Alterede States of Consciousness
Through quantitative EEG brainmapping techniques it is possible to map and compare different states of consciousness. The below brainmaps displays one normal and five altered states of consciousness. Se Brain waves and Brainmapping for further explanations.
Paper presented by Erik Hoffmann at the Winter Brain Conference on Neurofeedback, Miami Beach, February 7-11, 2001
BRAINMAPPING ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
QEEG data and brainmaps from four different studies of altered states of consciousness will be presented. A comparison will be made of QEEG changes during Feeling Release, Kriya Yoga Meditation, Ayahuasca-induced Trance States and Sexual Orgasm. In all four studies eight channels of EEG were recorded (Fp1, Fp2, T3, T4, T5, T6, O1, O2) and analysed for theta (4-8Hz), alpha (8-13Hz) and beta (13-20Hz) frequencies using portable, computerized equipment. Graphs and coloured brainmaps will be presented demonstrating similarities and differences between these four states.
In a study of intense Feeling Release in 20 neurotic patients at the Primal Center in Los Angeles large and statistically significant increases of both alpha and theta activity were found following feeling release therapy. The increase of alpha following therapy was usually higher in the right than in the left hemisphere and higher in the back than in the front part of the brain.
Real-time brainmaps showed high alpha/theta/delta amplitudes shooting up in various parts of the brain at the exact moment the patient regressed in therapy and dropped into an old feeling. This pattern was usually repeated many times during a session and the correlation between EEG changes and behaviour was consistently high. Colored brainmaps will be presented to demonstrate this phenomenon.
The Tantric Kriya Yoga Meditation is an ancient, powerful method for increasing the vital energy and expanding consciousness. Eleven teachers from Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School in Copenhagen – all experienced in this meditation – had their EEGs recorded before and after two hours of Kriya Yoga. We found large and statistically significant increases of both alpha and theta mean amplitudes following the meditation. Alpha amplitudes increased significantly more in the right than in the left hemisphere.
EEGs from 12 volunteers participating in a workshop in Brazil were recorded under field conditions (in the jungle) before and after a Shamanistic Ritual in which the psychoactive tea, Ayahuasca, was consumed. Following three doses of the tea, the subjects showed strong and statistically significant increases relative to baselines of both EEG alpha and theta mean amplitudes while beta amplitudes were unchanged. Besides group data, two cases will be presented with brainmaps to demonstrate huge increases of alpha and theta amplitudes under the influence of Ayahuasca.
EEGs were obtained from three volunteer subjects (two men and one woman) who all reached sexual climax and Orgasm through masturbation. A 54-year-old woman described her orgasm as intense, almost overwhelming, involving all parts of her body and mind. Initially high amplitude 7 Hz theta appeared in the right frontal lobe. Within eight minutes, high amplitude, rhythmic activity within all EEG frequency bands spread to the whole scalp for about 30 seconds during orgasm. Immediately following orgasm all electrical activity seized for approximately five seconds after which it returned to normal. Brainmaps from this case will also be presented demonstrating these phenomena in details.
In conclusion we found strong similarities such as increased alpha and theta amplitudes with an improved hemispheric balance between the altered states studied here.