[Research] Jhana meditation studied with fMRI

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy Forums

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy forums - a peer support community for folks dealing (directly or indirectly) with seizure disorders. You can visit the forum page to see the list of forum nodes (categories/rooms) for topics.

Please have a look around and if you like what you see, please consider registering an account and joining the discussions. When you register an account and log in, you may enjoy additional benefits including no ads, access to members only (ie. private) forum nodes and more. Registering an account is free - you have nothing to lose!


Your Host
Reaction score
Using advanced brain scanning technology, a team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a founding member of Mass General Brigham (MGB), have revealed insights into what happens in the brain during an advanced form of meditation called jhana.

By uncovering distinct patterns of activity in different regions of the brain during jhana, the research suggests exciting possibilities for innovative therapies merging ancient meditation practices with modern neuroscience to improve well-being.

For the study published in Cerebral Cortex, scientists conducted a form of ultra-high field functional magnetic resonance imaging on a volunteer who was an adept meditator with more than 25 years of meditation experience. Imaging data were collected during 27 sessions of jhana over five consecutive days.
Sacchet and his colleagues also observed correlations between brain activity during jhana and attention, jhanic qualities (including joy, mental ease, equanimity and formlessness), and self-perception.

"This research is foundational for the development of cutting-edge interventions for supporting well-being and treating mental health conditions. These interventions could involve developing novel meditation-based therapies grounded in advanced meditation, such as jhana, which have received extremely limited attention from science," says Sacchet.

"Our neuroscientific insights may directly inform neurotechnology including neurofeedback and brain stimulation that may be applied to target specific brain systems implicated in advanced meditation. Our work holds significant and untapped promises in alleviating suffering and promoting human flourishing."

Sacchet and his team intend to develop an increasingly comprehensive science of advanced meditation through the development of a research center at MGH and HMS focused on this work. The group is currently collecting brain imaging data from additional meditators and is exploring additional methods to understand jhana and other forms of advanced meditation.

Top Bottom