ArticleLiterature Review

Does Mindfulness Training Improve Cognitive Abilities? A Systematic Review of Neuropsychological Findings

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Abstract

Mindfulness meditation practices (MMPs) are a subgroup of meditation practices which are receiving growing attention. The present paper reviews current evidence about the effects of MMPs on objective measures of cognitive functions. Five databases were searched. Twenty three studies providing measures of attention, memory, executive functions and further miscellaneous measures of cognition were included. Fifteen were controlled or randomized controlled studies and 8 were case-control studies. Overall, reviewed studies suggested that early phases of mindfulness training, which are more concerned with the development of focused attention, could be associated with significant improvements in selective and executive attention whereas the following phases, which are characterized by an open monitoring of internal and external stimuli, could be mainly associated with improved unfocused sustained attention abilities. Additionally, MMPs could enhance working memory capacity and some executive functions. However, many of the included studies show methodological limitations and negative results have been reported as well, plausibly reflecting differences in study design, study duration and patients' populations. Accordingly, even though findings here reviewed provided preliminary evidence suggesting that MMPs could enhance cognitive functions, available evidence should be considered with caution and further high quality studies investigating more standardized mindfulness meditation programs are needed.

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... Source: Joseph, 1996;LeDoux, 2003;Shallice & Burgess, 1991;Squire, 1992. Emerging research has been able to demonstrate that our brains are malleable, that in fact they can change in response to our environment, behavior, and/or injury (Alvarez & Emory, 2006;Chan, Shum, Toulopoulou, & Chen, 2008;Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011;Goldin & Gross, 2010;Hölzel, Carmody et al., 2011;Kozasa et al., 2012;Lutz, Slagter, Dunne, & Davidson, 2008;Pascual-Leone et al., 2011;Todd, Cunningham, Anderson, & Thompson, 2012). That is to say, through intentional actions an individual is able to produce functional and structural changes in his or her brain. ...
... Moreover, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are also localized for constructs and outcomes sought after by education (e.g., critical thinking; LeDoux, 2003LeDoux, , 2012Shallice & Burgess, 1991). Attention, emotion, and cognitive regulation are three behavioral strategies that can be learned by an individual and have been empirically validated to reduce stress and anxiety (Alvarez & Emory, 2006;Chan et al., 2008;Chiesa et al., 2011;Goldin & Gross, 2010;Hölzel, Carmody et al., 2011;Kozasa et al., 2012;Lutz et al., 2008;Todd et al., 2012). ...
... Collectively attention, emotion, and cognitive regulation can be thought of as three behavioral strategies that assert voluntary control over attention, emotion, and cognition and have reported benefits in reducing stress and anxiety and increasing overall well-being (Bush, Luu, & Posner, 2000;Chiesa et al., 2011;Goldin, & Gross, 2010;Hutcherson, Goldin, Ramel, McRae, & Gross, 2008;Kozasa et al., 2012;Lazar et al., 2005;Todd et al., 2012). ...
Thesis
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Integrative Inquiry is a training program that seeks to facilitate student learning and development based on seminal research in neuroscience and psychology, in turn the training program hopes to remedy some of the fracturing issues in post-secondary education. Bresciani, et al. reported that undergraduate and graduate students who had completed Integrative Inquiry, in its entirety, were able to decrease their stress and anxiety levels and increase their attention, emotion, and cognitive regulation, as well as their critical thinking dispositions. The present study sought to replicate Bresciani, et al. among doctoral students, and additionally, extended its analysis using document analysis. Results indicate that doctoral students were able to learn emotion regulation and cognitive regulation. However, doctoral students did not improve in their critical thinking dispositions or attention regulation, further, reported anxiety levels did not decrease. However, it is important to note that critical thinking dispositions were well above the national average prior to engaging in Integrative Inquiry leaving little room for improvement. Similarly, attention regulation did not improve but the pre-assessment revealed already high levels and thus left little room for improvement. Anxiety levels did not significantly decrease, however they did not increase as well, which suggests Integrative Inquiry was able to prevent heightened levels of anxiety during students first semester. A qualitative assessment uncovered other student learning including a better ability to articulate their subjective and objective mental processes, a shift in their relationship with time, and heightened connectedness with their environment and others. Taken together, these results suggest that INIQ is partially effective among doctoral students.
... Emotion regulation can be defined as the processes for perceiving, expressing, and adapting one's emotions with the purpose of goal achievement (Moore, 2016). In a review, Chiesa et al. (2011) provided a mix of evidence that mindfulness-based interventions improve outputs of cognition, attention being one. The studies reviewed suggest that mindfulness training may be associated with significant improvements in selective attention and improved sustained attention skills. ...
... The studies reviewed suggest that mindfulness training may be associated with significant improvements in selective attention and improved sustained attention skills. However, Chiesa et al. (2011) stated that many of the included studies have methodological limitations and also report negative results. The authors attribute this to possible differences in study design, study duration, and patient populations. ...
... The authors attribute this to possible differences in study design, study duration, and patient populations. Chiesa et al. (2011) concluded that more high-quality studies examining more standardized mindfulness meditation programs are needed. ...
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Attention is a key success factor in elite sports. Mindfulness training is suspected to be a determinant of attention. The present study was a wait-list controlled investigation of the effects of a mindfulness-based sport psychology program on sustained and selective attention in young elite athletes ( n = 137) and the effects of mindfulness training dosage on improving attention scores. In addition, long-term effects were examined. Selective and sustained attention were assessed in a pre–post design using the Frankfurter Aufmerksamkeits-Inventar 2, a go/no-go task. The results of this study indicate that the Berlin Mindfulness-Based Training for Athletes improved both sustained and selective attention in young athletes and that more training in the same amount of time resulted in higher scores in the assessment. The data also indicate that students who continued to practice independently after the intervention had higher scores in the long-term measure.
... Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common evidencebased cognitively oriented theoretical frameworks for weight management interventions, and is effective on both in-person and online platforms [15][16][17]. Previous work suggests that CBT as well as third-wave CBT (e.g., mindfulness) may exert effects on executive function by increasing awareness and monitoring of present thoughts and feelings, recognition and response to conflicts between current and ideal thoughts, and modification of thought patterns [18,19]. Randomized trials have shown that mindfulness interventions increase executive functioning and executive functioning-related brain activity compared to controls [18,20,21]. ...
... Previous work suggests that CBT as well as third-wave CBT (e.g., mindfulness) may exert effects on executive function by increasing awareness and monitoring of present thoughts and feelings, recognition and response to conflicts between current and ideal thoughts, and modification of thought patterns [18,19]. Randomized trials have shown that mindfulness interventions increase executive functioning and executive functioning-related brain activity compared to controls [18,20,21]. These were not weight management interventions, however, and to our knowledge, it is unknown whether a CBT-based weight management intervention could improve or sustain executive function. ...
... Finally, the intervention group lost significantly more weight at 16 weeks than the control group. Overall, these results are in line with other mindfulness interventions in other contexts (i.e., not weight management), as well as weight interventions such as CRT-O that focused primarily on cognitive training and some standard generalized weight interventions [11,12,14,18,20,21]. Our results also corroborate some previous work on cognitive training plus weight management interventions showing stable or improved self-reported executive functioning in the treatment group and declining self-reported executive functioning in the usual care group, though these studies did not find differences in weight loss [54,55]. ...
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Executive functioning is a key component involved in many of the processes necessary for effective weight management behavior change (e.g., setting goals). Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and third-wave CBT (e.g., mindfulness) are considered first-line treatments for obesity, but it is unknown to what extent they can improve or sustain executive functioning in a generalized weight management intervention. This pilot randomized controlled trial examined if a CBT-based generalized weight management intervention would affect executive functioning and executive function-related brain activity in individuals with obesity or overweight. Participants were randomized to an intervention condition (N = 24) that received the Noom Weight program or to a control group (N = 26) receiving weekly educational newsletters. EEG measurements were taken during Flanker, Stroop, and N-back tasks at baseline and months 1 through 4. After 4 months, the intervention condition evidenced greater accuracy over time on the Flanker and Stroop tasks and, to a lesser extent, neural markers of executive function compared to the control group. The intervention condition also lost more weight than controls (−7.1 pounds vs. +1.0 pounds). Given mixed evidence on whether weight management interventions, particularly CBT-based weight management interventions, are associated with changes in markers of executive function, this pilot study contributes preliminary evidence that a multicomponent CBT-based weight management intervention (i.e., that which provides both support for weight management and is based on CBT) can help individuals sustain executive function over 4 months compared to controls.
