Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meditation and Gamma Waves

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: Another study found a correlation between gamma waves and developmental issues in toddlers and preschoolers:

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): 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! 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:

Apparently, blue lasers can also increase gamma waves, but I'm not sure how that fits in:

And what about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is that stimulating gamma waves too? John Robison gives a first person account here:

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:

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: 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:]


  1. Hey!!! Welcome to the blogosphere.

    That is interesting. And futuristic: "specific cells can be genetically engineered to be controlled by pulses of visible light" And interesting in terms of treatment implications - perhaps a little bit of mind over matter. Like the Budhist monks. Though mental disclipline and restraint may be antithetical to toddlers, who pretty much thrive on instant gratification.

    I look forward to future posts...

    ps the little button that looks like a link prompts a box into which you can past your hyperlinks

  2. THANK YOU! Sorry about the links. I tried that again just now with my second post and I managed to mess that up too. I'll try some more. I know it's annoying to have so many references and to have to copy and paste! I'll figure it out ....