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  A neurophenomenological approach based on elicitation interviews: Assessing meditation specific patterns of subjective experiences

Przyrembel, M., & Singer, T. (2014). A neurophenomenological approach based on elicitation interviews: Assessing meditation specific patterns of subjective experiences. Poster presented at European Summer Research Institute (ESRI), Chiemsee, Germany.

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Przyrembel, Marisa1, Author              
Singer, Tania1, Author              
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1Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              

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 Abstract: Even though the interest in meditation research has recently dramatically increased and theoretical papers about the need for new phenomenological approaches have been written, so far quantitative methodologies capturing the effects of meditation on brain, behavior and wellbeing have dominated. But how does it really feel to engage in different kinds of meditation practice? To explore this question we used Elicitation Interviews (EI) as qualitative method to compare the differential nature of different meditation techniques in the context of a multi-method longitudinal mental training study: The ReSource Project. More specifically, 20 subjects gave EI on the following three types of meditation: (1) attention to breath, (2) observation of thought, (3) loving kindness. Preliminary qualitative analysis of 24 of these 60 interviews indicates clear differences concerning different aspects of first-personal experiences: (1) activates bodily sensations around the respiratory system, (2) in/around the head, and (3) in the chest. In (1) and (2), the temperature sensations are described as neutral, while (3) is accompanied with the sensation of warmth. These qualitative analyses are supplemented by computer-based quantitative analyses of the transcripts using LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count, Pennebaker et al., 2001), providing evidence for differential mechanisms underlying the meditation technique – e.g. participants spontaneously use more vocabulary coded as social, communicative and optimistic in their EI during (3). These rich first-person data will be further used to inform third-person data collected with an exhaustive battery of tasks in the ReSource study to move towards neurophenomenological accounts of meditation.

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 Dates: 2014-08
 Publication Status: Not specified
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Title: European Summer Research Institute (ESRI)
Place of Event: Chiemsee, Germany
Start-/End Date: 2014-08-23 - 2014-08-29

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