ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (10): 1339-1348.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2012.01339

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Meditation Makes A Peaceful State of Mind: People’s Positive and Negative Emotional Response Can Be Reduced by Meditation Training

REN Jun;HUANG Lu;ZHANG Zhen-Xin   

  1. (College of Teacher Education, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China)
  • Received:2012-02-28 Published:2012-10-25 Online:2012-10-23
  • Contact: REN Jun

Abstract: Previous studies have proved that meditation contributes to emotion regulation, but more researches are needed on if it works by making positive and negative emotion more positive, or making positive emotion more negative and negative emotion more positive. The present study was designed to explore the effects of meditation on evaluation of emotional pictures (from CAPS) and changes of brain alpha wave. 62 university students without any previous meditation experiences were selected in this study. A random 31 participants learned meditation (for 5 days, 20 minutes everyday), and the remaining participants had a usual rest with eyes closed in the same time. All participants were asked to evaluate emotional pictures before and after meditation\usual rest, as well as take alpha wave assessments. The scores of emotional pictures evaluation were recorded by E-prime, the dates of alpha wave were collected by the HXD-I brain electrical collector, and all of the dates were analyzed by SPSS 12.0. All participants rated emotional pictures (positive, neural and negative, 10 pieces for each kind) before the experiment, before the fifth meditation\usual rest, and after the fifth meditation\usual rest. (1) On the evaluation of positive and negative pictures, the result of variance analysis showed significant differences in meditation group, but no significant differences in control group. (2) From the dates before experiment to that after the fifth meditation\usual rest, the increment rest of two groups showed significant differences on negative pictures, but no significant differences on positive and neural pictures. The experiment collected the participants’ alpha wave at times before, in the process of, and after the fifth meditation\usual rest. The result of variance analysis showed that there were significant differences of alpha wave in meditation group, but no significant differences in control group. On the increment of alpha waves before and after the fifth meditation\usual rest, there were significant differences between two groups, which meant that the alpha waves increment of meditation group was higher than that of the control group. The experiment showed that, after 5 days’ meditation, participants in meditation group were more peaceful on emotional pictures evaluation compared to the ones in the control group who have a usual rest. Further analysis showed that meditation could reduce some negative content in people’s emotion cognition, and in the meanwhile reduce some positive content. The EEG data showed that the brain alpha wave increased significantly in meditation, and 5 minutes after a meditation exercise, the alpha wave could still keep on the increasing state.

Key words: meditation, positive picture, negative picture, neutral picture, emotional cognition, alpha wave