Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Antoine Lutz, John D. Dunne, Richard J. Davidson
In press in
Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness edited by
Zelazo P., Moscovitch M.and Thompson E.
Keys words: meditation, mental training, introspection, consciousness, neuralsynchrony, neuroimaging, brain oscillatory rhythm, electroencephalography, attentiontraining, emotion regulation, brain plasticity, mind-brain-body interaction, physiologicalbaseline, reflexive awareness, Buddhism, compassion, open presence,
amatha,neurophenomenology. AbstractThe overall goal of this essay is to explore the initial findings of neuroscientific researchon meditation; in doing so, the essay also suggests potential avenues of further inquiry.The essay consists of three sections that, while integral to the essay as a whole, mayalso be read independently. The first section, “Defining Meditation,” notes the need fora more precise understanding of meditation as a scientific explanandum. Arguing forthe importance of distinguishing the particularities of various traditions, the sectionpresents the theory of meditation from the paradigmatic perspective of Buddhism, andit discusses the difficulties encountered when working with such theories. The sectionincludes an overview of three practices that have been the subject of research, and it