I've been thinking a lot about gamma waves lately. According to this article (and many others), something is off about the gamma waves of autistic individuals: http://med.stanford.edu/news_releases/2009/april/brain-waves.html. Another study found a correlation between gamma waves and developmental issues in toddlers and preschoolers: http://www.cnsfoundation.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8221.
So I find it very interesting that it just so happens that mindfulness meditation increases gamma waves, according to this study by Dr. Davidson at Wisconsin (which I actually first heard about on NPR): http://ntp.neuroscience.wisc.edu/faculty/fac-art/davidson101p16369.pdf. Now, I've never done mindfulness meditation, but from what I can tell, it seems to involve ignoring intrusive thoughts and thinking about one thing only.
Now get this. The process has been described by one expert as: sit down, shut up, and pay attention! http://monkeymindonline.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-to-zen.html. Hmmm.
At any rate ... it seems to me that maybe meditation is a method for practicing impulse control. Is that the same thing as working an inhibitory interneuron? I tried to read the following article that talks about inhibitory interneurons, but it was too much for me, and I'll have to come back to it later: https://sfari.org/news/-/asset_publisher/6Tog/content/loss-of-inhibitory-neurons-marks-autism-mouse-models?redirect=%2Fnews.
Apparently, blue lasers can also increase gamma waves, but I'm not sure how that fits in: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/04/29/brain-autism-laser.html.
And what about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is that stimulating gamma waves too? John Robison gives a first person account here: http://jerobison.blogspot.com/2009/12/brain-plasticity-and-tms.html.
If I can throw in one other question, how exactly is this gamma-wave business related to slow pupil response to light? which in case you missed it is apparently the newly discovered biomarker for autism, with something like a 92% accuracy rating. (see this article here: https://sfari.org/news-and-commentary/all/-/journal_content/56/12736/091211-PUPIL-AUTISM-BIOMARKER.)
One last thought: Ironically, mindfulness meditation seems aimed at learning how to live in the moment. Lisa Jo Rudy has pointed out that many autistic individuals seem to have achieved mindfulness naturally: http://autism.about.com/od/inspirationideas/tp/besttraits.htm. Hmmm.
[ps -- I don't know why I didn't search the Eide site sooner! They even have a picture of the brains of Buddhist monks activating their gamma waves! Check it out here: http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/2005/03/mental-training.html]
Thoughts on Newtown
5 years ago