A Brief Review of the EEG Literature on Mindfulness and Fear Extinction and its Potential Implications for Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS)

Auretta S. Kummar, Helen Correia, Hakuei Fujiyama
2019 Brain Sciences  
Neuroimaging studies in the area of mindfulness research have provided preliminary support for the idea of fear extinction as a plausible underlying mechanism through which mindfulness exerts its positive benefits. Whilst brain regions identified in the fear extinction network are typically found at a subcortical level, studies have also demonstrated the feasibility of cortical measures of the brain, such as electroencephalogram (EEG), in implying subcortical activations of the fear extinction
more » ... etwork. Such EEG studies have also found evidence of a relationship between brain reactivity to unpleasant stimuli (i.e., fear extinction) and severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Therefore, the present paper seeks to briefly review the parallel findings between the neurophysiological literature of mindfulness and fear extinction (particularly that yielded by EEG measures), and discusses the implications of this for fear-based psychopathologies, such as trauma, and finally presents suggestions for future studies. This paper also discusses the clinical value in integrating EEG in psychological treatment for trauma, as it holds the unique potential to detect neuromarkers, which may enable earlier diagnoses, and can also provide neurofeedback over the course of treatment.
doi:10.3390/brainsci9100258 pmid:31569665 pmcid:PMC6826941 fatcat:2ko3hwhko5eerpc5rcksa5xtdy