightly superior to BMT in this study, no differences were found between groups in patients with high HF (nu) scores (estimate = -1.85 CI95% [-9.21, 5.52]). In contrast, patients with low HF (nu) achieved lower anxiety rating scores with fluoxetine treatment when compared with BMT (estimate = -10.29, 95% CI [-17.59, -2.99]). Limitations: A relatively small sample of patients was included. Conclusions: HRV was able to identify a subgroup for which MBI was less effective than pharmacotherapy and is a promising candidate as a selective biomarker for treatment response between an MBI and fluoxetine.
... Moreover, for both conditions, block-average YETI values did not differ between blocks. Concentrative and meditation-like effects [71,72] and positive emotions [56] could influence the levels of HRV in the initial phase and act similarly to HRV-biofeedback concerning stress reduction [73]. Furthermore, HRV can be influenced by the placebo effect, as it is known that autonomic recovery can be enhanced by a placebo suggestion [74] and cognitive expectancy [75]. ...
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Scientific research on heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback is burdened by certain methodological issues, such as lack of consistent training quality and fidelity assessment or control conditions that would mimic the intervention. In the present study, a novel sham HRV-biofeedback training was proposed as a credible control condition, indistinguishable from the real training. The Yield Efficiency of Training Index (YETI), a quantitative measure based on the spectral distribution of heart rate during training, was suggested for training quality assessment. A training fidelity criterion derived from a two-step classification process based on the average YETI index and its standard deviation (YETISD) was suggested. We divided 57 young, healthy volunteers into two groups, each subjected to 20 sessions of either real or sham HRV-biofeedback. Five standard HRV measures (standard deviation of the NN (SDNN), root mean square of the standard deviation of the NN (RMSSD), total power, low-frequency (LF), and high-frequency (HF) power) collected at baseline, after 10 and 20 sessions were subjected to analysis of variance. Application of a training fidelity criterion improved sample homogeneity, resulting in a substantial gain in effect sizes of the group and training interactions for all considered HRV indices. Application of methodological amendments, including proper control conditions (such as sham training) and quantitative assessment of training quality and fidelity, substantially improves the analysis of training effects. Although presented on the example of HRV-biofeedback, this approach should similarly benefit other behavioral training procedures that interact with any of the many psychophysiological mechanisms in the human body.
... Hypothesis 3. Stress-reducing influences of mindfulness meditation (MM; Azam et al., 2016Azam et al., , 2015Burg et al., 2012;Ditto et al., 2006;Krygier et al., 2013;Wu and Lo, 2008) will accelerate VmHRV recovery at different rates depending on MIL level. Because MM requires the exercising of executive control (Gallant, 2016;Jankowski and Holas, 2014;Teper et al., 2013) and because MIL is positively linked to executive functioning (Lewis et al., 2017), an "active" MM condition will facilitate faster VmHRV recovery in individuals with higher MIL compared to a "control" MM condition devoid of active components. ...
Article
Higher meaning in life (MIL) consistently predicts better health, but the physiological processes underlying this relationship are not well understood. This study examined the relationship between MIL and vagally-mediated heart rate variability (VmHRV) under resting (N = 77), stressor (n = 73), and mindfulness intervention (n = 72) conditions. Regression was used for MIL-VmHRV analyses at baseline, and longitudinal mixed models were used to examine phasic changes in VmHRV as a function of MIL. Regression revealed a quadratic MIL-VmHRV relationship, and mixed models linked higher MIL to greater stress-reactivity but not enhanced stress-attenuation. MIL and mindfulness did not interact to influence VmHRV recovery after experimental stress. Findings suggest that cardiac vagal tone and cardiac vagal reactivity are linked to MIL, shedding light on the physiology underlying MIL and its health associations.
... [16] . There are variousmeditation forms that can affect not only the autonomicnervoussystem [17] [18] but also influence the central nervoussystem (CNS) [19] [20] . ...
... This is an interesting phenomenon since meditation and YBT are usually related to parasympathetic dominance. [46][47][48] Hence how could these two techniques promote meditation? A supposition would be that Bhastrika or KB combined to Kumbhaka (retention), may potentialize the effect of retention through the increase of cortical control over breathing centers in the brainstem. ...
