O Efeito da Meditação Mindfulness na Actividade Electrofisiológica: Avaliação do Estado de Concentração, Controlo Emocional e Qualidade de Vida

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Being healthy is much more than not being ill. It is essentially living day-to-day life in physical and mental well-being. A modern, increasingly hectic and demanding society makes this goal more difficult. Today, a large part of the population suffers from depression, anxiety and/or stress. This public health problem, recently intensified by COVID-19, urgently needs a solution. The beneficial effect of the continued practice of Mindfulness meditation can contribute to a better quality of life for the individual, living the present with full attention. Using a cognitive task, a motor challenge and a visual stimulus, 25 volunteers (mean age = 26, SD = 7, 9 male) were evaluated in a period of 4 months, in which, during 8 weeks, they attended the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. In the 4 scheduled sessions (Pre, Peri, Post- MBSR and follow-up 2 months later) three electrophysiological signals are simultaneously collected: electroencephalogram (EEG), electrocardiogram (ECG) and electrodermal activity (EDA). In parallel, three questionnaires are completed: quality of life (WHOQOL), mood state profile (POMS) and anxiety, depression and stress scale (DASS). In the DASS analysis to the total participants, the anxiety state decreases -66.0% (p<0.001), depression -51% (p<0.001) and stress -52.0% (p<0.001). In the POMS survey, the global index of Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) registers a reduction of -19.0% (p<0.001). As regards the WHOQOL-100 questionnaire, there is an average increase of 11.2% (p<0.001) in quality of life. In the cognitive task there is, between the beginning and the end of the MBSR course, an expressive decrease in the mean amplitude of EDA in the order of -64.5% (p<0.001), a decrease of - 5.8% (p<0.05) in the mean heart rate (HR) and, in the EEG data, a very relevant increase of 148.1% (p<0.001) in the mean power of the α rhythm. In the motor challenge, the changes in the biosignals do not show statistical significance, however, a decrease in the mean errors occurred from 4.52 to 2.88 during the course is recorded. Finally, the visual stimulus reports a decrease of -43.9% (p=0.06) in EDA amplitude and -2.0% (p=0.57) in HR. The study of emotional reactions through EEG, combining valence levels with arousal, indicates an increase from -0.47 to 0.10 in positive feeling and from -0.17 to 0.02 in the degree of intensity of emotion. The analysis of these data suggests that the continued practice of Mindfulness meditation tends to increase the individual's state of concentration, motor skills, emotional control and quality of life. It promotes a healthy mind, characterised by self-regulation of attention and a reduction in states of anxiety, depression and/or stress, which is accompanied by significant electrophysiological changes. It can thus be used as a means of prevention or help in situations of psychological disorders that affect a large part of the population.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
  • Quintão, Carla, Advisor
Award date1 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Mindfulness
  • EDA
  • ECG
  • EEG
  • Concentração
  • Controlo Emocional


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