... Mindfulness is characterized by being attentive to and aware of the present moment experience, having an intention to achieve such high levels of attention and awareness, and acting in observing and non-judgmental manners (Baer et al., 2006;Shapiro et al., 2006). Prior research has documented positive associations of mindfulness with many positive outcome measures, including lower psychological distress, higher social well-being, and better cognitive functioning (Chiesa et al., 2011;De Vibe et al., 2012). Prior research has also shown that the impact of risk factors, such as parenting stress, and difficult child temperament, may vary as function of individuals' mindfulness (Calvete et al., 2021;Cortazar & Calvete, 2019). ...
... We hypothesized that individuals' and their partners' worry about COVID-19 would be positively associated with individuals' depressive symptoms, social difficulties, and cognitive problems and that these associations would be less pronounced for more mindful individuals and for individuals with more mindful partners. We controlled for individuals' gender and education, as these factors have been linked to both mindfulness and adjustment (Chiesa et al., 2011;De Vibe et al., 2012). ...
... Consistent with theories of strength and resilience positing that some individuals may be less affected by risk factors (Masten, 2013), individuals' mindfulness might operate as a promotive factor during the COVID-19 pandemic. Considered together with studies published before the arrival of COVID-19, studies that have linked mindfulness to lower psychological distress, higher social well-being, and better cognitive functioning (Chiesa et al., 2011;De Vibe et al., 2012), existing literature suggests that mindfulness may be a generic positive factor predictive of a wide range of adjustment measures (Keng et al., 2011;Tomlinson et al., 2018). ...
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Objectives COVID-19 constitutes an unprecedented mental health challenge to the world. At this critical time, it is important to identify factors that may boost individuals’ well-being or render individuals more resistant to the negative impact of COVID-19-related stressors. The goals of this study were to examine whether individuals’ and their partners’ worry about COVID-19 were linked to individuals’ psychological, social, and cognitive adjustment and test individuals’ and their partners’ mindfulness as possible moderators. Methods Cross-sectional, dyadic data were collected from 211 Chinese couples with kindergarten-aged children living in Hong Kong, China, during its fourth major outbreak of COVID-19 (between December 2020 and January 2021). Using paper-and-pencil questionnaires, fathers and mothers independently reported their worry about COVID-19, mindfulness, depressive symptoms, social difficulties, and cognitive problems. Results Actor-Partner-Interdependence Models revealed that, controlling for individuals’ gender and education levels, individuals’ worry about COVID-19 and mindfulness were positively and negatively associated with their own depressive symptoms, social difficulties, and cognitive problems, respectively. The worry of individuals’ partners was also positively associated with individuals’ depressive symptoms and social difficulties. These associations, however, were only significant when the partners had low but not high levels of mindfulness. Conclusions Our study highlighted the importance of studying the potential benefits of mindfulness at not only the individual but also the dyadic level.
... While some studies on mindfulness-based interventions demonstrate beneficial effects on cognitive functions (e.g. Chiesa et al., 2011;Yakobi et al., 2021) it still appears challenging to identify underlying mechanisms due to the wide range of research designs and dependent measures used, as well as the frequent absence of active control conditions. Relatedly, processes underlying the effects of short inductions of a mindful state may be unspecific to mindfulness and attainable through other means, such as relaxation (Fell et al., 2010). ...
... Vieth and von Stockhausen Journal of Cognition DOI: 10.5334/joc.205 There is a fast-growing literature on the potential effects of short inductions of a mindful state and mindfulness-based interventions on attention and executive functions (Chiesa et al., 2011;Guendelman et al., 2017;Tang et al., 2015;Yakobi et al., 2021). A common practice during these interventions is breathing meditation, during which participants are asked to guide their attention to the natural flow of their breathing and observe any internal events that may arise (such as thoughts, perceptions, or emotions) without engaging with or judging them. ...
Article
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Mindfulness is understood as a state or practice of guiding attention to the present moment without judgment. While some studies on mindfulness-based interventions demonstrate beneficial effects on cognitive functions (e.g. Chiesa et al., 2011; Yakobi et al., 2021) it still appears challenging to identify underlying mechanisms due to the wide range of research designs and dependent measures used, as well as the frequent absence of active control conditions. Relatedly, processes underlying the effects of short inductions of a mindful state may be unspecific to mindfulness and attainable through other means, such as relaxation (Fell et al., 2010). Therefore, the current study compared the effects of a brief mindfulness induction with a relaxation induction (via progressive muscle relaxation; active control condition) and listening to podcasts (passive control condition) in a pre-post experimental design. 78 participants without recent meditation experience were randomly assigned to the experimental conditions (mindfulness = 25; progressive muscle relaxation = 24; podcast listening = 30) and received corresponding instructions for a total of 40 minutes (2 × 20 minutes) a maximum of 3 days apart. Executive functions of inhibition, updating and switching as well as attentional networks were assessed with the continuous performance task, n-back task, number-letter task, and attention network task, respectively. While updating and executive attention similarly benefited from meditation and relaxation compared to podcast listening, inhibition and shifting measures indicate differential effects of mindfulness induction. Alerting and orienting were not affected by any induction. Implications for mechanisms underlying the effects of mindfulness are discussed.
... A number of studies in cognitive psychology and neuroscience have shown the effects of mindfulness and meditation training in enhancing cognitive functions assessed by a broad range of tasks implicating measures of response accuracy, response time, and associated electrophysiological and neuroimaging patterns (for reviews, see Cahn & Polich, 2006;Chiesa et al. 2011;Gallant, 2016;Lutz et al., 2008;Malinowski, 2013;Tang et al., 2015). The set of cognitive functions, found to be enhanced by mindfulness and meditation training, includes central attentional processes (Malinowski, 2013), such as attentional control, orienting, and alertness. ...
... The most prominent results for the components of inhibition and updating -core skills often observed in beginner meditators -were provided by so called mindfulness inductions, i.e. one-time meditation practices (Leyland et al., 2019). Nevertheless, a competence which might require longer meditation practice is attention switching (Chiesa et al., 2011). Other studies found that mindfulness training enhances working memory processes, which plays a key role in higher cognitive functions (Mrazek et al., 2013;Quach et al., 2016;van Vugt & Jha, 2011). ...
Chapter
In this chapter, the authors address the development of executive functions and their enhancement by mindfulness-based training, with the implicated neurocognitive mechanisms. Specifically, the development of executive functions, related brain networks, and methods for training them are concisely discussed. Additionally, in more extended sections, the authors review empirical findings on mindfulness meditation training and its effects on cognition, the mechanisms implicated in mindfulness training, mindfulness-based interventions for children and adolescents, and mindfulness training in developmental disorders.
... Indeed, empirical evidence has suggested that mindfulness can increase awareness of impulsive tendencies (e.g., Papies et al., 2012), decrease identification with emotions (Farb et al., 2007), and facilitate emotion and behavior regulation (see for reviews e.g. Chiesa et al., 2011;Roemer et al., 2015). ...
... By bringing present moment non-judgmental awareness to social exchange situations, one may notice initial emotional and behavioral tendencies without getting too caught up in them, which in turn may allow for the regulation of these tendencies and more behavioral flexibility (see for reviews e.g. Chiesa et al., 2011;Roemer et al., 2015). Interestingly, and consistent with this reasoning, study 2 showed that trait mindfulness attenuated emotional responses to offers in the Ultimatum Game: whereas there was a strong relation between fairness of offers and emotional valence among participants relatively low in trait mindfulness, this relation was less pronounced among participants high in trait mindfulness. ...
