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Altered States of Consciousness - Meditation Research

Scientific staff


     Former staff

  • Dr. Britta Hölzel
  • M.Sc. Psych. Tim Gard
  • Dr. Hannes Hempel
  • Dr. med. Philipp Rumpf
  • Dr. med. Torsten Sassinek


Research focus

  • Neural Correlates of deep mental absorption (state) and the personality trait of absorption
  • Absorption and extraordinary (e.g. mystical or paranormal) experiences
  • Psychological induction of altered states of consciousness
  • Comparison with drug effects and mental disorders
  • Effects of meditation on brain and consciousness



  • Effects of hyperventilation on blood (partial pressure of CO2), brain and consciousness (doctoral thesis of Torsten Sassinek)
  • Induction of emotions with music (in cooperation with Gunter Kreuz)
  • Altered pain processing in mindfulness meditation (doctoral thesis of Tim Gard)
  • Mindfulness meditation: activation patterns and morphological changes in the brain of meditators (doctoral thesis of Britta Hölzel)
  • Meditation and brain aging (doctoral thesis of Philip Rumpf)
  • Adverse effects of meditation: influence of practice and person variables (doctoral thesis of Michael Tremmel)