Effects of Meditation on Brain Coherence and Intelligence

Quantum physicist and educator John Hagelin PhD, presents research findings on the effects of meditation on the brain and intelligence, and advocates for meditation as a method of promoting a host of positive benefits, from relaxation to increased creativity.

Transcript from the video:

What we’re talking about is the effect on the brain. And here it is again.

Meditation and Brain Coherence

This is a top view, front view, of the brain. And this is a subject sitting relaxed, with the eyes closed, and these dots indicate where the electrodes are placed to measure the ordinary EEG to look at the electrical activity of the brain. And occasionally you find these little bars connect neighboring points. Not very often, but what that means is these neighboring points of the brain are talking to each other. They’re communicating. There’s a correlated or integrated functioning of the brain, at least among a few neighboring points. But not much. Really this hemisphere doesn’t know what this (other) hemisphere is doing.

But this is the same subject three months later in the meditative state. And what you see is something you would never see, if you’re a brain scientist, in any other state of consciousness: hypnosis, sleeping, waking, dreaming. The whole brain functions coherently. And that’s an extremely significant finding.

Optimization of Brain Functioning

It’s interesting, but beyond that, significant, because EEG coherence is powerfully correlated with intelligence. And rising intelligence, creativity, learning ability, memory, academic performance, moral reasoning, psychological stability, emotional maturity, alertness, reaction time. Everything good about the brain depends on its orderly functioning. And what’s fun as an educator, exciting as an educator, is that you can systematically develop the orderly functioning of the brain—among anyone, of any age.

Meditation and Development of Intelligence

And you’ll actually start to see in anyone, of any age, intelligence–for example, IQ–increasing. Now that’s not supposed to happen beyond adolescence. Intelligence is not supposed to rise. In fact, by the time, say, you’re mid-30s, you’re expected to see a precipitous drop in intelligence, in the shrinking of the brain. I know we tell our kids, “you should listen to me anyway despite my massive raw intelligence,” because of the wisdom and lack of experience. But it’s an obsolete view of human potential.

The thing about the brain is, and these are other measures of intelligence—IQ is just  one, so many other ways to measure the creativity and intelligence of the brain—and they are all highly statistically significantly improved by transcending. By developing and engaging the total brain.

Brain's Functional Holes

In the absence of this experience, you see too much of this. This is a stressed brain. You don’t have to look hard or far to find them. You see what are called functional “holes,” not actual holes, but functional holes in the prefrontal cortex, the so-called “higher brain.”

That’s important. This is the higher brain. It separates us from the primitive species. It’s called the CEO or executive center. It sits over the primitive brain, it exerts executive control. It’s responsible for higher human function: judgement, planning, moral reasoning, control of the attention. And what we have, in the presence of stress, is the prefrontal cortex shuts down. And under chronic stress, it shuts down chronically and it fails to develop properly.

And we really are living to a good degree in an underdeveloped world, world of arrested development. And if you really question that, just look around you. Look at the reality tv show, look what’s happening in the news.

But even those functional holes on the brain are quickly filled in as the entire brain is engaged and as blood flow returns to the total brain, and you see things like:

  • in maximum-security prisons where stressed brains are ubiquitous, a marked reduction in the rate of return to prison;
  • in children with ADHD, which is a stress-related learning disorder that has to do with this underdevelopment of the prefrontal cortex that controls the attention, a profound reversal of ADHD and elimination of symptoms, in 10, 12 weeks of twice daily meditation.

It’s a powerful tool. Because of that, finally we’re starting to see an impact on society, where schools—about 350 of them anyway—and hundreds of thousands of students have incorporated transcending or TM into the curriculum.

And that’s the beginning of something really exciting. It’s really happening here. It started in the Bay Area and it’s spreading throughout the world.

John Hagelin PhDJohn Hagelin, Ph.D., is a world-renowned quantum physicist, educator, public policy expert, and leading proponent of peace.

Dr. Hagelin has conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). Author of more than 70 papers published in journals such as Physics Letters, Nuclear Physics, and the Physical Review, his scientific contributions in the fields of electroweak unification, grand unification, supersymmetry, and cosmology include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences. He is responsible for the development of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the superstring—a theory that was featured in a cover story of Discover magazine.

Dr. Hagelin has pioneered the use of unified field–based technologies proven to reduce crime, violence, terrorism, and war and to promote peace throughout society—technologies derived from the ancient Vedic science of consciousness. He has published groundbreaking research establishing the existence of long-range “field effects” of consciousness generated through collective meditation, and has shown that large meditating groups can effectively defuse acute societal stress—thereby preventing violence and social conflict, and providing a practical foundation for permanent world peace.

Dr. Hagelin is currently Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, a leading science and technology think tank, and President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, an organization of leading scientists throughout the world dedicated to ending nuclear proliferation and establishing lasting world peace. He can be reached at his website: http://www.hagelin.org

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LG Android says:

Awesome article.

Shweta says:

It actually started in India, not bay area. Obviously you aren’t meditating right, or you would never steal credit.

Mary Thomas says:

Amazing information that everyone who meditates should know. Thank you so much for posting this fascinating talk with the accompanying transcript. One of the best, if not the best link I have found while researching the physical effects of meditation on the brain from a scientific and neurological perspective. Excellent!

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