Beyond the veil of duality - Topographic reorganization model of meditation

Austin Clinton Cooper, Bianca Ventura, Georg Northoff

研究成果: 雜誌貢獻回顧型文獻同行評審

7 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Meditation can exert a profound impact on our mental life, with proficient practitioners often reporting an experience free of boundaries between a separate self and the environment, suggesting an explicit experience of "nondual awareness."What are the neural correlates of such experiences and how do they relate to the idea of nondual awareness itself? In order to unravel the effects that meditation has on the brain's spatial topography, we review functional magnetic resonance imaging brain findings from studies specific to an array of meditation types and meditator experience levels. We also review findings from studies that directly probe the interaction between meditation and the experience of the self. The main results are (i) decreased posterior default mode network (DMN) activity, (ii) increased central executive network (CEN) activity, (iii) decreased connectivity within posterior DMN as well as between posterior and anterior DMN, (iv) increased connectivity within the anterior DMN and CEN, and (v) significantly impacted connectivity between the DMN and CEN (likely a nonlinear phenomenon). Together, these suggest a profound organizational shift of the brain's spatial topography in advanced meditators - we therefore propose a topographic reorganization model of meditation (TRoM). One core component of the TRoM is that the topographic reorganization of DMN and CEN is related to a decrease in the mental-self-processing along with a synchronization with the more nondual layers of self-processing, notably interoceptive and exteroceptive-self-processing. This reorganization of the functionality of both brain and self-processing can result in the explicit experience of nondual awareness. In conclusion, this review provides insight into the profound neural effects of advanced meditation and proposes a result-driven unifying model (TRoM) aimed at identifying the inextricably tied objective (neural) and subjective (experiential) effects of meditation.

期刊Neuroscience of Consciousness
出版狀態已發佈 - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 實驗與認知心理學
  • 臨床心理學
  • 神經內科
  • 神經病學(臨床)
  • 精神病學和心理健康


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