EEG study on MBSR

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is one of the most popular mindfulness practices based on Buddhist teachings. Using EEG, we conducted a study to investigate the effect of MBSR and found that mindful breathing can reduce the chaoticity of electronic activities of the brain and entrain the chaotic electronic activities between the brain and heart. Our works on MBSR were summarized as follows:

  • Applied the EEG technique to study meditation related mental activities successfully.
  • Found entropy as an index of chaotic activities of the brain as a major finding.
  • Proved the relationship between brain and heart activities using neuroscientific methods and this scientific finding is consistent with the teachings in the Eastern meditation tradition.
  • List of disseminations and publications:
    • Sik, H.H., Gao, J., Fan, J., Wu, B.W., Leung, H.K., Hung, Y.S. (2017). Using Wavelet Entropy to Demonstrate how Mindfulness Practice Increases Coordination between Irregular Cerebral and Cardiac Activities. Journal of Visual Experiment, e55455, doi:10.3791/55455.
    • Gao J., Fan J., Wu W.Y.B., Zhang Z., Chang C., Hung Y.S., Fung P.C.W. and Sik H.H. (2016). Entrainment of chaotic activities in brain and heart during MBSR mindfulness training, Neuroscience Letters, 616, 218-223.
    • Gao J, Fan JC, Cheung RT, Sik HH, Huang BS, Zhang ZG, Hung YS, Chang CQ. (2014). Decreased chaotic EEG signal during mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) meditation. International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, Boston, 2014. Oct. Poster presentation.
    • Gao J, Tan A., Chang C., Hung Y.S., Cheung R.T.F. and Zhang Z. (2013). Decreased coherence of gamma-band EEG activity in MBSR meditation states, 19th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM). Poster presentation.
    • Jessica Firger. (2017). Mind-body connection during meditation can now be tracked, thanks to science.  Newsweek report.  Retrieved from: 5th November 2017.
    • Sam Littlefair. (2017). Buddhist researchers seek to reveal link between heart, mind. Lion’s Roar. Retrieved from:  6th June 2017.



heart and brain connection during MBSR
Heart and brain connection during MBSR.