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Thermogenesis and Modulation of Visuospatial Recall by Vajrayana Meditation

Presented at Saint Josephs College of Maine Academic Research Fair (2018).
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  Thermogenesis and Modulation of Visuospatial Recall by Vajrayana Meditation John Harder, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine   Results& CorrelationsMentalRotation Task (MRT)HumanBenchmark Exam (HBM)Group (Control/Experimental) Experimental conditions and MRT scores were not significantly correlated.Experimental conditions and HBM scores were not significantly correlated. Major (STEM/Humanities) Major and MRT scores were significantly correlated (p = 0.08). Major and HBM scores were not significantly correlated. Sex(Male/Female) Sex and MRT scores were not significantly correlated.Sex and HBM scores were not significantly correlated. Demographic Questionnaire: Participants were asked their age, sex, major, grade point average (GPA), as well as handedness (left/right), familiarity with Tetris-like visuospatial puzzle games, and athletic typology (allostatic, homeostatic, both, neither). Meditation Instructions : Transcription of Wim Hof’s “inner heat” technique was provided to experimental participants in writing. Controls were instructed to breathe normally. Data Collection : All resultant data was tabulated in IBM SPSS Statistics 2015 . Methodology Vandenberg & KuseMental Rotation Task (MRT) • Matching two axially rotated shapes to one control shape • One point awarded per correct answer • Zero points subtracted for incorrect, omitted answers • Two sections of twelve challenges (sample provided, see  figure C. ) Human Benchmark Visual Memory Exam (HBM) • Increasingly numerous grid of squares, cued in random sequence • Ten second delay between successive sequences • Participants challenged until completion • Completion condition: after incorrect indication of three successive sequences Testing Protocol and Instruments Figure C -MRT Question Sample Effects of Vajrayana Techniques Amihai, & Kozhevnikov(2014) examined the neurocognitive contrasts of two meditation traditions, the Theravada and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism. Ten Theravada and nine Vajrayana students with a mean age of 8 and 7.4 years of experience were selected. Vajrayana meditation doubled MRT performance compared to pretest, far exceeding the performance of any other group examined. These findings demonstrate that acute sympathotrophiceffect, in the form of focused-attention deity meditation, mediates the speed and accuracy of visual recall performance. Physiological Antecedents to Vajrayana Wright, Hull, & Czeisler, (2002) focused on the strict autonomic and circadian basis behind similar phenomena covered by Kozhevnikov'sexperimental procedures. This test applied the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), mathematical addition test (ADD), probed recall memory (PRM). To support alert-wake status subjects also completed a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for subjective psychological alertness. The results indicated that mean performance on all batteries was consistently predicted by elevated body-temperature. Arterial Gas Mechanisms of Vajrayana Breathing Koxet al. (2014) permitted an expert meditator Wim Hof (Kox, 2012) to train a group of meditation-naive adult, Dutch males in Vajrayana technique for 9 days.The trained subjects demonstrated a transient elevation in blood PH, body temperature, and serum adrenaline, with a decrease in carbon dioxide pressure during the breathing technique which resolved immediately after technique cessation. The data indicates that Vajrayana breathing exerts a replicable metabolic effect, likely through the adrenal medulla, which can be increased with training.1.) Would there be differences between control group and experimental group MRT scores?2.) Would there be differences between control group and experimental group HBM scores?3.) Would there be differences in Major and MRT scores?4.) Would there be differences in Major and HBM scores?5.) Would there be differences in Sex and MRT scores?6.) Would there be differences in Sex and HBM scores? Research QuestionsLiterature Review The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between short-term application of “inner heat meditation” (tummo, a particular Vajrayana Buddhist technique). and visuospatial memory performance. AbstractDiscussion The current study supports the use of the MRT as a method of visuospatial test protocol. Future research may be conducted with the use of supplementary biometric apparatus, such as spirometers and thermometers, in order to quantify the common intensity of Vajrayana breathing across participants. As time constraints and demographic imbalances were the major limiting factors on our design, future research may lengthen the duration of meditation training to at least nine days , as in the Koxsample, maintaining an equal ratio of men to women and STEM to humanities participants in the experimental groups. The continued utility of HBM testing protocol may be contingent on these future training conditions. Figure A –  Research Question #1, 3, 5Figure B –  Research Question #2, 4, 6 MRT Mean ScoreNStd. Deviation Control 8.3556457.63710 Experimental 8.6250*248.74177 Total 8.4493697.97521 Male 10.2308268.64550 Female 7.3721437.43871 STEM 11.5926277.69745 Humanities 6.4286427.56482 HBM Mean ScoreNStd. DeviationControl 10244.0833246032.05967 Experimental 11999.4091*227885.44703 Total 11083.5870466957.04972 Male 13270.7692139321.98462 Female 10221.9697335724.24648 STEM 10780.0385266915.78958 Humanities 10546.3125166202.72451 Double major 15205.7500410491.75249 *While both experimental groupsdidseean overall score increase against controls, it wasnot statistically significant. Sex I Male I Female Sex I Male I Female
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