Detection of Meditation States Using Array Electroencephalography

Abstract

Meditation is an inward oriented practice associated with altered mental activity, in which a resting but alert state of mind is maintained. It is widely used in different forms of stress reduction or impulsive emotion control techniques. To aid in objective quantification of meditation state, we hypothesize that there may be markers of meditation depth contained in electroencephalographic (EEG) signals measured from an array of electrodes over the subjects’ head during meditation. In this study, we explore EEG signals from such subjects, before and during meditation, to evaluate the relationship between depth of meditation and changes in the signal ensemble. We further hypothesize that the phase relationship between pairs or sets of electrodes and the spatiotemporal strucutre of the signals will both reflect meditation state. Thus we report on development and testing of methods, including manifold discovery and phase synchrony, to characterize the EEG manifestation of these different meditative states.