EEG paroxysmal gamma waves during Bhramari Pranayama: A yoga breathing technique

François B. Vialatte, Hovagim Bakardjian, Rajkishore Prasad, Andrzej Cichocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Here we report that a specific form of yoga can generate controlled high-frequency gamma waves. For the first time, paroxysmal gamma waves (PGW) were observed in eight subjects practicing a yoga technique of breathing control called Bhramari Pranayama (BhPr). To obtain new insights into the nature of the EEG during BhPr, we analyzed EEG signals using time-frequency representations (TFR), independent component analysis (ICA), and EEG tomography (LORETA). We found that the PGW consists of high-frequency biphasic ripples. This unusual activity is discussed in relation to previous reports on yoga and meditation. It is concluded this EEG activity is most probably non-epileptic, and that applying the same methodology to other meditation recordings might yield an improved understanding of the neurocorrelates of meditation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-988
Number of pages12
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain mapping
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy
  • Gamma
  • Meditation
  • Signal processing
  • Temporal lobe
  • Yoga


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