Human anterior and frontal midline theta and lower alpha reflect emotionally positive state and internalized attention: high-resolution EEG investigation of meditation

Neurosci Lett. 2001 Sep 7;310(1):57-60. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(01)02094-8.


EEG spectral power and coherence estimates in the individually defined delta, theta, alpha-1, alpha-2, and alpha-3 bands were used to identify and characterize brain regions involved in meditative states, in which focused internalized attention gives rise to emotionally positive "blissful" experience. Blissful state was accompanied by increased anterior frontal and midline theta synchronization as well as enhanced theta long-distant connectivity between prefrontal and posterior association cortex with distinct "center of gravity" in the left prefrontal region (AF3 site). Subjective scores of emotional experience significantly correlated with theta, whereas scores of internalized attention with both theta and alpha lower synchronization. Our results propose selective associations of theta and alpha oscillating networks activity with states of internalized attention and positive emotional experience.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Electrooculography
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Thinking / physiology
  • Yoga / psychology*