Article
Introduction: The millenarian breathing exercises from Yoga, commonly called Pranayamas, are known to induce meditative states, reduce stress, and increase lung capacity. However, the physiological mechanisms by which these practices modulate the human nervous system still need to be unveiled. Objectives: The aim of this work was to review studies describing the influence of breathing exercises on the brain/mind of humans. Methodology: We reviewed articles written in English and published between 2008 and 2018. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were based on the PRISMA recommendations to filter articles from Science Direct, PubMed, and Virtual Health Library databases. Patient/Population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome technique and Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews registration were also considered. Results: From a total of 1588 articles, 14 attended the criteria. They were critically compared to each other and presented in a table divided into study; country; sample size; gender; age; objective; technique; outcome. Discussion: In general, the 14 papers highlight the impact of yogic breathing techniques on emotional and cognitive performance. Conclusion: In-depth studies focusing on specific aspects of the practices such as retentions, prolonged expiration, attention on fluid respiration, and abdominal/thoracic respiration should better elucidate the effects of Yogic Breathing Techniques (YBT).
... Meditation techniques (eg, deep-breathing practices) focus on one's own bodily sensations and increase a sense of control over the body. Not only can feelings of stress be reduced and emotion-regulation capacities improved, individuals also showed beneficial changes in cardiovascular activity [30][31][32]. Meditation can restore activity and connectivity in brain regions associated with posttraumatic symptoms [33], lead to more balanced patterns of neurobiological stress responses [34], and modulate both hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system reactivity [35]. Research on the effectiveness of meditation interventions for posttraumatic stress shows encouraging findings. ...
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Background: Many adolescents in residential care have been exposed to prolonged traumatic experiences such as violence, neglect, or abuse. Consequently, they suffer from posttraumatic stress. This not only negatively affects psychological and behavioral outcomes (eg, increased anxiety, depression, and aggression) but also has adverse effects on physiological outcomes, in particular on their neurobiological stress systems. Although current evidence-based treatment options are effective, they have their limitations. An alternative to traditional trauma treatment is meditation-based treatment that focuses on stress regulation and relaxation. Muse is a game-based meditation intervention that makes use of adolescents' intrinsic motivation. The neurofeedback element reinforces relaxation abilities. Objective: This paper describes the protocol for a randomized controlled trial in which the goal is to examine the effectiveness of Muse (InteraXon Inc) in reducing posttraumatic stress and normalizing neurobiological stress systems in a sample of traumatized adolescents in residential care. Methods: This will be a multicenter, multi-informant, and multimethod randomized controlled trial. Participants will be adolescents (N=80), aged 10 to 18 years, with clinical levels of posttraumatic symptoms, who are randomized to receive either the Muse therapy sessions and treatment as usual (intervention) or treatment as usual alone (control). Data will be collected at 3 measurement instances: pretest (T1), posttest (T2), and at 2-month follow-up. Primary outcomes will be posttraumatic symptoms (self-report and mentor report) and stress (self-report) at posttest. Secondary outcomes will be neurobiological stress parameters under both resting and acute stress conditions, and anxiety, depression, and aggression at posttest. Secondary outcomes also include all measures at 2-month follow-up: posttraumatic symptoms, stress, anxiety, depression aggression, and neurobiological resting parameters. Results: The medical-ethical committee Arnhem-Nijmegen (NL58674.091.16) approved the trial on November 15, 2017. The study was registered on December 2, 2017. Participant enrollment started in January 2018, and the results of the study are expected to be published in spring or summer 2021. Conclusions: Study results will demonstrate whether game-based meditation therapy improves posttraumatic stress and neurobiological stress systems, and whether it is more effective than treatment as usual alone for traumatized adolescents. Trial registration: Netherlands Trial Register NL6689 (NTR6859); https://www.trialregister.nl/trial/6689. International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/19881.
... Relaxation [21], massage [22], and short-stay services [19] have been evaluated as forms of respite care that support the sleep of caregivers. The term "short-stay services" describes a type of respite care in which the care recipient is temporarily cared for overnight or for several nights by someone other than their family caregiver, to allow the family caregiver time to rest. ...
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Family caregivers of older people who need care often experience sleep disorders, which can lead to various health problems. Although respite care is used in many countries, its effectiveness has not been fully demonstrated. We analyzed the sleep of family caregivers using actigraphy and heart rate spectral analysis to clarify changes in their sleep characteristics during short-stay respite care. Participants were all family caregivers living with an older person needing long-term care. The outcomes consisted of questionnaire responses, sleep/wake records, and R-wave to R-wave interval records. Quantitative evaluation of sleep revealed that caregivers’ median sleep time was 378.0 min, and median sleep efficiency was 94.7%. The low frequency (LF)/high frequency (HF) value was 1.722 for total sleep and 1.822 for the first half of the sleep period. The LF/HF for the first half of the sleep period was significantly different between caregiving and respite days. The respite day LF/HF was 1.567, which was significantly lower than on caregiving days. On respite days, cardiac sympathetic nervous activity among family caregivers was reduced during the first half of the sleep period. This suggests that regular use of short-stay services can improve caregivers’ sleep status, making this an effective form of respite care.
