Asked 4th Jun, 2013

Mindfulness Training & Long-Term Memory: A Direct Link?

Would you happen to know of any research linking mindfulness training with improvements in long-term memory (recall and/or recognition tasks)? I'm looking to see if have have been any studies directly establishing a link between MTL structures (esp hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus) and mindfulness training outcomes. Most literature seems to be focused on frontal-lobe/prefrontal regions.

All Answers (3)

2nd Jul, 2013
Kevanne Sanger
Staffordshire University
Hi Alex,
There's been some research looking at depression patients and hippocampul improvements, that might be a place to start? But I think that most of the known improvements are frontal, the hippocampus development I think is more due to a reduction in stress.
1 Recommendation
11th Jul, 2013
A Alex Yarijanian
University of California, Riverside
Thank you Kevanne---my research confirms your suggestions.
25th Oct, 2014
Angela Cartland
Hi Alex,
Not sure if it is of interest to you, but there are studies showing a strong link between mindfulness training and working memory capacity, especially in high stress contexts.  See for example Jha, Stanley, Kiyonaga, Wong, and Gelfand (2010) "Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience", Emotion, 10, 51-64.  Perhaps in very stressful contexts, working memory capacity could mediate the effects of mindfulness training on long term memory by reducing the effects of stress on the hippocampus (as mentioned above) and also by improving attention/encoding.  It may be of interest that the participants in the cited study were undergoing rigorous and stressful boot camp style military training and that the control group suffered a reduction in working memory capacity during the period of the study, while the mindfulness group maintained or even improved their Ospan scores.

Similar questions and discussions

Related Publications

Full-text available
The Effect of a Short-Term Mindfulness Program on Memory Performance in School-Aged Children A one-week mindfulness-based intervention designed to improve 8- to 10-year-old children's memory performance was investigated. Seventy-three children were quasi-randomly assigned either to one of two mindfulness-based intervention groups (breathing meditat...
Full-text available
In the version of this article originally published, the reference citations in the Methods section were misnumbered. This has now been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the paper.
Got a technical question?
Get high-quality answers from experts.