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Objectives The current study assessed whether trait mindfulness relates to social decision making as increased acceptance rates towards offers in the Ultimatum Game. Mindfulness has been associated to a reduction in emotional reactivity and an increase in emotion regulation once intense emotions do occur. Therefore, we reasoned that trait mindfulness would predict acceptance in the Ultimatum Game, perhaps even in case of unfair offers. Methods In two online studies we assessed whether trait mindfulness positively predicts acceptance of offers in the Ultimatum Game among community samples (study 1 N = 107; study 2 N = 118). In study 2, we also assessed participants’ emotional reactions to offers prior to their decision to accept or reject. Results Whereas study 1 indeed showed a significant positive relation between trait mindfulness and acceptance of offers (OR = 2.01, p = .05), study 2 did not show this relation (OR = .91, p = .81). Also, the results of study 2 showed that trait mindfulness may moderate emotional responses to offers (β = − .06, p = .03). Yet, analyses of the pooled data indicated no relation between trait mindfulness and acceptance of offers (p < .15). Conclusions Our research provides mixed support regarding the association between trait mindfulness and behavioral acceptance of offers in the Ultimatum Game. We discuss the need for more fine-grained examinations of when and why mindfulness should lead to acceptance of unfairness, and if and when mindfulness would lead to wise responding in social exchange situations.
... The last decades have been marked by a diversification and broadening of this new body of inquiry beyond the original focus of clinical interventions. A number of overviews focusing on specific topics in the field of mindfulness are available already (Baer, 2006;Chiesa et al., 2011;Keng et al., 2011). Given the diversity of the theories and approaches, researchers have started to use approaches such as bibliometry (the systematic analysis of bibliographic meta-data such as keywords and authorship) to generate overviews of the field of mindfulness (Baminiwatta & Solangaarachchi, 2021;Karl et al., 2022;Kee et al., 2019;Lee et al., 2021;Ma et al., 2021), and to identify the relationships of empirical research with Buddhist theoretical foundations (Valerio, 2016). ...
Article
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Objectives We present a bibliometric review of research on trait mindfulness published from 2003 until 2021 to determine the current state of the field and identify research trajectories. Methods A search conducted on Aug 25, 2021, using the search terms “trait mindfulness” OR “dispositional mindfulness” in the Web of Science Core Collection identified 1405 documents. Results Using keyword-based network analyses, the various clusters suggested two major approaches in the field, one focusing on cognitive attentional processes, and a second approach that encompasses a wider field of well-being and clinical research topics. We also documented increasing consolidation of research fields over time, with research on wider individual differences such as personality being subsumed into clinically and well-being-oriented research topics. More recently, a distinct theme focused on the validity of measurement of mindfulness emerged. In addition to general patterns in the field, we examined the global distribution of trait mindfulness research. Research output was substantially skewed towards North American-based researchers with less international collaborations. Chinese researchers nevertheless also produced research at significant rates. Comparing the difference in research topics between China and the US-based researchers, we found substantial differences with US research emphasizing meditation and substance abuse issues, whereas researchers from China focused on methodological questions and concerns around phone addiction. Conclusions Overall, our review indicates that research on trait mindfulness might profit from conceptual and cultural realignment, with greater focus on individual differences research as well as stronger focus on cross-cultural and comparative studies to complement the strong clinical and cognitive focus in the current literature.
... In addition to questions about whether compassion promotes competence, research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms driving compassion's effects, such mechanisms may include greater motivation or enhanced cognitive control. This research gap is especially evident when comparing studies on training in compassion with mindfulness, for which cognitive task performance has been a key research focus (Chiesa et al. 2011;Grossenbacher & Quaglia, 2017). As one notable exception, researchers examined the effects of lovingkindness meditation on Stroop Task performance, and found that lovingkindness resulted in improvements in cognitive control (Hunsinger et al. 2013). ...
Article
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Objectives Compassion science has been informed and guided by Buddhist perspectives, but has yet to fully account for certain key Buddhist ideas about compassion. Skillful means and fierce compassion represent two such ideas, both of which pertain to compassionate actions that may not always appear compassionate to recipients or observers. Methods To better account for the variety of compassionate behavior evident in the Buddhist traditions, including but not limited to skillful means and fierce compassion, this paper reviews relevant theory and findings from compassion science through the lens of the Big Two Framework. The Big Two Framework distinguishes between two core dimensions of social cognition, namely communion (i.e., warmth, morality, and expressiveness) and agency (i.e., dominance, competence, and instrumentality). Results The Big Two Framework’s fundamental distinction between communion and agency appears useful for delineating forms of compassionate behavior. Additionally, the framework is helpful for considering behavior from actor versus recipient/observer perspectives, making it well-suited to account for compassionate actions that may not appear compassionate. Conclusions Reflecting on compassion in relation to the Big Two maps a richer understanding of the social cognition underlying diverse forms of compassionate behavior and offers an empirically tractable framework and terminology for advancing research on understudied expressions of compassion.
... Mindfulness training helps in self-awareness. Mindfulness is being in the present moment in the state of full consciousness (Chiesa et al., 2011). Trainings in mindfulness can augment positive emotions (Chang et al., 2004) and reduce negative emotions (Brown & Ryan, 2003). ...
Article
Emotional resilience may be seen as the ability of an individual to cope with adversities and bounce back from failures. Emotional resilience requires a high degree of self-awareness, strong self-regulation and a host of other attributes. Factors like stress, burnout, lack of social support and negative thinking are enemies of emotional resilience. Most of the existing models of emotional resilience deal with children, adolescents, the armed forces or patients. They do not take into account factors affecting emotional resilience of an adult in general. This article aims to study the concept of emotional resilience in adults, analyse key factors affecting the same and propose a new theoretical model of emotional resilience for adults. In addition, based on the literature and experiential knowledge of the authors, this article seeks to develop 12 propositions based on the antecedents of emotional resilience in adults.
... Although there is no research on the relationship of these three variables, each as a whole construct, there are some correlational studies on their constituent. This finding supports Chiesa et al. (2011) who argue that mindfulness practices can promote teachers' regulation strategies and psychological potentials, whereby teachers' substantiality increases. According to previous studies, the mindfulness of teachers broadens their social relationships, which we can consider as social engagement, self-care, reflectivity (Li, 2021). ...
Article
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Considering the significant contribution of teachers’ professional triumph in the prosperity of students, the current study aims to investigate the existence of any relationship among three factors influencing teachers’ success: immunity, mindfulness, and engagement. Furthermore, we attempt to investigate whether English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ immunity and mindfulness can predict their work engagement. To this end, a Likert-scale questionnaire including items on teacher immunity, mindfulness, and work engagement was distributed to 582 EFL teachers in China through the WeChat application by employing a convenient sampling. To analyze the collected data, the Spearman Rho correlation index and linear multiple regression analysis are employed. The findings are that there does exist an indication of a direct relationship among EFL teachers’ immunity, mindfulness, and work engagement. Also, it is found that immunity and mindfulness can predict EFL teachers’ work engagement. The current study’s findings support the necessity of training language teachers to cope with the EFL context adversities.
... Western conceptualizations of mindfulness contain ideas and practices that are adapted from Buddhist traditions. Over the past two decades, mindfulness-based programs have been widely used in a variety of settings to address a range of outcomes (Carrière et al. 2018;Chiesa et al. 2011;Khoury et al. 2013Khoury et al. , 2015. In recent years, mindful eating or eating-specific mindfulness has gained popularity as a potential intervention for addressing maladaptive eating behaviors that are associated with obesity (Kristeller 2015;Miller et al. 2014;Rott et al. 2008). ...
Article
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Objectives There remains a significant variability in the methods and techniques used to promote mindful eating for individuals with overweight and obesity. This variability in treatment programs may result in incongruent findings as well as present challenges in identifying active processes of behavior change. The purpose of the scoping review was to identify and to describe the various methods and techniques used to cultivate mindful eating behaviors in individuals with overweight and obesity. This discernment process is a crucial first step in better understanding why certain mindful eating programs are more effective than others. Methods Studies published prior to July 26, 2021, were retrieved from PsycINFO, MEDLINE, ProQuest, and Scopus. After screening and full-text review, 19 studies were included. Results The review highlighted several inconsistencies and instructional biases that may explain some of the observed heterogeneity in treatment effects. Specifically, our results showed a discrepancy between formal and informal practices. Although formal approaches encouraged a balance between the attention and attitude elements of mindfulness, informal approaches did not. Conclusions Future mindful eating programs should aim to develop and evaluate informal approaches that integrate both the attention and attitude components of mindfulness. Greater use of standardized language, unambiguous descriptions of core therapeutic components, and the use of validated measures of mindfulness will furthermore improve empirical investigations.
