Title page for ETD etd-05042010-132553

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pardikes, Thomas James
URN etd-05042010-132553
Title Voluntary inhibition of reflex: Effects of consistent meditative practice
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Friedman, Bruce H. Committee Chair
Bell, Martha Ann Committee Member
Harrison, David W. Committee Member
Hoffman, Kurt A. Committee Member
  • Anterior Regulation
  • Meditation
  • Autonomic Nervous System
Date of Defense 2010-04-22
Availability unrestricted
The present study investigated the effects of meditative practices on the regulation of autonomic function. 74 subjects (38 women; 36 men) comprised from a range of experienced and non-experienced meditators, engaged in a series of psychophysiological tasks designed to generate specific autonomic states. Regression analyses revealed that experienced meditators, as predicted, displayed greater suppression of myocardial reactivity during a highly reflexive and stressful task. Meditative practice also predicted a rise in electrodermal activity during a relaxation task, contrary to expectations. These results support the concept that meditative practices may alter aspects of autonomic function. Further, these results inform an emerging mind-body paradigm and illustrate the potential consequences of meditative practices in specific disease states and prevention.
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