... Meditation Name Finding [4] Hindu tantric meditation Increased HR [5] Deity (Vajrayana tantric) Decreased HF [5] Vipassana Increased HF and decreased LF/HF [5] Shamatha (Kasina visualization) Decreased LF/HF [6] Zen concentrative meditation Increased HF and decreased LF/HF [7] Concentration meditation: focuses on the breath to achieve the Samadhi state R-R time series signal tends to shift toward a specific frequency to form a resonant peak [8] Inward-attention meditation Decreases in LF/HF ratio and LF norm; increase in HF norm [6] Zen concentrative meditation Increased HF and decreased LF/HF [9] Intensive vipassana meditation Increased HF [5] Deity (Vajrayana tantric) Decreased HF [5] Vipassana Increased HF and decreased LF/HF [5] Shamatha (Kasina visualization) Decreased LF/HF [10] Yoga Increased HF; decreased LF; decreased LF/HF decrease Heart Chan meditation is a meditation method that stems from the Chan school of Buddhism. It has been taught, mainly in Taiwan, by the Chan master Wu Chueh Miao-Tien, who is the eighty-fifth Patriarch Chan master. ...
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Background: It is well known that meditation improves the physical and psychological condition of its practitioners. This study investigated the heart rate variability response of meditation practitioners in two Chan master teaching environments, namely face-to-face and video classes. Methods: Experimental sessions were conducted, one featuring face-to-face classes and the other featuring video classes. The difference in participants' physiological parameters (blood pressure and heart rate variability) between the two experimental sessions was determined. In the first session, physiological parameters were recorded twice, before and after one teaching course, and the second session took place one month after the first. The first and second sessions had 45 and 27 participants, respectively. Those involved in the first experiment had no experience with meditation, whereas participants in the second experiment had practiced meditation for an average of 9 years (range = 1 to 27 years). Both experiments were conducted once a week, with each session lasting 1.5 h. Results: For both experiments, both heart rate and heart rate variability by age significantly decreased after one teaching course. Conclusions: Chan meditation practitioners benefit from receiving both face-to-face and video class teaching from a Chan master.
... In a situation like heartbeat counting that requires concentration and attention during discrete trials with intermittent resting pauses, rather greater variation in heart rate can be expected (e.g. Kootz, Gold, & Cohen, 1979;Wu & Lo, 2008) but always within physiologically plausible limits. ...
... In a situation like heartbeat counting that requires concentration and attention during discrete trials with intermittent resting pauses, rather greater variation in heart rate can be expected (e.g. Kootz, Gold, & Cohen, 1979;Wu & Lo, 2008) but always within physiologically plausible limits. ...
Article
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A recent paper by Zamariola and colleagues is widely cited as an authority on the invalidity of the Heartbeat Counting Task as a measure of interoceptive accuracy. Given the widespread interest in this field, it is essential that papers about methods are conceptually sound. However, only one of the authors' four criticisms appears substantiated - that people count too few heartbeats. Their arguments about "simple bivariate correlations" and their finding that interoceptive accuracy and heart rate correlate, depend on 'spurious correlations' arising from the overlooked point that interoceptive accuracy is a ratio. Moreover, scrutiny of the authors' data shows that their fourth criticism (that interoceptive accuracy is lower on longer trials) is confounded by differences in mean heart rate between trials. We present data from our own labs to refute it. We draw the authors' and editors' attention to these issues and trust that they will reconsider these erroneous conclusions.
... Studies of the physiological processes associated with movement meditation have frequently reported acute effects of increased parasympathetic activity (Tang et al., 2007;Wu & Lo, 2008). However, few studies (c.f., Tang et al., 2007) extended the analysis to the relationship between these physiological changes and cognitive changes resulting from movement meditation. ...