... Indeed, a major reason for the increasing popularity of mindfulness is growing evidence for its non-pharmacological therapeutic impact on both mental and physical health both in clinical and non-clinical contexts. In this sense, mindfulness practices have been linked to improvements in cognitive processes (Chiesa et al., 2011;Gallant, 2016;Malinowski, 2013), stress-management (Chiesa and Serretti, 2009), social cognition (Campos et al., 2019;Tan et al., 2014), and general well-being (Campanella et al., 2014;Howell et al., 2008;Smith et al., 2015) in healthy populations. Clinically, mindfulness has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms of a variety of conditions, including anxiety (Hofmann et al., 2010), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Boyd et al., 2018), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; Poissant et al., 2019), eating disorder (Wanden-Berghe et al., 2011), substance use disorder (Priddy et al., 2018), and major depressive disorder (MDD; Hofmann et al., 2010;Piet and Hougaard, 2011). ...
Article
This review synthesizes relations between mindfulness and resting-state fMRI functional connectivity of brain networks. Mindfulness is characterized by present-moment awareness and experiential acceptance, and relies on attention control, self-awareness, and emotion regulation. We integrate studies of functional connectivity and (1) trait mindfulness and (2) mindfulness meditation interventions. Mindfulness is related to functional connectivity in the default mode (DMN), frontoparietal (FPN), and salience (SN) networks. Specifically, mindfulness-mediated functional connectivity changes include (1) increased connectivity between posterior cingulate cortex (DMN) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (FPN), which may relate to attention control; (2) decreased connectivity between cuneus and SN, which may relate to self-awareness; (3) increased connectivity between rostral anterior cingulate cortex region and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMN) and decreased connectivity between rostral anterior cingulate cortex region and amygdala region, both of which may relate to emotion regulation; and lastly, (4) increased connectivity between dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (SN) and anterior insula (SN) which may relate to pain relief. While further study of mindfulness is needed, neural signatures of mindfulness are emerging.
... In other words, the proposed model that guided the study was partially supported. The specific finding regarding the role of mindfulness is congruent with the results of a previous study that demonstrated that mindfulness plays a significant role in symptom monitoring among compromised persons (such as in older people) since mindfulness strengthens and increases attention in general.38 The self-care symptom perception includes several skills like body listening, monitoring of signs, symptoms recognition, interpretation and labeling.19 ...
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Background: According to the literature, self-care in persons with heart failure is inadequate. Such inadequate levels of self-care necessitate a thorough investigation of the potential predictors. Purpose: To: (a) determine the level of self-care among persons with heart failure in Jordan; (b) determine the relationship between mindfulness, impulsivity, and self-care among persons with heart failure; (c) investigate the potential moderation effect of impulsivity on the relationship between mindfulness and self-care. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A convenience sample of 100 persons with heart failure in an outpatient clinic at King Abdullah University Hospital was recruited. The following tools were used to collect the data via phone survey: Self-Care of Heart Failure Index, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Results: The sample consisted of 78 male and 22 female persons with heart failure. The effect of mindfulness was statistically significant only on self-care symptom perception, and not significant on other aspects of self-care. Impulsivity moderated only the effect of mindfulness on self-care symptom perception. Correlation analysis showed a significant relationship between mindfulness and impulsivity (r = -.532, p < .01). Conclusion: Mindfulness is likely to improve at least one aspect of self-care (self-care symptom perception) and reduce impulsivity among heart failure persons.
... However, beyond clinical applications, mindfulness practice is beneficial for the "healthy" population by reducing stress and improving emotional regulation and cognitive performance [54][55][56]. Mindfulness interventions have also been shown to result in sustained maintenance of better mental health three years after an intervention [57]. ...
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Research on traditional mindfulness-based interventions supports the position that they are effective in treating psychological problems and benefiting healthy people. However, more research is needed on the effectiveness of online interventions, a field that is growing and developing rapidly, especially with the onset of the pandemic, as many meditation groups have moved into cyberspace. There is little research on the difficulties that these groups face and the effectiveness of online mindfulness practice. In this work, we analyze the effects of the transition from training with physical presence to virtual training in mindfulness during the lockdown and subsequent period of social distancing due to SARS-CoV-2. Specifically, we analyze the changes in the means and the methodology and the effects of the transition to virtual presence; finally, we evaluate the results obtained through both training models. The investigation was carried out in a center where face-to-face training has been provided for twelve years and that, with the onset of the pandemic, moved its practice groups to cyberspace. The methodology is anthropological and is supported by quantitative and qualitative techniques. The results show that online training breaks the traditional chrono-topo complex and opens up new access possibilities, but limits bodily practices, decreases the intensity of the experience, and slows down the pace of learning. However, the effectiveness is maintained by showing equivalent result rates at the end of the training.
... The current research suggests that enhancing mindfulness abilities is one prosperous method to support educators' wellbeing (Kirby et al., 2017), and possibly enhance their degree of motivation regarding the fact that mindfulness is taken into account as a flexible element. The outcomes are following Chiesa et al. (2011) who explored the mindfulness and mental wellbeing of educators, and they demonstrated that mindfulness coaching elevated mental abilities and control techniques which result in elevated maintainability. ...
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Teaching is a career with great instances of anxiety and exhaustion in all stages of education with particular difficulties associated with the attribute of language instruction. The notion of motivation might be a significant fundamental mechanism since demotivated educators are distressed due to the anxious feature of the instructing career. Moreover, educators’ wellbeing has been demonstrated to have a pivotal function in the path of instruction and learners’ success. On the other hand, to mitigate both motivation and wellbeing among teachers, one of the mental traits in this filed, namely, mindfulness can be effective as it is a technique that link to positive effects when used as an administrative strategy for alleviating stress and concern that bring about motivation and wellbeing. As a result, the purpose of the study is to investigate the predictor role of mindfulness on teachers’ motivation and wellbeing. In this study, 577 teachers (235 males and 342 females) Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers at different colleges, universities, and institutes in 13 provinces among which Jiangsu and Zhejiang province accounted for 26.69%, while other provinces made up 65.86% and 2 municipalities directly under the central government (Beijing and Chongqing; 7.45%). were kindly accepted to participate in the present study, and they answered the three questionnaires, namely, motivation, mindfulness, and wellbeing. The results of the study through a linear regression analysis indicated that teachers’ mindfulness could significantly predict both teachers’ wellbeing and motivation. According to the results, some pedagogical suggestions for the policymakers, educator trainers, materials developers, and language educators are offered. Ultimately, guidance for further studies is proposed to L2 scholars who are interested.
... However, given that several studies have failed to show a significant change in attentional reorientation due to MBI, the effect of MBI on attentional switching may also be small. A systematic review of the MBI effect on cognitive abilities found that several studies failed to show a significant change in attentional re-orientation due to MBI (Chiesa et al., 2011; see also Ainsworth et al., 2013;Jha et al., 2007). Mindfulness meditation may affect disengagement from MW primarily by enhancing nonreactivity to the content of MW, rather than by altering attentional control. ...
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Objective: Mindfulness meditation might improve the ability of disengagement from mind-wandering (MW), that is, the ability to shift attention from MW. Disengagement from MW could mediate the relationship between mindfulness and reduced depression. However, no studies have confirmed this relationship because of limitations in measurement methodology. Since the mindfulness-based intervention, which instructs participants to be aware of the occurrence of, and their own engagement in, MW, might bias self-reports of MW, a measurement method that does not rely on participants’ verbal report is needed. Therefore, we propose a novel method to evaluate the ability of disengagement from MW, based on MW intensity estimation by machine-learning using electroencephalography. Method: Mind-wandering (MW) intensity was estimated using 1-s electroencephalogram samples and a machine-learning model developed in previous research. Thus, fluctuations in MW were observed during a 14-min meditation and the time required to shift attention from MW was defined as an index of MW disengagement. Two experiments were performed: The first targeted experienced meditators and the second assessed nonmeditators before and after participating in a mindfulness-based intervention. Results: The experiments revealed that disengagement from MW correlated with the extent of meditation experience. A correlation was also found between the magnitude of change in disengagement and severity of depression following the intervention. Conclusions: Though further verification of validity is required, this study suggested the possibility that disengagement from MW has a mediating function on reducing depression by mindfulness-based intervention, and that improved disengagement from MW is more essential for mindfulness than trait MW.
