That which experienced meditators have long understood as heightened awareness or transcendence is now the subject of a mathematical evaluation by University of Chicago mathematician Jack Cowan. The recently discovered gamma brain state — the most rapid in frequency of known brain states and one associated with intense focus, high-level information processing and precognition — can now be assessed using the mathematical tools physicists use to describe the behavior of subatomic particles.
“The resting state of brain activity seems to have a statistical structure that’s characteristic of a certain kind of phase transition,” Cowan said. “The brain likes to sit there because that’s the place where information processing is optimized.”
Cowan presented his findings on the physics of brain states at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science earlier today.