Article
We examined the hemispheric effects of Falun Gong qigong (FLG), a movement meditation practice, using a systematic approach to hemispheric function by administering the Emotion Lateralized Attention Network Test (ELANT) to measure the interaction of the Conflict Resolution, Spatial Orienting, and Emotion networks. Measuring both behavior (ELANT, DV = accuracy) and physiology (HF-HRV), we compared experienced FLG practitioners (n = 19) to novices serving as an active control group (n = 16) before and after a 91-min sequence of FLG qigong exercises. We compared practitioners and novices using a hierarchy of intrahemispheric and interhemispheric control relations that can be tested with the ELANT. Practitioners exhibited a prominent short-term effect in which they improved relative to novices on trials requiring complex interhemispheric transfer ( = 0.21). Two baseline group differences, suggesting long-term effects of FLG, both involved the left hemisphere. First, practitioners were selectively spared the negative effects of processing positive emotion cues preceding left hemisphere targets ( = 0.34). Second, only practitioners showed improved left-hemisphere Conflict Resolution at higher levels of HF-HRV (r2 = 0.40). The data showed that FLG practitioners had increased flexibility in the management of a limited attentional resource pool that is accessible to both hemispheres.
... In a situation like heartbeat counting that requires concentration and attention during discrete trials with intermittent resting pauses, rather greater variation in heart rate can be expected (e.g. Kootz, Gold, & Cohen, 1979;Wu & Lo, 2008) but always within physiologically plausible limits. ...
Preprint
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A recent paper by Zamariola and colleagues is widely cited as an authority on the invalidity of the Heartbeat Counting Task as a measure of interoceptive accuracy. Given the widespread interest in this field, it is essential that papers about methods are conceptually and empirically sound. However, only one of the authors’ four criticisms appears to be substantiated, i.e. that people count too few heartbeats. Their main arguments about “simple bivariate correlations”, as well as their finding that interoceptive accuracy and heart rate correlate, depend on wholly ‘spurious correlations’ arising from the apparently overlooked point that interoceptive accuracy is a ratio. Moreover, scrutiny of the authors’ data suggests that their fourth criticism (that interoceptive accuracy is lower on longer trials) is an order effect. We present data from our own labs to refute it. We draw the authors’ and editors’ attention to these issues and trust that they will reconsider these erroneous conclusions.
... To interpret this finding we need to draw from previous work: HR deceleration during processing affective pictorial stimuli was previously found to be associated with higher interoceptive awareness (Pollatos, Herbert, Matthias, & Schandry, 2007) and was more profound among individuals with better interoceptive awareness in the heartbeat tracking task (Pollatos & Schandry, 2008). In addition, inward attention meditation, a technique similar to the interoceptive attention in this study, was previously linked to increased parasympathetic activity (Wu & Lo, 2008), which calms the heart. In the current study, HR deceleration could therefore reflect a greater focus on and stronger intake of affective stimuli triggered by the interoceptive focus manipulation. ...
Article
This study investigated the effect of interoceptive attention on emotional responses during illness imagery, and the moderating role of illness anxiety. 101 students (81 female; 18-35 years old) with low, moderate and high levels of illness anxiety had to imagine personally relevant illness scenarios and standardized fearful, joyful and neutral scenarios, after undergoing an attention manipulation to direct their attention towards interoceptive or exteroceptive stimuli. Emotional responses assessed included self-reports of arousal, valence and somatic sensations, and psychophysiological measures of heart rate reactivity and variability, skin conductance level, and facial electromyography. Findings showed increased reports of emotional arousal, negative affect and somatic symptoms, accompanied by negative emotion expressions, but a hypo-arousal physiological response pattern (i.e. low heart rate reactivity) during illness imagery after interoceptive attention, irrespective of illness anxiety levels. Under directed attention, the observed emotional response to illness imagery may increase the risk for developing and perpetuating illness anxiety.
... From these spectral analyses, it is evident that high frequency fluctuations in heart rate are likely mediated by the parasympathetic nervous system, whereas low frequency fluctuations were more likely to be mediated by sympathetic and parasympathetic activity (Pomeranz et al., 1985). Using this surrogate, a variety of different forms of meditation have been evaluated including mindfulness-based stress reduction, Vipassana meditation, Iyengar Yoga, transcendental meditation, and inward attention meditation (Khattab et al., 2007;Krygier et al., 2013;Nijjar et al., 2014;Wu and Lo, 2008). These practices demonstrated that mind-body intervention increases cardiac parasympathetic nervous modulation as evidenced by changes in (Lakkireddy et al., 2013) with permission from Elsevier heart rate variability. ...