... The survey contains items such as "I rush through activities without being really attentive to them" and "I find myself listening to someone with one ear, doing something else at the same time." Mindfulness is positively related to self-control (Chiesa et al., 2011). More specifically, increased mindfulness is related to improved emotional regulation (MacDonald, 2021;MacDonald & Baxter, 2017), increased delay of gratification (Lawler et al., 2019;MacDonald, 2021), and decreased impulsivity (Fetterman et al., 2010). ...
Article
The study of self-control occurs in many different types of experimental settings using a wide range of methodologies. In addition, measures of self-control vary in their procedures and operational definitions from simple questionnaires to complex scenarios where individuals must choose to act or not. The present summary draws on trends within the literature using widely accepted measures of self-control. The measures are organized based on established paradigms in the literature and focus on three categories: executive functioning tasks, delay of gratification tasks, and subjective-report surveys. We also include an “additional measures” category to capture measures that do not readily fit in these three categories. Finally, we discuss recent approaches to the scientific exploration of self-control and integrate the categories of measures used here within these approaches. This integration incorporates a wide range of research paradigms and provides direction for future studies.
... A systematic review of meditation by (Chiesa et al., 2011) supports our scepticism about meditation practice. The reviewed studies suggested that early phases of mindfulness training, which are more concerned with the development of focused attention, could be associated with significant improvements of selective and executive attention, whereas the following phases, which are characterized by open monitoring of internal and external stimuli, could be mainly associated with improved unfocused sustained attention abilities. ...
Conference Paper
Many IT giants like Google, Apple, Yandex, etc., find mindfulness helpful and offer their employees the opportunity to spend time on practising mindfulness. Nevertheless, claims of performance improvement with meditation have met certain criticism. In this study, we analyse whether meditation causes short-term positive effects on software engineers performance. Our research proposes a novel metric to measure their performance during programming. Our results suggests that meditation does not lead to positive effects on their programming performance. We also measure the possible negative effects of meditation on software engineers’ performance.
... The use of self-report psychometric scales is the most widely used approach to measure mindfulness due to its fast application, known methodology, and the presence of empirical support. (Bohlmeijer et al., 2010;Chiesa et al., 2011). On the other hand, there are also criticisms of this methodology that can limit the findings, such as the lack of a common definition of mindfulness and the presence of an introspective self-perception, typical of self-report measures, which can generate bias, due to a superficial understanding of mindfulness (Grossman, 2008). ...
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The Spanish version of the 5-item Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS-5) is a brief measure of the general tendency to be attentive and aware of experiences in the present moment during daily life. The MAAS-5 has been used in different countries; however, an assessment of its cross-cultural measurement invariance (MI) has not been conducted. Therefore, the study aimed to evaluate the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the MAAS-5 in university students from two countries: Peru and Mexico. A total of 1144 university students from Peru ( N = 822) and Mexico ( N = 322) responded online to the Spanish version of the 5-item Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS-5). A multigroup confirmatory factor analysis was performed. Measurement invariance tests the hypothesis that the model behind a set of scores is comparable between groups. The results showed that the unidimensional structure of the MAAS-5 is the same between Peruvian and Mexican university students. Therefore, it is suggested that university students from both countries conceptualize the mindfulness in a similar way. As a result, the MAAS-5 can be used to compare differences between countries. No significant differences were observed in the MAAS-5 score between Peruvian and Mexican university students. The present study contributes to a better understanding of the psychometric properties of the MAAS-5 by presenting MI results in two Latin American countries. Implications of the findings are discussed, which will facilitate a more solid and reliable use of the MAAS-5 in future cross-cultural studies.
... For instance, Noone et al. (2015) found that the observing aspect of mindfulness, or awareness of the present moment, correlated positively to CT scores, but the non-reactivity aspect, or monitoring one's experiences without reacting to them, correlated negatively with CT score. In a systematic review of 23 studies of mindfulness, Chiesa, Calati, and Serretti (2011) also reported mixed results pertaining to the relationship between mindfulness training and various cognitive abilities associated with CT. The current study confirmed some of the previous results indicating open monitoring meditation is not associated with increased critical thinking skills. ...
Article
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Critical thinking is an essential skill and many authors have decried the lack of critical thinking development among students and adults. Many strategies have been implemented to ameliorate the problem, but no consensus has been reached on the most effective methods. Because meditation enhances the ability to focus inward on ones' experiences and thoughts, and a key component of critical thinking is the ability to identify and evaluate one's own thinking, this study proceeded from the hypotheses that the longevity, frequency, and type of meditation may be correlated with the ability to think critically. The California Critical Thinking Skills Test-Numeracy (CCTST-N) and a survey with questions about demographics and type, longevity, and frequency of meditation were administered to 49 college students and faculty at several post-secondary institutions in the US. A significant positive correlation was found between frequency of meditation, for those who practice focused attention types of meditation, and critical thinking skills. The results may be used as the basis for further research, and as partial justification for encouraging meditation practices for those who wish to improve their critical thinking.
... However, the positive effects of breathing exercises on cognitive functional improvement have been reported in studies although not on patients with stroke. Multiple studies on healthy adults have reported a positive effect of breathing exercises on cognitive functional improvement [33][34][35]. Considering the synchronization of natural breathing and neuronal activity, breathing activates the cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala that are related to memory performance [36]. Abnormal breathing, such as mouth breathing in children, has been reported to reduce academic achievement and memory [37]. ...
Article
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Patients with stroke may experience a certain degree of cognitive decline during the period of recovery, and a considerable number of such patients have been reported to show permanent cognitive damage. Therefore, the period of recovery and rehabilitation following stroke is critical for rapid cognitive functional improvements. As dysfunctional breathing has been reported as one of the factors affecting the quality of life post stroke, a number of studies have focused on the need for improving the breathing function in these patients. Numerous breathing exercises have been reported to enhance the respiratory, pulmonary, cognitive, and psychological functions. However, scientific evidence on the underlying mechanisms by which these exercises improve cognitive function is scattered at best. Therefore, it has been difficult to establish a protocol of breathing exercises for patients with stroke. In this review, we summarize the psychological, vascular, sleep-related, and biochemical factors influencing cognition in patients and highlight the need for breathing exercises based on existing studies. Breathing exercises are expected to contribute to improvements in cognitive function in stroke based on a diverse array of supporting evidence. With relevant follow-up studies, a protocol of breathing exercises can be developed for improving the cognitive function in patients with stroke.
... MBSR is efficacious for ameliorating symptoms of multiple psychopathologies (5) and for reducing stress (6). Studies have begun elucidating cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying mindfulness training-related changes in affect (7,8), cognition (9,10), and pain (11,12), among other processes. Studies have also examined whether mindfulness meditation practice leads to changes in brain structure, as described in a meta-analysis (13), in light of numerous studies demonstrating changes in brain structure following behavioral training in other domains (14)(15)(16). ...
Article
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Studies purporting to show changes in brain structure following the popular, 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course are widely referenced despite major methodological limitations. Here, we present findings from a large, combined dataset of two, three-arm randomized controlled trials with active and waitlist (WL) control groups. Meditation-naïve participants (n = 218) completed structural magnetic resonance imaging scans during two visits: baseline and postintervention period. After baseline, participants were randomly assigned to WL (n = 70), an 8-week MBSR program (n = 75), or a validated, matched active control (n = 73). We assessed changes in gray matter volume, gray matter density, and cortical thickness. In the largest and most rigorously controlled study to date, we failed to replicate prior findings and found no evidence that MBSR produced neuroplastic changes compared to either control group, either at the whole-brain level or in regions of interest drawn from prior MBSR studies.
... There has also been research aiming to enhance EF performance through training. Multiple studies assessing the effectiveness of such training programs demonstrate significant positive effects of intervention -albeit the reported transfer effects are predominantly narrow (Chiesa et al., 2011;Diamond, 2012;Diamond & Lee, 2011;Espinet et al., 2013;Holmes et al., 2009;Thorell et al., 2009). These latter findings support the notion that EF development is malleable and can be modified by context factors. ...
