Self-specific processing in the meditating brain: a MEG neurophenomenology study

AbstractSelf-specific processes (SSPs) specify the self as an embodied subject and agent, implementing a functional self/nonself distinction in perception, cognition, and action. Despite recent interest, it is still undetermined whether SSPs are all-or-nothing or graded phenomena; whether they can be identified in neuroimaging data; and whether they can be altered through attentional training. These issues are approached through a neurophenomenological exploration of the sense-of-boundaries (SB), the fundamental experience of being an ‘I’ (self) separated from the ‘world’ (nonself). The SB experience was explored in collaboration with a uniquely qualified meditation practitioner, who volitionally produced, while being scanned by magnetoencephalogram (MEG), three mental states characterized by a graded SB experience. The results were then partly validated in an independent group of 10 long-term meditators. Implicated neural mechanisms include right-lateralized beta oscillations…


Link to Full Article: Self-specific processing in the meditating brain: a MEG neurophenomenology study