SSE Talks


Does Gamma Brain Wave Emission Correlate with Higher Consciousness?
Jul 29, 2009 at 10:35 PM EST | B. Rubik


Beverly Rubik


Gamma emission at 40 Hz from the prefrontal lobe of the brain has been explored by Davidson and his colleagues* and is purported to be associated with higher states of consciousness in advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditators. The monks reported heightened feelings of oneness and compassion for all beings when 40 Hz emission was maximal. In the present study, the Peak Achievement Trainer, a type of neurofeedback that can assess and train various cognitive functions, was used to measure the 40 Hz emission band and also feed back information in realtime regarding brain wave parameters to subjects, who were either meditators or non-meditators. Recordings and real-time analyses of brainwaves at 40 Hz from the pre-frontal lobe area were made over a period of 45 minutes for each subject. Artifacts at 40 Hz due to muscle tension or movement were filtered from the data. Real-time audioand/or visual biofeedback of brainwave data was provided to the subjects, who were asked to try to increase 40 Hz emission from the prefrontal brain area while they ascertain what feelings, thoughts, functions, and moods were associated with that state of consciousness. Subjects later reported on these states during an interview process. Data showing the measured levels of 40 Hz of meditators and non-meditators during baseline and during attempts to increase 40 Hz emission are compared. The subjects’ self-assessments of their 40-Hz state, along with commonalities and differences between subjects and the two groups, is compared. In addition, the results from a volunteer who smoked Salvia divinorum, a legal entheogen, during a separate session will be shown and discussed.


Beverly Rubik, Ph.D., biophysicist, is renowned for her research on the biofield at Institute for Frontier Science in Emeryville, CA. She has published over 80 papers and 2 books. Dr. Rubik presently serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine; Integrative Medicine Insights; and ReVision. She is also adjunct professor in Integrative Health at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco; a consultant on maverick healthcare products; and a holistic health advisor.


*Lutz A, Brefczynski-Lewis J, Johnstone T, Davidson RJ. Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotions by compassion meditation: effects of meditative experience. Plosone 3(3):e1897. March 2008.


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