Thesis
The current dissertation discusses the opportunities and challenges of cross-cultural research on children’s executive functions (EF). A systematic review was conducted to gain a nuanced understanding of similarities and distinctions across countries in children’s EF development. Previous studies indicate that young children from East Asia outperform counterparts from Europe and North America on EF tasks. This dissertation focuses specifically on EF performance of children from Hong Kong and Germany across early and middle childhood and examines if the previously reported East Asian advantage is also manifest in comparisons between children from these two contexts. Measurement invariance of direct assessment EF tasks across preschoolers from Hong Kong and Germany was tested. The findings suggest that EF measurement at preschool age is likely equivalent across the two contexts. Further, EF performance levels of primary school children from Hong Kong and Germany were contrasted. Contrary to the hypothesis and previous research, the results show no significant differences in EF performance between the children from the two contexts, suggesting that features specific to Hong Kong and Germany underlie this finding. In sum, the results provide evidence supporting the relevance of taking the cultural context into account when assessing EF across early and middle childhood.
... Most research in this cluster (70 articles) examined how the practice of mindfulness can evoke changes in brain structure and brain functioning (Tang et al., 2007(Tang et al., , 2015Chiesa et al., 2011;Hoelzel et al., 2011;Vago and Silbersweig, 2012). Moore and Malinowski (2009) found that experience in mindfulness meditation correlates positively with improvements in attentional functions and cognitive flexibility. ...
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This paper provides an overview of the mindfulness literature up until the end of 2020 by (a) uncovering its underlying intellectual structure, (b) identifying the most influential and popular themes, and (c) presenting new directions for future research on mindfulness. To this end, a systematic quantitative review based on bibliometric methods was conducted, which is perhaps less prone to researcher bias and can complement existing meta-analyses and qualitative (narrative) structured reviews as an objective approach. Three bibliometric techniques—document co-citation analysis, co-word (co-occurrence and content) analysis, and bibliographic coupling—were applied to explore the past, present, and future of mindfulness research. The co-citation analysis showed that measurement, mechanisms, mindfulness-based interventions, and examinations of the efficacy of mindfulness interventions are among the key theoretical knowledge bases from which the field of mindfulness is derived. The content analysis demonstrated the beneficial effects of mindfulness meditation for physical and mental health conditions. The bibliographic coupling revealed novel directions in cognitive behavioral therapy, emotion regulation, the application of mindfulness practice to children and adolescents, mindfulness at work, and the role of mindfulness in positive psychology. The large sample of articles that was analyzed allowed us to provide a broader and more objective overview than possible with other forms of literature reviews. The combination of the three bibliometric techniques granted deeper insights into the complex multidisciplinary field of mindfulness, along with specific suggestions for future research.
... Keywords: tDCS, taVNS, working memory, spatial n-back, simultaneous joint stimulation INTRODUCTION Working memory (WM) is central to a number of higher order cognitive functions, the importance of which has been underlined by the field of cognitive psychology (Chiesa et al., 2011). On the one hand, the restricted amount of information that can be stored in WM is one of the central limitations of human cognition (Cowan, 2001), the differences of which among individuals are associated with variation in several important abilities, such as academic performance (Gathercole et al., 2003). ...
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A previous study found that combining transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) could evoke significantly larger activation on a range of cortical and subcortical brain regions than the numerical summation of tDCS and taVNS effects. In this study, two within-subject experiments were employed to investigate its effects on working memory (WM). In experiment 1, the WM modulatory effects of tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), taVNS, and simultaneous joint simulation of tDCS over the left DLPFC and taVNS (SJS-L) were compared among 60 healthy subjects. They received these three interventions between the baseline test and post-test in a random manner three times. In spatial 3-back task, there was a significant interaction between time and stimulations in the accuracy rate of matching trials (mACC, p=0.018). MACCs were significantly improved by SJS (p = 0.001) and taVNS (p = 0.045), but not by tDCS (p = 0.495). Moreover, 41 subjects in the SJS group showed improvement, which was significantly larger than that in the taVNS group (29 subjects) and tDCS group (26 subjects). To further investigate the generalization effects of SJS, 72 students were recruited in experiment 2. They received tDCS over the right DLPFC, taVNS, simultaneous joint simulation of tDCS over the right DLPFC and taVNS (SJS-R), and sham stimulation in a random manner four times. No significant results were found, but there was a tendency similar to experiment 1 in the spatial 3-back task. In conclusion, combining tDCS and taVNS might be a potential non-invasive neuromodulation technique which is worthy of study in future.
... Nevertheless, the aforementioned interdependence of emotions and cognitive processes (Tyng et al., 2017) may suggest that mentally distressed students could also be exposed to attentional deficits. Current literature is supportive of positive short and long-term effects of MM practice on cognitive functions (for reviews see Chiesa et al., 2011;Gallant, 2016;Cásedas et al., 2019). Knowing that the two main components of mindfulness are orientation to experience and self-regulation of attention (Bishop et al., 2004;Lutz et al., 2008), attentional abilities are considered to play a central role in MM (Bishop et al., 2004;Malinowski, 2013). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to worldwide restrictive measures, raising concerns about mental health in young adults who were not particularly vulnerable to the virus itself. This study investigated the impact of these restrictions on mental and cognitive health of university students, and tested the efficacy of a brief online mindfulness meditation intervention in countering psychological distress and improving attentional abilities. Ninety-six university students forced into remote learning due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and with no experience in meditation were randomly assigned to either a passive control group (n = 48) or to an experimental group (n = 48) following daily, for 17 days, an online mindfulness intervention (10–20 min per day). Due to drop-out, 38 participants in each group were finally analyzed. Pre- and post-tests assessed participants’ mental health (psychological well-being, depression, anxiety, stress) and attentional abilities. The analysis of baseline data in comparison with normative scores and pre-pandemic statistics confirmed the expected psychological distress, but it did not reveal any attentional deficits in our participants. Pre-post change scores analyses showed a reduction in stress (p = 0.006, ηp2 = 0.10), anxiety (p = 0.002, ηp2 = 0.13), and depression (p = 0.025, ηp2 = 0.07), and an improvement in well-being (p = 0.013, ηp2 = 0.12) in the experimental group, but not in the control group. In both groups, no significant effect was found on attentional abilities. Our results confirmed the psychological vulnerability of higher education students in the midst of the remote learning period during the second COVID-19 lockdown in France, while suggesting preservation of attentional functioning. Although the tested mindfulness intervention did not enhance the attentional abilities in already good performing students, it did promote their mental health. This study offers additional evidence on the feasibility and efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in students during psychologically straining periods, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
... They were more resistant to inhibition (Ritter & Alvarez, 2020). Furthermore, a systematic analysis suggests that mindfulness training supports the improvement of focus, selective attention, working memory, and executive abilities (Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011). ...
Thesis
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Previous studies demonstrated that executive functions, facial emotion recognition, mindfulness, and adult attachment problems were found in patients with borderline personality disorders (BPD). However, there was a big gap to explain the effects of the culture, eye – contact, adult attachment styles, working memory deficits (WMD), and mindfulness on BPD. In the current study, there were two main objectives. The first was to explore to what extent culture, adult attachment styles, WMD, eye – contact, and mindfulness predict BPD. The second was to ascertain the effects of adult attachment styles on WMD, BPD, additional GARS, and mindfulness. In the study, there were 113 Turkish and 139 Russian participants. Participants fulfilled the adult executive functioning inventory (ADEXI – WMD), mindfulness, experience in close relationship questionnaire (ECR – R), the personality beliefs questionnaire PBQ – BPD, and the additional GARS scale. A psychological diagnosis, gender, employment status, marital status, and education level were nominal variables. A Pearson's correlation test, Independent T-Test, one–way ANOVA, multiple linear regression analysis, and serial mediation analysis were computed. Results showed that both cultures had a high score on WMD. Turkish participants had a higher level of avoidant attachment style, BPD, and eye–contact problems than Russian participants. The culture, adult attachment styles, and WMD explained 49 percent of the total variance of BPD. The culture, adult attachment styles, and additional GARS predicted 45 percent of the total variance of BPD. In the Russian sample, mindfulness was adjusted by BPD, WMD, avoidant, and anxious attachment styles, whereas, in the Turkish sample mindfulness was predicted by additional GARS and anxious attachment style. In both cultures, adult attachment styles mediated the relationship between WMD and BPD. The study concluded that culture has a significant impact on eye – contact, avoidant attachment style, and BPD. Mindfulness has a different role in both cultures, and the relationship between WMD and BPD can be controlled by adult attachment styles. Moreover, it was found that WMD is evident in both countries. Therefore, these results should be considered in the therapeutic setting.
... Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves sustaining attentional focus on a chosen object (e.g., part of your body, sounds, specific thoughts or your breathing) and returning it to this anchor every time your mind starts to wander [76]. Research has found that mindfulness meditation is effective at enhancing executive control ( [77][78][79]; for a review see Casedas, Pirrucio, Vadillo, [80]) with inhibitory control being the most consistent executive function that is improved by mindfulness mediation training [78]. With improved inhibitory control, depressed individuals may more effective at ignoring inappropriate and negative interfering thoughts from memory when trying to generate effective solutions to social-problems Future research should examine the impact of mindfulness on inhibitory control and its subsequent impact on social problemsolving. ...
Article
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This research investigates whether thinking about the consequences of a problem being resolved can improve social problem-solving in clinical depression. We also explore whether impaired social problem solving is related to inhibitory control. Thirty-six depressed and 43 non-depressed participants were presented with six social problems and were asked to generate consequences for the problems being resolved or remaining unresolved. Participants were then asked to solve the problems and recall all the consequences initially generated. Participants also completed the Emotional Stroop and Flanker tasks. We found that whilst depressed participants were impaired at social problem-solving after generating unresolved consequences, they were successful at generating solutions for problems for which they previously generated resolved consequences. Depressed participants were also impaired on the Stroop task, providing support for an impaired inhibitory control account of social problem-solving. These findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning social problem-solving in depression and may contribute to the development of new therapeutic interventions to improve social-problem solving in depression.
... Jak už bylo řečeno, mindfulness pozitivně ovlivňuje velkou řadu kognitivních funkcí včetně paměti. Mindfulness zlepšuje kognitivní schopnosti, jako jsou pracovní paměť a exekutivní funkce (Chiesa, Calati & Serretti, 2011). Výzkum z roku 2010 se zaměřoval na depresivní pacienty a zjistil, že mindfulness pozitivně ovlivnil specificitu a detailnost jejich vzpomínek (Hargus, Crane, Barnhofer, & Williams, 2010). ...
Thesis
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A study from 2015 suggests that brief mindfulness meditation increases the amount of created false memories (Wilson, Mickes, Stolarz-Fantino, Evrard, & Fantino, 2015). The purpose of this paper was to replicate the original study and extend the results by observing the level of following instructions during the meditation. I used a 15minute mindfulness meditation to induce a mindfulness state, and I used the DRM free recall test to measure the amount of false memories. Data from 132 participants was analyzed. Results suggest that neither brief mindfulness meditation nor following of instructions has an effect on the amount of created critical lures. Results also suggest that mindfulness meditation has no effect on the amount of correctly recalled words in DRM paradigm. This study suggests that brief mindfulness meditation has no effect on the creation of false memories during free recall.
... The majority of studies included demonstrated beneficial effects of single-session mindfulness on state mindfulness, implying that it is possible to selectively increase moment-to-moment 'felt' mindfulness after a mindfulness induction lasting as little as four minutes. These results extend previous reviews which have examined the effects of mindfulness on health outcomes (Howarth et al., 2019), cognition (Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011), and affect (Schumer, Lindsay, & David Creswell, 2018), which so far established useful applications of mindfulness across a range domains and time-frames, but did not yet explore how state mindfulness in particular is affected by brief inductions. ...
Thesis
Background: Mindfulness protocols, though beneficial for a range of indications, often involve long-term commitment and may not be accessible for those naturally low in trait mindfulness (e.g. attention-/ anxiety-related disorders). It remains unclear which ‘dose’ of mindfulness is necessary to produce beneficial effects, and broadly, how drugs such as nootropics and psychedelics may interact with mindfulness meditation. / Aims: The aims of this thesis are (1) to explore what dose of mindfulness is necessary to enhance state mindfulness (among other outcomes) and whether a drug can modulate, or add to the effects of a mindfulness strategy, (2) to explore how psychedelics may affect a meditation experience, and (3) to examine what role changes in mindfulness play in regards to beneficial psychological health outcomes shown after ceremonial psychedelic use. / Methods: A mixture of methodologies were applied to answer the above questions. Specifically, single-session mindfulness literature was systematically reviewed, and a double-placebo controlled study was designed and conducted to explore the potential for pharmacological enhancement of a single mindfulness strategy. A thematic analysis was conducted to explore user accounts of combined psychedelic and meditation experiences. Finally, linear multilevel models and longitudinal mediation models were used to explore the associations between changes in mindfulness capacity and psychological health over the course of a naturalistic ayahuasca study. / Results: Single-session mindfulness studies are capable of producing a variety of beneficial effects, and adjunctive modafinil appears to enhance some effects of behavioural strategies as well as participant engagement in subsequent practice. Psychedelics may also prove to be useful counterparts to meditations, and conversely, while psychedelics appear to enhance mindfulness, meditation practice can assist also in the navigation of, and potentially enhance effects of the psychedelic process.
... It has also been found that such difficulties can impair interpersonal problem solving (Williams, 2006) and the ability to imagine the future (e.g., Dickson & Bates, 2006), and that they are also linked to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . Chiesa et al. (2011) reviewed the studies investigating the effects of mindfulness training on AM specificity: they concluded that OGM could be reduced with MBCT. In this section, the review was extended, adding studies published until December 28, 2019, and by including those investigating both the effects of elements of MBCT and those addressing dispositional mindfulness. ...
Article
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Objectives Autobiographical memory (AM) is linked to the construct of self, which is influenced by mindfulness training. Furthermore, both self-reference and AM can be affected by psychopathological conditions, such as depression. This article offers a critical review with a systematic search of the studies using different paradigms to investigate the effects of mindfulness training on AM, as well as the relationships between trait mindfulness and AM. Methods The review includes studies with behavioral, self-report, and neuroimaging methods by considering both non-clinical and clinical investigations in an integrative perspective. Fifty articles were reviewed. The review addressed the following main fields: mindfulness and autobiographical memory specificity; mindfulness and emotional autobiographical recall; and self-inquiry into negative autobiographical narratives and mindfulness. An additional section analyzed 18 studies that addressed the effects of mindfulness training on memory flashbacks. Results In line with the hypotheses, grounded on theories of AM, self, conscious processing, memory reconsolidation, and Buddhist psychology, the review results suggest that the influences of mindfulness training and trait mindfulness on AM can be related to enhanced cognitive, emotional, and self-referential flexibility. This influence is also associated with improved meta-awareness, acceptance, and the flexibility to shift from a first- to a third-person self-perspective in AM recall. In particular, the review highlights increased self-referential flexibility related to mindfulness, which during AM recall would enable a more balanced retrieval of episodic, semantic, and emotional contents, as well as increased AM specificity and reduced emotional reactivity. A mindfulness-related reconsolidation of the links between AM traces and the self might play a crucial role. The mindfulness-related changes of the experiences during AM recall may be translated into long-term reconsolidation-related changes in the AM traces, with a potential interactive effect on the self, thus becoming more flexible. The review also highlights brain mechanisms underlying these influences, given by changes in activity and functional connectivity of core regions in the default mode network (medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex), salience network (anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula), and central executive network (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Finally, we suggest new research developments from the review and the related theoretical perspective. Conclusion The review results, together with the proposed theoretical accounts, bridge a set of investigations on several autobiographical memory phenomena and mindfulness, and might usefully lead to further studies, also with relevant clinical and cognitive neuroscience implications.
Article
Background: Breast cancer (BC) survivors frequently report changes in cognition after chemotherapy. Mindfulness may benefit survivors by mitigating cancer-related cognitive impairment. As part of a larger study investigating the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for BC survivors living with neuropathic pain, the authors assessed whether MBSR would have an effect on cognitive outcomes. Methods: Participants were randomized to an MBSR intervention group (n = 30) or a waitlist control group (n = 30). Cognitive assessments were administered at 3 time points: at baseline, 2 weeks, and 3 months post-MBSR in the intervention group and at equivalent time intervals for the control group. Multilevel models were used to assess whether MBSR significantly improved task performance at each time point. Results: MBSR participants showed a significantly greater reduction in prospective and retrospective memory failures at 2 weeks postintervention. No effects of MBSR were noted for objective assessments. Conclusions: These results suggest that MBSR training reduces subjective (but not objective) memory-related impairments in BC survivors who receive treatment with chemotherapy. This study provides insight into a noninvasive intervention to ameliorate memory difficulties in BC survivors.
