The purpose of this study was to assess the central nervous system effects of the relaxation response (RR) in novice subjects using a controlled, within- subjects design and topographic EEG mapping as the dependent measure. Twenty subjects listened to a RR and control audiotape presented in a counterbalanced order while EEG was recorded from 14 scalp locations. The RR condition produced greater (p < .0164) reductions in frontal EEG beta activity relative to the control condition. No significant differences were observed for any other frequency band or scalp region. These findings suggest that elicitation of the RR produces significant reductions in cortical activation in anterior brain regions in novice subjects.