Article
Atrial fibrillation is the most common symptomatic arrhythmia that is associated with stroke. Contemporary management of the disease is focused on anticoagulation to prevent stroke, coupled with catheter ablation to limit symptoms and prevent deleterious cardiac remodeling. Emerging data highlights the importance of lifestyle modification by managing sleep apnea, increasing physical activity, and weight loss. There is significant data that supports a link between the autonomic nervous system, arrhythmia development, and atrial fibrillation therapy. It is likely that lifestyle modification through these techniques that are aimed to reduce stress may also mediate atrial fibrillation development through this mechanism. This review examines how mind and body practices such as meditation, yoga, and acupuncture may influence the autonomic nervous system and mitigate atrial fibrillation progression and regression. Available evidence from molecular and anatomical levels through to clinical observations and translational clinical trials were scrutinized and a case established for these interventions as potential powerful mediators of anti-arrhythmic benefit.
... Meditation encompasses a family of complex practices that include mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, yoga, tai chi, and chi gong [134,135]. Meditation was shown to increase parasympathetic activity to reinstate sympathovagal balance [136] and help patients to cope with their clinical and non-clinical problems [137]. In a classical study of short-term yoga based meditation, Netam et al. [138] found reduced IL6 levels in patients with chronic inflammatory conditions, and mindbody therapies reduced inflammation markers [139]. ...
Chapter
About 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, amongst them 39 million are blind. In contrast to refractive deficits caused by diseases of the cornea or lens which can be corrected by optic means or surgery, diseases affecting the visual nervous system (retina, optic nerve, brain) are widely assumed to be irreversible. If patients are informed of such a grim diagnosis and poor prognosis, they typically experience anxiety and fear of becoming blind. This creates a psychological double-burden: not only do they experience fear-inducing difficulties in daily life with reading, orienting or mobility, but a negative prognosis typically has a severe emotional impact, leading to worries, anxiety, fear, depression, and social isolation. Therefore, vision loss and emotional responses go hand-in-hand, creating a long lasting psychosocial and socioeconomic burden to the affected individuals and society at large.
... intervention studies demonstrating that MBIs increase HRV (Ditto, Eclache, & Goldman, 2006). Some studies in this area have focused on meditation only (Krygier et al., 2013;Murata et al., 2004) or other kinds of meditation (Phongsuphap, Pongsupap, Chandanamattha, & Lursinsap, 2008;Telles, Mohapatra, & Naveen, 2005;Wu & Lo, 2008), and only a few focused on MBSR programs. However, results of these few studies examining the effectiveness of MBSR on HRV are mixed. ...
Article
There is a growing interest to use mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for occupational health promotion. As most evidence for the beneficial effects comes from convenience samples in the social/education/health sector, it is still an open question if MBIs are effective in other contexts, or for whom MBIs are more effective. In addition, self-selection and sample characteristics may have biased previous findings. Theoretically and practically, it is important to know whether MBIs are also effective for nonselective samples outside the social and health sector, especially in agentic and male-oriented cultures. Therefore, this study investigates the effects of a MBI on physiological and psychological criteria in a nonselective sample of police officers. Moreover, this study examines whether effectiveness depends on participants’ personality (neuroticism, openness, and conscientiousness) and on perceived social norms toward MBIs. Using a pre–post intervention design, N = 267 police officers were randomly assigned to an intervention group receiving a 6-week intervention and to a control group. Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed a positive effect on heart rate variability and a stronger reduction of psychological strain, health complaints, and negative affect, as well as more improvement of mindfulness and self-care in the intervention group in comparison with the control group. Additionally, participants higher in neuroticism and openness benefitted more, and the effectiveness was stronger for those who perceived a favorable social norm toward MBIs. Our findings provide evidence that participants with male-oriented occupations may also benefit from a MBI. The importance of individual differences and the social context is discussed.
... Indeed, some studies observe an increase in low frequencies (LF) interpreted as a modulation of the parasympathetic or sympathetic system or attributed to the degree of expertise of the subject or the task requested (19)(20)(21) or slow breathing rate (22). In contrast, other studies attributed the increase in HRV to an increase in normalized high frequencies (HF) together with a decrease in normalized LFs and interpreted as a predominance in vagal tone (17,23,24). Supplementary Table 1 summarizes the results published in literature showing the discrepancy between the studies in connection with the types of meditation. ...
