EEG based interpretation of human brain activity during yoga and meditation using machine learning: A systematic review

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2021 May:43:101329. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101329. Epub 2021 Feb 14.


Objectives: The present investigation is to study the impact of yoga and meditation on Brain waves concerning physical and mental health. There are mainly three stages (steps) in the brain wave classification:(i) preprocessing, ii) feature extraction, and iii) classification. This work provides a review of interpretation methods of Brain signals (Electroencephalogram (EEG)) EEG during yoga and meditation. Past research has revealed significant mental and physical advantages with yoga and meditation.

Methods: The research topic reviewed focused on the machine learning strategies applied for the interpretation of brain waves. In addressing the research questions highlighted earlier in the general introduction, we conducted a systematic search of articles from targeted scientific and journal online databases that included PubMed, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore Digital Library (IEEE), and Arxiv databases based on their relevance to the research questions and domain topic. The survey topic is relatively nascent, and therefore, the scope of the search period was limited to the 20-year timeline that was deemed representative of the research topic under investigation. The literature search was based on the keywords "EEG", "yoga*" and "meditation*". The key phrases were concatenated using Boolean expressions and applied to search through the selected online databases yielding a total of 120 articles. The online databases were selected based on the relevancy of content with the research title, research questions, and the domain application. The literature review search, process, and classification were carefully conducted guided by two defined measures; 1.) Inclusion criteria; and 2.) Exclusion criteria. These measures define the criteria for searching and extracting relevant articles relating to the research title and domain of interest.

Results: Our literature search and review indicate a broad spectrum of neural mechanics under a variety of meditation styles have been investigated. A detailed analysis of various mental states using Zen, CHAN, mindfulness, TM, Rajayoga, Kundalini, Yoga, and other meditation styles have been described by means of EEG bands. Classification of mental states using KNN, SVM, Random forest, Fuzzy logic, neural networks, Convolutional Neural Networks has been described. Superior research is still required to classify the EEG signatures corresponding to different mental states.

Conclusions: Yoga practice may be an effective adjunctive treatment for a clinical and aging population. Advanced research can examine the effects of specific branches of yoga on a designated clinical grouping. Yoga and meditation increased overall healthy brain activity.

Keywords: EEG; Meditation; Mental health journal; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Meditation*
  • Yoga*