Inside the mind of long-term meditators
In this video from BigThink, Goleman describes how neuroscientist Richard Davidson, his co-author on the book Altered Traits, measured the brainwaves of advanced meditators. Davidson found their brainwaves showed never-before-seen levels of gamma, one of the strongest types of brain waves, theorized to appear when the different regions of the brain harmonize.
“We get [gamma] it when we bite into an apple, or imagine biting into an apple,” Explains Goleman, “and for a brief period, [in] a split second, inputs from taste, sound, smell, vision, all of that comes together in that imaged bite into the apple.”
While the typical person will have a gamma wave very briefly, for example when we’ve solved a problem we’ve been grappling with, and for a brief second all of our sensory inputs come together in harmony. The brainwaves of long-term meditators, however, show gamma all the time, as a lasting trait, no matter what they are doing. “It’s their everyday state of mind,” says Goleman. “Science has never seen this before,” he says.