Article
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Background: Meditation refers to a group of practices commonly proposed to treat stress-related conditions and improve overall wellness. In particular, meditation might exert beneficial actions on heart rate variability (HRV) by acting on autonomic tone with an increase in the vagal activity. The effects of heartfulness meditation (HM) on HRV remain poorly defined. Methods: We investigated the effects of HM on HRV in a group of 26 healthy subjects. Subjects were regularly practicing this form of meditation on a daily basis. We assessed the HRV and residual HRV (rHRV) at rest and during meditation. We also used as control a period of respiratory rhythm imposed by an auditory signal, with the imposed breathing rhythm being identical to the spontaneous rhythm recorded during meditation. Results: During deep meditation period, the standard deviation of RR intervals (SDRR), coefficient of variation of RR intervals (CVRR), and total power (TP) were decreased while the low-frequency power (LFP), normalized LFP (nLFP), and normalized residual LFP (nrLFP) were increased as compared with those at rest, suggesting that the global vagal modulation was suppressed while the baroreflex was increased during deep medication. At the end of meditation, the LFP, residual LFP (rLFP), nLFP, nrLFP, low-/high-frequency power ratio (LHR), and residual LHR (rLHR) were increased while the residual very low-frequency power (rVLFP), normalized high-frequency power (nHFP), and normalized residual HFP (nrHFP) were decreased, as compared with those during paced breathing, suggesting that the vagal modulation was decreased while the sympathetic modulation was increased by deep meditation. During paced breathing period, the SDRR, CVRR, TP, LFP, rLFP, nLFP, nrLFP, LHR, and rLHR were decreased while nHFP and nrHFP were increased as compared with at rest, suggesting that paced breathing could suppress the sympathetic modulation and enhance the vagal modulation. Conclusion: HM can induce a suppression of global vagal modulation and increased the sympathetic modulation and baroreflex. In addition, paced breathing can suppress the sympathetic modulation and enhance the vagal modulation. Unlike studies using other types of meditation, we did not identify evidence of increased vagal tone during HM.
... These findings also show synergies with research suggesting a positive relationship between HRV and social connectedness, following loving-kindness meditation (Kok & Fredrickson, 2010). This raises questions as to whether developing increased HRV through practices such as meditation or yoga (Sarang & Telles, 2006;Wu & Lo, 2008) would lead to someone being able to engage in wiser reasoning. ...
Thesis
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Wisdom has long fascinated philosophers and theologians and is hailed by many as the key to human flourishing and the aspirational pinnacle of human development (Birren & Svensson, 2005; Sternberg, 2018). More recently, the psychological study of wisdom has begun in earnest. Numerous theoretical and empirical studies are casting light onto the nature of wisdom and its development. However, the field is relatively new. Multiple definitions of wisdom exist, and an increasingly diverse range of perspectives and approaches is reflected in the psychological literature to date. This dissertation sets out to review and synthesise the wisdom literature at a conceptual level, with a particular focus on factors that may influence access to wisdom in specific situations and its development across time. An integrative review of the literature was conducted, using a qualitative analysis approach. Six themes were identified that not only reflect different aspects of wisdom, but also offer an integrative framework within which wisdom can be seen as a complex and dynamic process. Each theme is explored through the lens of selected theoretical and empirical studies and a new conceptual model of wisdom as an embodied and embedded process is proposed. It is suggested here that wisdom is accessed and developed through a combination of internal and external factors, working together to facilitate access to wise reasoning and enhanced levels of wisdom over time. Opportunities for interventions, measurement and further research are identified.
... A large and growing amount of studies have been conducted on physiological correlates of meditation. A variety of research and clinical studies have focused on physical and perceptual outcomes following meditation training, such as changes in autonomic measures [114,115], tactile and pain perception [116][117][118], visual and auditory perception [119][120][121][122] and even increasing body temperature at will in freezing conditions [123,124]. In some meditation tra- ditions, practitioners intentionally attempt to control basic physiology, such as respiration rate [125] and heart rate [126]. ...
