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Mind & Brain, the Journal of Psychiatry


duration). Subjects were asked to press a left- or right-hand button to indicate which number was larger in value. This task was chosen because performance on this task discrimi- nated meditating and nonmeditating college students.54


The BIOSEMI ActiveTwo system was used to record EEG


from 32 locations over the scalp, following the 10-10 system. Signals from the left and right ear lobes were recorded for later re-referencing as a linked-ears reference. All signals were digitized on line at 256 points/sec, with no high or low frequency filters, and stored for later analyses using the Brain Vision Analyzer.


The data during the task were visually scanned and any


epochs with movement, electrode, or eye-movement artifacts were manually marked and not included in the spectral analysis. The artifact-free data were digitally filtered with a 250 Hz band pass filter and fast Fourier transformed in 2-sec epochs, using nonoverlapping Hanning windows with a 10% onset and offset.


Power (uV2/Hz) was calculated from 2 to 50 Hz at the 32


recording sites. To investigate theta/beta ratios, power at Cz during the task was averaged into theta (47.5 Hz) and beta (1320) bins and theta/beta ratios were calculated.19


Coherence patterns during the computer task were averaged


into 11 intra- and interhemispheric frontal coherence pairs, 11 intra- and interhemispheric parietal coherence pairs, and five anterior/posterior coherence pairs. The 11 frontal pairs included: AF3-AF4, F3-F4, FC1-FC2, F7-F3, AF3-F3, AF3- FC1, F3-FC1, F8-F4, AF4-F4, AF4-FC2, F4-FC2; the 11 parietal pairs included: CP1-CP2, P3-P4, PO3-PO4, P7-P3, CP1-P3, CP1-PO3, P3-PO3, P8-P4, CP2-P4, CP2-PO4, PO4-P4; and the five anterior/posterior pairs included: F3-P3, FzPz, F4-P4, AF3-PO3, AF4-PO4. Averaged coherence was analyzed in theta (47.5 Hz), alpha (812 Hz), beta1 (12.520 Hz), and gamma bands (20.550 Hz).


Intervention: The Transcendental Meditation Program


The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique is a mental technique practiced for 10 min (for these students) sitting in a chair with eyes closed. During TM instruction, the student learns how to let the mind move from active focused levels of thinking to silent, expanded levels of wakefulness underlying thoughts.55,56 Certified teachers taught these students the TM technique using the standardized teaching format of four 1- hour meetings over 4 days, followed by knowledge and experience meetings every other week for the first few months to assure correct practice. (See Travis & Shear57 for a more detailed description of the TM technique.)


After personal instruction, students meditated in a group at


school at the beginning and at the end of the day with a school teacher, who was trained to lead the meditation. A certified TM teacher met with students as needed to discuss experiences, verify correct practice, and answer questions about their TM practice. The group practice allowed easy logging of compliance*as long as students were not absent, they practiced TM.


M&B 2011; 2:(1). July 2011 76 Statistical Analysis


The primary analysis was a between comparison of differences from baseline to the 3-month posttest between groups. The TM group had been practicing the TM technique for 3 months along with the curriculum at the school; the delayed-start comparison group had only been receiving the curriculum at the school. This analysis is the strongest test of the hypothesis. In this analysis, two repeated measures MANOVAs were conducted*psychological and performance variables in one and coherence in the other. An ANCOVA of theta/beta ratio difference scores, covarying for pretest scores, was also conducted.


An alpha level of .05 was used for these three initial tests. If significant interactions were found, then further F-tests were used for subanalyses. An alpha level of B.025 was used for further tests. Partial eta squared (h2), the power statistic reported for F-tests by SPSS, is reported for all analyses. Partial eta squared is the variance accounted for, similar to r2.


A secondary within analysis assessed changes in the delayed-start students comparing differences from baseline to the 3-month posttest, when these subjects were not yet meditating, to differences from the 3-month to the 6-month, when these subjects were meditating. This analysis is an exploratory analysis, since it is a single group design. However, we expect to see a similar pattern of change as in the primary analyses.


RESULTS


Feasibility of the Intervention All students in the TM group and, later, all students in the delayed-start group were able to learn the TM technique and practice it successively. This was evidenced in their daily group TM practice, which was done in the morning and afternoon in groups at the school. Also, a questionnaire was administered at posttest to assess how the students felt about their TM practice. This questionnaire used a 7-point Likert scale*1 Not-At-All to 7 Very-Much*to quantify the re- sponse. Students reported that the TM technique was enjoyable and easy to do (average5.39.9). They may have been able to learn and practice this meditation technique, because TM does not involve concentration or control of the mind*a challenge for anyone with ADHD. (For a detailed discussion of mechanics during TM practice see Travis & Shear57).


Changes in Brain Functioning Theta/Beta Ratios


The ANCOVA of theta/beta difference scores, covarying for pretest scores yielded significant decreases in theta/beta ratios of EEG recorded at Cz in the TM group (F(1, 17)4.7, p.05, h2.24). Figure 1 presents the means and standard errors for the theta/beta ratios at pretest and the two posttests. At pretest, both groups were well above the average for theta/beta ratios in normal populations. At the 3-month posttest, theta/ beta ratios increased slightly in the delayed-start group (dotted


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