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Cognitive Processing

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 255–265 | Cite as

EEG source imaging during two Qigong meditations

  • Pascal L. Faber
  • Dietrich Lehmann
  • Shisei Tei
  • Takuya Tsujiuchi
  • Hiroaki Kumano
  • Roberto D. Pascual-Marqui
  • Kieko Kochi
Research Report

Abstract

Experienced Qigong meditators who regularly perform the exercises “Thinking of Nothing” and “Qigong” were studied with multichannel EEG source imaging during their meditations. The intracerebral localization of brain electric activity during the two meditation conditions was compared using sLORETA functional EEG tomography. Differences between conditions were assessed using t statistics (corrected for multiple testing) on the normalized and log-transformed current density values of the sLORETA images. In the EEG alpha-2 frequency, 125 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during “Qigong” than “Thinking of Nothing,” forming a single cluster in parietal Brodmann areas 5, 7, 31, and 40, all in the right hemisphere. In the EEG beta-1 frequency, 37 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during “Thinking of Nothing” than “Qigong,” forming a single cluster in prefrontal Brodmann areas 6, 8, and 9, all in the left hemisphere. Compared to combined initial–final no-task resting, “Qigong” showed activation in posterior areas whereas “Thinking of Nothing” showed activation in anterior areas. The stronger activity of posterior (right) parietal areas during “Qigong” and anterior (left) prefrontal areas during “Thinking of Nothing” may reflect a predominance of self-reference, attention and input-centered processing in the “Qigong” meditation, and of control-centered processing in the “Thinking of Nothing” meditation.

Keywords

Meditation LORETA EEG Qigong Meditation exercise “Thinking of Nothing” 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported in part by grant Nr. 44/06 from the Bial Foundation, S. Mamede do Coronado, Portugal. We thank Qigong Master Feng-San Lee for the possibility to contact the meditators of his group and Mitsumasa Kawakami for helpful comments to experimental settings.

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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pascal L. Faber
    • 1
  • Dietrich Lehmann
    • 1
  • Shisei Tei
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Takuya Tsujiuchi
    • 3
  • Hiroaki Kumano
    • 2
    • 3
  • Roberto D. Pascual-Marqui
    • 1
  • Kieko Kochi
    • 1
  1. 1.The KEY Institute for Brain-Mind ResearchClinic for Affective Disorders and General Psychiatry Zurich East, University Hospital of PsychiatryZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Stress Science and Psychosomatic Medicine, Graduate School of MedicineThe University of TokyoHongo, Bunkyo-kuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Health Science and Social Welfare, Faculty of Human SciencesWaseda UniversityTokorozawa-CityJapan
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryKyoto University Graduate School of MedicineSakyo-kuJapan

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