EEG paroxysmal gamma waves during Bhramari Pranayama: a yoga breathing technique

Conscious Cogn. 2009 Dec;18(4):977-88. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2008.01.004. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Abstract

Here we report that a specific form of yoga can generate controlled high-frequency gamma waves. For the first time, paroxysmal gamma waves (PGW) were observed in eight subjects practicing a yoga technique of breathing control called Bhramari Pranayama (BhPr). To obtain new insights into the nature of the EEG during BhPr, we analyzed EEG signals using time-frequency representations (TFR), independent component analysis (ICA), and EEG tomography (LORETA). We found that the PGW consists of high-frequency biphasic ripples. This unusual activity is discussed in relation to previous reports on yoga and meditation. It is concluded this EEG activity is most probably non-epileptic, and that applying the same methodology to other meditation recordings might yield an improved understanding of the neurocorrelates of meditation.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Respiration*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Software
  • Yoga / psychology*