Comparative Study

| Published: March 25, 2016

Effect of Gayatri Mantra Meditation on Meditation Naive Subjects: an EEG and fMRI Pilot Study

Susan Thomas

PhD, Lecturer, St. John’s Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Shobini L. Rao

PhD, Retired Professor and Former HOD, Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.114/20160302

DOI: 10.25215/0302.114


A mantra is a word or phrase repeated aloud or silently and used to focus attention. Meditation using mantras is widely practiced in India. However, research on the effects of mantra meditation on the brain is sparse. The aim was to study the effect of listening to Gayatri mantra on the brain using Elecroencephalograph (EEG) functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Sample included 8 meditation naive subjects, who have not been practicing any form of meditation. There were 12 subjects for the EEG study and 8 subjects for the fMRI study. The results showed that the areas that had maximum activation were the bilateral superior temporal gyri, right temporal lobe, right insula, left inferior parietal lobule, lateral globuspallidus and culmen of the cerebellum. There were some EEG changes before and after listening to Gayatri mantra also, but reliable analysis could not be carried out due to the less number of samples. Results indicate that mantra meditation can result in changes in the brain.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 03, Issue 2, January-March, 2016