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Int J Neurosci. 2010 Jul;120(7):483-8. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2010.483650.

Human prefrontal cortical response to the meditative state: a spectroscopy study.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The effect of Qigong meditation on the hemodynamics of the prefrontal cortex was investigated by spectroscopy with a single-wavelength probe (650 nm) and confirmed by standard near-infrared spectroscopy with a dual-wavelength probe. Deoxyhemoglobin changes were recorded with the single-wavelength probe over the left prefrontal cortex during meditation by Qigong practitioners, and non-practitioners instructed in the technique. Practitioners showed a significant decrease in deoxyhemoglobin levels suggesting an increase in prefrontal activation during meditation. The results were confirmed in a second set of experiments with the standard dual-wavelength probe, in which significant differences in the decrease in deoxyhemoglobin and increase in oxyhemoglobin concentrations were observed in practitioners as compared with non-practitioners. The study thus provides evidence that Qigong meditation has a significant effect on prefrontal activation.

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