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Cerebral blood flow changes during chanting meditation

Khalsa, Dharma Singha; Amen, Danielb; Hanks, Chrisa; Money, Nishac; Newberg, Andrewd

Nuclear Medicine Communications: December 2009 - Volume 30 - Issue 12 - p 956-961
doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e32832fa26c

Purpose To examine changes in brain physiology during a chanting meditation practice using cerebral blood flow single-photon emission computed tomography.

Methods Single-photon emission computed tomography scans were acquired in 11 healthy individuals during either a resting state or meditation practice randomly performed on two separate days. Statistical parametric mapping analyses were conducted to identify significant changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) between the two conditions.

Results When the meditation state was compared with the baseline condition, significant rCBF increases were observed in the right temporal lobe and posterior cingulate gyrus, and significant rCBF decreases were observed in the left parietotemporal and occipital gyri.

Conclusion The results offer evidence that this form of meditation practice is associated with changes in brain function in a way that is consistent with earlier studies of related types of meditation as well as with the positive clinical outcomes anecdotally reported by its users.

aAlzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation, Tucson, Arizona

bAmen Clinics, Inc., Newport Beach, California

cUS Air Force, Office of the Surgeon General

dDepartment of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, USA

Correspondence to Dr Andrew B. Newberg, MD, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 110 Donner Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Tel: +1 215 662 3092; fax: +1 215 349 5843;


Received 19 May 2009 Revised 12 June 2009 Accepted 15 June 2009

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.