OM Changes In Brain Cerebral Blood Flow MRI Study

I have written a few articles on the advanced concepts in Hinduism.

Frequency of OM Sound.jpg Frequency of OM. Image credit.

Quantum Physics,

Advanced Gravitational Theory,

Weapons of Mass Destruction,



Particle Physics,



Plastic Surgery,

Stem Cell Research,




DNA Study and advanced concepts,…..

the list is long.

Effects of Chanting OM.image.jpg Effects of Chanting OM. Image

Please google the term + ramanan50 to read these articles or check under Hinduism, Astrophysics, Science in the site.

I had recently written as to how a Tonoscope produces the Sri Yantra when OM is chanted.

There have been specific researches conducted on the Mantras, including the Gayatri Mantra and OM.

I am quoting the excerpts of three different researches on OM,relating to OM’s resonance effects on the Brain, on Cerebral Cortex where the Blood supply is improved,Mind calms down, Blood pressure is brought under control.

These experiments were conducted by eminent scientists, not all of them Indians under strict research procedures.

Here are the Abstracts of the Studies.

I am providing the Links  and you may be read the full reports there.

Hemodynamic responses on prefrontal cortex related to meditation and attentional task

Recent neuroimaging studies state that meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The present study employed functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to evaluate the relative hemodynamic changes in PFC during a cognitive task. Twenty-two healthy male volunteers with ages between 18 and 30 years (group mean age ± SD; 22.9 ± 4.6 years) performed a color-word stroop task before and after 20 min of meditation and random thinking. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed followed by a post hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons between the mean values of “During” and “Post” with “Pre” state. During meditation there was an increased in oxy-hemoglobin (ΔHbO) and total hemoglobin (ΔTHC) concentration with reduced deoxy-hemoglobin (ΔHbR) concentration over the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC), whereas in random thinking there was increased ΔHbR with reduced total hemoglobin concentration on the rPFC. The mean reaction time (RT) was shorter during stroop color word task with concomitant reduction in ΔTHC after meditation, suggestive of improved performance and efficiency in task related to attention. Our findings demonstrated that meditation increased cerebral oxygenation and enhanced performance, which was associated with activation of the PFC…

Meditation is a complex mental process that aims to calm the fluctuations of the mind and improve cognitive functions. Several meditation techniques from diverse traditions (e.g., Transcendental meditation, Buddhists, Zen, Yoga, Vipassana, Brahmakumari, Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) etc.,) demonstrated that regular practice of meditation develops awareness to the contents of subjective experience, including thoughts, sensations, intentions, and emotions (Saggar et al., 2012). It is considered as a voluntary means of mental training to achieve greater control of higher mental functions. Traditional yoga texts like Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (the Sage Patanjali’, Circa 900 B.C.) and Bhagavad Gita (Circa 400–600 B.C.) very well describe the connection between meditation and mental modifications. Traditionally, two states of meditation have been described, viz., (i) focused meditation (dharana in Sanskrit, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Chapter III, Verse 1), and this state is supposed to lead to the next stage of effortless mental expansion i.e., (iii) meditation (dhyana in Sanskrit; Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Chapter III, Verse 2). When not in meditation, it is said that the mind may be in two other states (Telles et al., 2012). These are (i) random thinking (cancalata in Sanskrit;Bhagavad Gita, chapter VI, verse 34); and (ii) non-meditative focused thinking (ekagrata in Sanskrit;Bhagavad Gita, chapter VI, verse 12) (Telles et al., 2014).

In recent years, there have been a number of neuroimaging studies showing that meditation improves cognitive performance as signified by behavioral and neurophysiological measures (Tang et al., 2007; Lutz et al., 2009). Previous studies have shown that the practice of meditation enhances behavioral performance viz., perceptual discrimination and sustained attention during visual discrimination task (MacLean et al., 2010). Meditation practice develops the ability to engage the attention onto an object for extended periods of time (Carter et al., 2005; Jha et al., 2007; Lutz et al., 2008). It improves the control over the distribution of limited brain resources in the temporal domain, as measured by the attentional blink task (van Leeuwen et al., 2009; Slagter et al., 2011). Long term meditation practice has been found to enhance cognitive performance (Cahn and Polich, 2006), attentional focus, alerting (Jha et al., 2007), processing speed (Lutz et al., 2009; Slagter et al., 2009), and overall information processing (van Vugt and Jha, 2011). In a study, Buddhist meditation practitioners showed mindfulness meditation was positively correlated with sustained attention, when compared to non-meditation practitioners (Moore and Malinowski, 2009). Improvements in sustained attention and attentional error monitoring demonstrated a positive correlation with increased activation in executive attention networks in meditators (Short et al., 2010). Other studies have shown that meditation is associated with improved conflict scores on the attention network test (Tang et al., 2007), reduced interference (Chan and Woollacott, 2007) and enhanced attentional performance during the stroop task compared to meditation-naïve control group (Moore and Malinowski, 2009). These studies provide significant evidence of meditation promoting the higher-order cognitive processing (Zeidan et al., 2010), particularly, the features of conflict monitoring and cognitive control processes…

Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study.


A sensation of vibration is experienced during audible ‘OM’ chanting. This has the potential for vagus nerve stimulation through its auricular branches and the effects on the brain thereof. The neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting are yet to be explored.

Materials and Methods:

Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), the neurohemodynamic correlates of audible ‘OM’ chanting were examined in right-handed healthy volunteers (n=12; nine men). The ‘OM’ chanting condition was compared with pronunciation of “ssss” as well as a rest state. fMRI analysis was done using Statistical Parametric Mapping 5 (SPM5).


