Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Neuroscience

Supervisor

Dr.Paul Frewen

Abstract

The EEG correlates of valenced self- and other-referential processing (SRP-ORP) are relatively little understood. This study examined the immediate effects of mindfulness meditation (MM) and EEG alpha neurofeedback (NFB) on resting state EEG alpha amplitudes and alpha event related (de-)synchronization (ERD/S) during an experimental implicit and explicit SRP-ORP task. Undergraduate students (n = 93) were randomized to a single session of MM, NFB alpha synchronization training (“alpha-up”), NFB alpha desynchronization training (“alpha-down”), or sham (placebo control) NFB before completing the Visual-Verbal Self-Other Referential Processing Task (VV-SORP-T). A reduction in resting-state alpha power over posterior cortex was observed across groups relative to pre-treatment baseline, with no differential effects observed between groups. During both SRP and ORP, however, less negative affect (NA) was experienced by participants in the alpha-down group. Alpha ERD was highest during negative ORP relative to other task conditions across groups, with the alpha-down group trending toward showing increased ERD across all conditions of the VV-SORP-T relative to the alpha-up group. Study limitations and future research directions are discussed.


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