Article
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The science of meditation has grown tremendously in the last two decades. Most studies have focused on evaluating the clinical effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions, neural and other physiological correlates of meditation, and individual cognitive and emotional aspects of meditation. Far less research has been conducted on more challenging domains to measure, such as group and relational, transpersonal and mystical, and difficult aspects of meditation; anomalous or extraordinary phenomena related to meditation; and post-conventional stages of development associated with meditation. However, these components of meditation may be crucial to people’s psychological and spiritual development, could represent important mediators and/or mechanisms by which meditation confers benefits, and could themselves be important outcomes of meditation practices. In addition, since large numbers of novices are being introduced to meditation, it is helpful to investigate experiences they may encounter that are not well understood. Over the last four years, a task force of meditation researchers and teachers met regularly to develop recommendations for expanding the current meditation research field to include these important yet often neglected topics. These meetings led to a cross-sectional online survey to investigate the prevalence of a wide range of experiences in 1120 meditators. Results show that the majority of respondents report having had many of these anomalous and extraordinary experiences. While some of the topics are potentially controversial, they can be subjected to rigorous scientific investigation. These arenas represent largely uncharted scientific terrain and provide excellent opportunities for both new and experienced researchers. We provide suggestions for future directions, with accompanying online materials to encourage such research.
... Murata et al. 16,Takahashi et al 17. In previous studies, it has been reported that Increased normalized unit of HF (nuHF) [16][17][18][19] decreased normalized unit of LF (nuLF) 16,18,20 and decreased LF/HF 16,18,20 in HRV have been found during various forms of meditation. The Power Spectral Density plots are applied widely to monitor the sympathovagal change. ...
Article
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Introduction: The Advanced meditation program provides optimal conditions for going deep within, quieting our mental chatter, and experiencing profound rest and inner silence. The goal of present study was to evaluate effects of Advanced Meditation Program on Linear parameters-time domain and frequency domain of heart rate variability. Method: The study was conducted in Department of physiology, Rajasthan University of Health Sciences, Jaipur in association with art of living organization. Advance meditation program is conducted by art of living organization. Subjects who voluntarily enrolled in meditation and healthy controls were assessed, after taking written consent. A detailed history was taken and detailed general physical examination and Anthropometric measurements along with baseline ECG was recorded for 5 minutes. Participants were divided in three groups. Linear parameters of Heart Rate Variability were assessed in Physiology Research lab before advanced meditation program and after Completion of advanced meditation program. Results: In this study, an attempt has been made to evaluated the linear dynamics of HRV-specifically time domain and Frequency domain in advanced meditation program and compare and correlate them. In reference to time domain and frequency domain parameters of HRV, individuals practicing meditation had increased pRR50 (68.65 ± 3.45) and RMSSD (64.55 ± 3.75), increased HF (58.42 ± 1.28), and decreased LF (26.78 ± 1.26), decreased LF/HF ratio less than one (0.650± .15) in comparison to subjects who was not practicing
... The LF and the HF power components are further expressed in normalized unit (i.e., LF n.u. and HF n.u.). It has been reported that VLF power [13] and HF power [14] are indicators of the parasympathetic activity, whereas, LF power is an indicator of the sympathetic activity. The BT analysis suggested that HF n.u AR (HF n.u calculated using AR method) and LF%-AR (LF% calculated using AR method) are statistically important. ...
... Indeed, HRV increases in almost all forms of ContAct, consistent with the rVNS hypothesis. Different forms of meditation (e.g., body scan, FA, OM acem, zen) and mind-body exercises such as yoga, all show increases in vagal tone HRV in healthy participants (Ditto et al., 2006;Phongsuphap et al., 2008;Wu and Lo, 2008;Tang et al., 2009;Markil et al., 2012;Melville et al., 2012;Nesvold et al., 2012;Telles et al., 2013). One exception is a study that involved the earlier mentioned ''breath of fire'' (Peng et al., 2004) that showed a decrease in HF, LF and LF/HF ratio. ...
Article
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Contemplative practices, such as meditation and yoga, are increasingly popular among the general public and as topics of research. Beneficial effects associated with these practices have been found on physical health, mental health and cognitive performance. However, studies and theories that clarify the underlying mechanisms are lacking or scarce. This theoretical review aims to address and compensate this scarcity. We will show that various contemplative activities have in common that breathing is regulated or attentively guided. This respiratory discipline in turn could parsimoniously explain the physical and mental benefits of contemplative activities through changes in autonomic balance. We propose a neurophysiological model that explains how these specific respiration styles could operate, by phasically and tonically stimulating the vagal nerve: respiratory vagal nerve stimulation (rVNS). The vagal nerve, as a proponent of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), is the prime candidate in explaining the effects of contemplative practices on health, mental health and cognition. We will discuss implications and limitations of our model.
... Attention could potentially be of some importance when assessing the possible use of ultra-short term HRV as a tool for psychologists because there have been reports in the literature of the reducing effect of attention on HRV (e.g. Richards and Casey, 1991;Wu and Lo, 2008). To complicate matters more, emotion regulation has been found to influence heart rate variability as well (Appelhans and Luecken, 2006). ...
