Hypnosis and Meditation Theta Activity

Continuous absorption is concerned with the visualization of altered states of consciousness, the experiences of hallucinations or pseudo-hallucinations, and the study of detailed imagination. Individuals who score high in feature absorption will have a significantly different experience profile compared to those who score low in feature absorption, and these two groups will work differently on tasks requiring attention. High specification absorption and high hypnotizability and competence in meditation may show that the correlation between the two is either “meaningful only when both scales are applied in the same context, thus allowing the subjects to realize that the experimenter expected to find a relationship between them.”
At the same time, those who cannot find such a contextual effect), or the position we support, deep mindfulness may be an important prerequisite for successful long-term meditation practice. And a deeper assimilation seems to facilitate entry into a deeper ASC. The feature-state approach to hypnosis suggests that the absorption property will interact with the situational context in generating state absorption or a hypnotic state of consciousness. Kihlstrom uses the term “canonical design for hypnosis research”, which involves performing a standard hypnosis induction or a control procedure (on the basis of standardized scales) on subjects classified as low, medium, or high for hypnosis susceptibility.
Such a design allows evaluation of both susceptibility to hypnosis (in the absence of hypnotic induction) and the effects of the induction procedure (independent of hypnotizability). Of particular interest is the interaction of these factors, that is, how highly hypnotizable subjects behave following a hypnotic induction compared to certain control conditions. Replace hypnotizability with absorption (the two are modestly related) and it can be seen how those who score high in absorption behave differently than those who score low in absorption alike. Therefore, the feature-state approach should take into account a dynamic, expansive, changeable interaction.
In addition, simultaneous electrophysiological changes in theta power in this property-state interaction can be investigated. For example, Graffin et al. concluded that “highly sensitive individuals show a decrease in EEG theta activity from the initial period just before hypnotic induction to the period immediately after induction, whereas low sensitive individuals show an increase in EEG theta. activity. This is consistent with the view that high and low sensitivity individuals are indeed in different cortical states before and after hypnotic induction, i.e. It will be assumed that the induction procedure itself affects high and low sensitivity differently. individuals.

Hypnosis and Meditation Theta ActivityKihlstrom takes a different approach to this. He comments: “Graffin et al. He interpreted changes in theta as indicative of increased concentration among hypnotizable subjects, but the fact that theta activity decreased in hypnotizable subjects and increased in imperceptible subjects suggests that following the initiation of hypnosis, both groups of subjects were actually in very similar cortical conditions. “In both cases, what is important here is the interaction of the property with the condition in producing these shifts in theta activity.
Given that theta activity may be indicative of either an induction of a hypnagogic-like state of consciousness (closely related to both meditation and hypnosis in the current context), or such changes in theta may be difficult, indicative of any of them. Whether the two classes of psychological phenomena related to Schacter theta activity “are essentially different processes or have different aspects of the same process is not yet known, and this is a critical problem for future research.
Hypnosis and Meditation Theta ActivityIt is questionable whether it is reasonable to acknowledge that theta activity observed in experienced meditators during zazen concentration indexes psychological processes similar to those observed in college-age volunteers when concentrating on a mental arithmetic problem. “Thus, the correlation between baseline theta and susceptibility to hypnosis has been described as a robust finding in the literature, it is suggested to be due to differences in attention between the high and low sensitivity groups.
The actual performance of those who score low or high in absorption is defined as the problem highlighted by Schacter. What is promising are the findings that show the differences between highs and lows in both the patterns of association between the bandwidth activity assessed by the EEG and the phenomenological hypnosis experiences of the subjects, as well as in the brain areas (source locations) associated with theta and beta activity. Speaking of beta, it turns out that hypnotic depth and hypnotic experience are the exceptional form of the hypnotic experience associated with fast frequencies, including beta and gamma, while miscarriages exhibit a negative correlation between image and theta on the one hand.
In this context, it should be kept in mind that beta oscillatory activity may have a functional role in response selection, similar to the careful modulation of alpha activity. Beta modulation has also been found after ‘animal hypnosis’, also known as ‘tonic inactivity’ or ‘inactivity reflex’.


Meditators were found to score higher in trait absorption than controls.In addition, increased theta and alpha power, which reflects the activity of multifunctional neuronal networks and correlates differently with directing, attention, memory, emotional and cognitive processing, is evident in meditators. Altered theta and alpha activity following meditation has been consistently reported. In fact, numerous studies, usually with Western meditators with less than 10 years of experience, have reported increased strength and consistency in the alpha and theta frequency bands during meditation practice. Increased gamma power has also been reported in studies conducted with advanced meditation practitioners.
Consistent with previous meditation research, Berman and Stevens also found increased delta (0-4 Hz), theta, and alpha activity during meditation. When distinguishing between general meditation and non-dual states (where the participant transcends the distinction between self and other), an inverse trend was observed for gamma, which is higher during meditation sessions compared to the completely non-dual state. Similarly, Berkovich-Ohana et al. Examining three levels of mindfulness specialization and controls found that mindfulness practitioners generally decreased resting pre-low gamma power compared to controls, and also displayed low-rest gamma functional connectivity, representing DMN deactivation in long-term practitioners.
One feature of reduced mind wandering and associated processing suggests a long-lasting effect. In addition, creativity measured by intellectual fluency and flexibility, which was higher in long-term practitioners than short-term practitioners and control participants, was negatively correlated with gamma interhemispheric functional connectivity. Therefore, it should be kept in mind that depending on the depth of experience and experimental design, different mediation techniques can produce different electrophysiological results.

Whole Body Perceptual Deprivation (OVO-WBPD)

As we will see in the current chapter, studies that examine perceptual motion, where motion is absent and immobility is the main feature, have also been found to be mostly associated with delta waves. While Delta has historically been associated with sleep and pathological processes, it has recently been found to be associated with both autonomic and metabolic processes, suggesting that cerebral activity is related to motivation and reward as well as to its integration with homeostatic processes. Delta also increases during hunger, sexual arousal, and constant pain. Delta activity also relates to attention, salience detection, and subconscious perception, consistent with meditative states and absorption.
In parallel with previous research linking delta waves in meditative states, a recent study examined the effects of chamber effects of OVO Whole Body Perceptual Deprivation (OVO-WBPD) on absorption in experienced meditators. OVO, an altered sensory environment, is in the form of a human-sized egg in which the subject cannot easily detect spatial coordinates (“uovo” means “uovo” egg in Italian). Based on the Sphere Consciousness Model, the OVO-WBPD was created specifically to facilitate an immersive experience and a higher state of presence. Hypnosis and Meditation Theta Activity
Ben-Soussan et al. Examining participants instructed to “rest as best as possible” in the OVO room]found an increased absorption state with beta (13-20 Hz) as well as increased delta and low theta activity, and activity peaks in the insula. These results may suggest an improved effort to sensually integrate inter-sensor signals.
In addition to the insula, theta was also linked to another main area of ​​the projection network, namely the anterior cingulate. While DMN activity is negatively correlated with both hypnosis and theta activity, the apparent network is thought to subjectively support the detection of important events and the activation of attention and working memory resources in targeted behavior service. As with perceptual deprivation, different meditation states have been found to be associated with decreased DMN activity.
Similarly, hypnosis has been found to be associated with decreased DMN activity and suspending habitual attention modes and achieving enhanced meta-awareness states. In fact, hypnotic induction increased subjective ratings of attention absorption and reduced rates of mind-wandering. Moreover, these changes are associated with decreased DMN activity and increased activity in prefrontal attention networks.


Author: Ozlem Guvenc Agaoglu

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