In this study, significant deactivation was observed bilaterally during ‘OM’ chanting in comparison to the resting brain state in bilateral orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate, parahippocampal gyri, thalami and hippocampi. The right amygdala too demonstrated significant deactivation. No significant activation was observed during ‘OM’ chanting. In contrast, neither activation nor deactivation occurred in these brain regions during the comparative task – namely the ‘ssss’ pronunciation condition.


The neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting indicate limbic deactivation. As similar observations have been recorded with vagus nerve stimulation treatment used in depression and epilepsy, the study findings argue for a potential role of this ‘OM’ chanting in clinical practice.

Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) is used as treatment in depression and epilepsy.[1,2] A positron emission tomography (PET) study[3] has shown decreased blood flow to limbic brain regions during direct (cervical) VNS. Another functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study[4] has shown significant deactivation of limbic brain regions during transcutaneous VNS. In this procedure electrical stimulus is applied over the inner part of the left tragus and hence the auricular branch of the vagus.

The use of ‘OM’ chanting for meditation is well known.[5] Effective ‘OM’ chanting is associated with the experience of vibration sensation around the ears. It is expected that such a sensation is also transmitted through the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. We therefore hypothesized that like transcutaneous VNS, ‘OM’ chanting too produces limbic deactivation. Specifically, we predicted that ‘OM’ chanting would evoke similar neurohemodynamic correlates, deactivation of the limbic brain regions, amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, insula, orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices and thalamus) as were found in the previous study.

Ajay Anil Gurjar and Siddharth A Ladhake published their first OM paper, Time-Frequency Analysis of Chanting Sanskrit Divine Sound “OM”, in 2008 in the International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security.

Ladhake is the principal at Sipna’s College of Engineering and Technology in Amravati, India. Gurjar is an assistant professor in that institution’s department of electronics and telecommunication. Both specialise in electronic signal processing. They now sub-specialise in analysing the one very special signal.

In the introductory paper, Gurjar and Ladhake explain (in case there is someone unaware of the basics): “Om is a spiritual mantra, outstanding to fetch peace and calm. The entire psychological pressure and worldly thoughts are taken away by the chanting of Om mantra.”

They apply a mathematical tool called wavelet transforms to a digital recording of a person chanting “Om”. Even people with no mathematical background can appreciate, on some level, one of the blue-on-white graphs included in the monograph. This graph, the authors say, “depicts the chanting of ‘Om’ by a normal person after some days of chanting”. The image looks like a pile of nearly identical, slightly lopsided pancakes held together with a skewer, the whole stack lying sideways on a table. To behold it is to see, if nothing else, repetition.

At the end, Gurjar and Ladhake say: “Our attentiveness and our concentration are pilfered from us by the proceedings take place around us in the world in recent times … By this analysis we could conclude steadiness in the mind is achieved by chanting Om, hence proves the mind is calm and peace to the human subject.”

Scientific Evidence: The Efficacy of OM Chanting.

A recent study conducted at Spina’s College of Engineering & Technology in Maharashtra, India, on one particular mantra, OM, resulted in some profound conclusions. Ajay Anil Gurjar, Siddharth A. Ladhake, and Ajay P. Thakare explain, “OM does not have a translation. Therefore, the Hindus consider it as the very name of the Absolute, it is body of sound. In the scriptures of ancient India, the OM is considered as the most powerful of all the mantras. The others are considered aspects of the OM, and the OM is the matrix of all other mantras. It has been recognized that the Mantras have beneficial effects on human beings and even plants. The syllable OM is quite familiar to a Hindu. It occurs in every prayer. Invocation to most gods begins with this syllable. OM is also pronounced as AUM. The syllable OM is not specific to Indian culture. It has religious significance in other religions also. Although OM is not given any specific definition and is considered to be a cosmic sound, a primordial sound, the totality of all sounds etc. The entire psychological pressure and worldly thoughts are removed by chanting OM Mantra.”

Chanting OM resulted in significant brain wave frequency changes, as evidenced in the participant’s EEG readings. Gujare, Ladhake, and Thakare explain the reading thusly, “From this we could conclude that chanting OM mantra results in stabilization of [the] brain, removal of worldly thoughts and an increase of energy. It means that concentrating on OM mantra and continuously doing it slowly shifts our attention. It is a reflection of the most fundamental interlocking processes in our bodies…the harmony we play echoes the harmonic relationships of every vital system i.e. our heartbeat, our breathing, our brainwaves pulsing, our neuronal firing, our cells throbbing, our metabolic, enzymatic, and hormonal rhythms and our behaviors in our addictions and our habits. In this sense OM mantra is a brain stabilizer, by practicing it one can enter deeper and deeper into a natural state, which is also an energy medicine for human beings under stress.”

4 thoughts on “OM Changes In Brain Cerebral Blood Flow MRI Study

  1. Thanks for your great article. I would like to reproduce the photo of the cerebral effects of Aum/Om, for my upcoming book, “The Immortality Prophesy”, due out 4-7-16. Your timely response to my request would be greatly appreciated!

    Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha,

    Dr. Robert J. Newton


    1. There are three images in the article.
      The first one is OM , it was taken from a Free Wall paper site.
      The other two are from other sites.
      I have provided the credit for them in the article.T\
      They are,
      1.Frequency of OM. Image credit.
      2.Effects of Chanting OM. Image
      You may get their permission.
      Thank you for visiting my site,


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