Article
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Heart rate variability (HRV) is a tool that has been extensively used in fields such as clinical cardiology, psychiatry, and psychology to assess affective experiences. Although traditionally The European Society of Cardiology and The North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology recommended to use either a recording length of 24-h (long-term) or five minutes (short-term), recent advances in the field have suggested the use of ultra-short term (<5 min) HRV measurements. In this study, we investigated whether ultra-short term HRV measurements can be used to investigate the temporal dynamics of experimentally induced emotions using pictures from the International Affective Picture System. We took electrocardiogram recordings from thirty-nine participants, and analyzed the root mean square of the successive differences of the R-R interval using a thirty-second moving window. No significant differences in HRV during positive and negative emotion induction were found. These results call into question the use of ultra-short term HRV as a tool for psychologists to measure changes in valence in affective studies.
... This leads to an overall decrease in sleep quality through autonomic arousal. Both in senior and novice practitioners, meditation can help to restore sympatho-vagal balance with parasympathetic predominance (Wu & Lo, 2008;Zeidan, Johnson, Gordon, & Goolkasian, 2010;Aftanas & Golocheikine, 2001;Travis & Shear, 2010;Tang et al., 2009). ...
Article
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By a systematic analysis of the current literature, we compare two states of sleep and meditation in terms of their role in the formation or suppression of Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) false memory. We aim to suggest that the occurrence of false memory under these two states is a result of reinforcing some abilities and changes in cognitive systems which can ultimately improve some aspects of cognitive functions. In our analogy, we propose that: (1) both sleep and meditation may improve source monitoring ability whose failure is one of the most important mechanisms in producing false memories, and (2) despite improvement in source monitoring ability, adaptive cognitive processes, as mechanisms which are common in sleep and meditation, can still produce false memories. In conclusion, we propose that in spite of their contribution to false memory through adaptive processes, the beneficial role of sleep and meditation in cognition may be more prominent than their harmful role.
... Besides, during the praying, there will be an increase of parasymphatic nerve and a decrease of symphatic nerve which will result in the declining of anxiousity, risk of cardiovascular disorder, and create relaxation effect. 9 Performing ritual prayer is a form of meditation 10 which will not only influence the autonomy nervous system 11,12 but also the central nervous system. 13,14 Performing ritual prayer influences the autonomy nervous system by an increase and derease of parasymphatic and symphatic activities consecutively. ...
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Background: Pregnancy is a natural process which is experienced by a mother-to-be. Changes during pregnancy may limit women's activities. Being non-active during pregnancy is an apprehensive condition since it may give negative effects both for the mother and her fetus. This study is meant to comprehend Moslem women's activities during pregnancy. Method: Qualitative study with phenomenological approach was used and data collecting was carried out in June 2016 in Bojong Kulur village. Sample selection was done using purposive sampling technique. Thorough interviews involved 32 Moslem women who had given birth. Data verification was done using triangulation method. Results: Findings of this study discussed women's activities during pregnancy, such as 1) jima' during pregnancy; 2) keeping personal hygiene; 3) taking a rest; 4) on time praying; 5) reading and listening to Al-Qur'an; 6) Dzikrullah; 7) praying more; 8) nutrition consumption; and 9) fasting. Pregnant Moslem women make use of the time during pregnancy for beneficial activities with the hope that they can introduce religious value to their babies since they are still in the intrauterine. Midwives need to comprehend and investigate the safe activities done by Moslem women during pregnancy and facilitate their patients' activities during pregnancy in accordance with Islamic Shari'ah.
... In other words, based on the previous presented research studies, tantrik practices would create better cognitive and physiological responses: heightened arousal and phasic alertness, and at the same time they would significantly reduce stress levels; while the other types of meditation from the Theravāda (Vipassana) Buddhist or Hindu (yoga) traditions would create a relaxation response and tonic alertness (involuntary) with increased parasympathetic activity (Wu, 2008). ...
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... Mientras que los otros tipos de meditación de las tradiciones budista o hindú -yoga-crean respuesta de relajación y un estado de «alerta tónica» -involuntaria-con actividad parasimpática incrementada (Wallace, 1971) (Wu, 2008). Esto pondría de relieve las consecuencias filosóficas, sociales y culturales de estos diferentes tipos de meditaciones. ...
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