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Objectives Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in adults with anxiety disorders, and changes in threat-related attentional bias may be a key mechanism driving the intervention’s effects on anxiety symptoms. Event-related potentials (ERPs) can illuminate the physiological mechanism through which MBCT targets threat bias and reduces symptoms of anxiety. This preliminary study examined whether P1 ERP threat–related attentional bias markers in anxious adults change from pre- to post-MBCT delivered in-person or virtually (via Zoom) and investigated the relationship between P1 threat–related attentional bias markers and treatment response. Methods Pre- and post-MBCT, participants with moderate to high levels of anxiety (N = 50) completed a dot-probe task with simultaneous EEG recording. Analyses focused on pre- and post-MBCT P1 amplitudes elicited by angry-neutral and happy-neutral face pair cues, probes, and reaction times in the dot-probe task and anxiety and depression symptoms. Results Pre- to post-MBCT, there was a significant reduction in P1-Probe amplitudes (d = .23), anxiety (d = .41) and depression (d = .80) symptoms, and reaction times (d = .10). Larger P1-Angry Cue amplitudes, indexing hypervigilance to angry faces, were associated with higher levels of anxiety both pre- and post-MBCT (d = .20). Post-MBCT, anxiety symptoms were lower in the in-person versus virtual group (d = .80). Conclusions MBCT may increase processing efficiency and decreases anxiety and depression symptoms in anxious adults. However, changes in threat bias specifically were generally not supported. Replication with a comparison group is needed to clarify whether changes were MBCT-specific. Clinical Trials Registration NCT03571386, June 18, 2018.
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Recent research has begun to identify the neural mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of mindfulness meditation training (MMT) on health and cognition. However, little is known about the effects of MMT on the global interplay of large-scale networks (LSNs) in the brain. In the present study, healthy, meditation-naïve adults (N = 46) underwent resting state fMRI prior to and upon completing 31 days of MMT or an active control intervention. Independent component analysis, sliding time window, and seed-based correlation analyses were performed to assess training-related changes in functional connectivity (FC) within and between networks with relevance to mindfulness meditation. Across sliding time window analyses and seed-based correlation analyses, we found increased FC between nodes of the default mode network (DMN) and nodes of the salience network (SN) in participants of the MMT. Seed-based correlation analyses revealed further connectivity increases between the SN and key regions of the central executive network (CEN). These results indicate, that, among multiple LSNs, one month of mindfulness meditation effectively increases interconnectivity between networks of the triple network model (DMN, SN, CEN), hereby introducing a potential mechanistic concept underlying the beneficial impact of MMT. Clinical trial registration: This study is listed as a clinical trial on the ISRCTN registry with trial ID ISRCTN95197731 (date of first registration: 15/02/2022).
Thesis
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a chronic disorder which affects people’s functionality for life. ADHD symptoms are mostly treated with medication and behavioral, cognitive therapy. However, there are therapies which enhance meta- cognitive skills and brain electric power. Mindfulness programs and sound applications reinforce attention directly, without the side effects of drugs. These interventions may support those who are diagnosed with ADHD long term and may cause brain plasticity. They appear as promising although they are at an initial stage of research. Mind, body and energy may get connected in harmony as a holistic protocol of intervention which may be more effective for ADHD symptoms.
Article
Objectives: Worry has been shown to have a negative impact on many aspects of neurocognitive performance. Interestingly, research indicates mindfulness both improves aspects of cognitive ability and reduces worry symptoms. Yet, the impact of mindfulness on the relationship between worry and cognition has yet to be explored. Based on research discussed herein, we hypothesize that those with higher levels of dispositional mindfulness will have better cognitive performance than those with lower levels of dispositional mindfulness, regardless of worry level. The present study investigated the potential moderating influence of mindfulness on the relationship between worry and cognitive performance. Methods: The sample included 113 older veterans who were screened at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, CA. Cognitive domains of interest included learning and memory, processing speed, attention, working memory, and executive function. Mindfulness was assessed with the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and worry symptoms were assessed using the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ). Hypotheses were tested with multiple regression analyses using the Hayes (2003) PROCESS macro. Results: Contrary to what was hypothesized, only mindful awareness significantly moderated the relationship between worry and processing speed. Conclusion: This finding has important implications for introducing mindfulness techniques into older adults’ routines to decrease worry and mitigate its negative effects on processing speed.
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Popular Organization Development (OD) approaches are often run like software applications that require some behavioral science knowledge, but not necessarily the deeper psychological concepts behind them. This article introduces an open-source design framework, consisting of psychological source code, which creative OD practitioners may use to develop, test, and share their own unique applications. With the aim of improving organizational innovation and inclusion , Open-Source OD is comprised of four phases that guide clients between conceptual and non-conceptual forms of conscious awareness, which include Shifting, Expanding, Receiving, and Applying (SERA). This is accompanied by 'programming language,' a set of 21 psychological activities including Mindful-ness Practice, Reflection-inAction , Experiential Knowing, Theory U, and Jung-ian Imaginal approaches. We conclude with four examples and invite readers to join in experimentation. The rate at which new Organization Development (OD) applications are developed seems to have decreased recently, at a time that calls for even greater experimentation and flexibility. The field would do well to create a space, process, and set of resources for creative practitioners who wish to develop and test both new and complementary applications. Given the amount of intellectual rigor, dialogue, and care that experts have poured into the development of existing applications, it would be a stretch to suggest that such a platform would produce similar results. We believe that this is precisely why a space like this is necessary. This article offers just one of many potential architectures for experimenting with new OD applications. For the sake of structuring this article, we invoke the analogy of open-source software platforms, which provide free, non-discriminating, and transparent access to source code that allows all practitioners to develop, test, modify, and share their own applications with a community of other developers and interested parties (St. Laurent, 2008).
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Audience education is a growing area of practice in the arts and community services. While empirical research flourishes in relation to audience engagement and development through marketing and programming, when it comes to educational work there is a paucity of theoretical and empirical understanding. This is especially true of current understandings of audiences, their listening experiences and how they contribute to lifelong learning and arts engagement in the concert hall. Thus, the present study seeks to understand how education and learning are experienced by listeners in the orchestral concert hall and investigate the pedagogies of listening employed to facilitate learning and engagement as part of audience engagement, education and development. By generating data through semi-structured interviews, focus groups and the observation of eighteen concerts, the lifeworlds and experiences of audience members and arts organisers were used to construct a phenomenology of listening experienced in three contrasting orchestral concert hall settings. The research includes data generated in professional and community orchestra contexts as well as perspectives from metropolitan and regional settings. The work undertaken here builds upon the theoretical frameworks offered by John Dewey (Experience as Education and Art as Experience), Christopher Small (Musicking: The meanings of performing and listening), Hans Georg Gadamer (Philosophical Hermeneutics) and Max van Manen (Phenomenology of Practice), and contributes to scholarship on education, pedagogy, experiential learning and orchestra audience development. The findings theorise four essential qualities that are inherent to the practice of pedagogies of listening- the notion of relationality, the balance between various tensions, differentiation within both pedagogy and the act of listening itself, and the technologies utilised in pedagogies of listening. Each of the individual settings are also examined in detail to highlight the ways pedagogy is developed and how context and listener-audience-orchestra-musician relationships impact learning experiences through listening. In addition to these contributions to the scholarship of audience development and education, this thesis also offers a methodological innovation in the practice of phenomenological research using mindfulness and an exploration of the history of audience development. Both of these are published in peer reviewed journal articles and included as part of this thesis including published works.
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The aim of this part is to design actions to support highly sensitive children in their immediate environment. Part 2 is aimed at the teachers. Firstly, the importance of the environment for the upbringing of highly sensitive children is examined. Qualities of the external environment such as noise and sensory overload, as well as the support experienced by the child are all important for the child’s development. In maladjusted conditions the child will experience difficulty to adapt, while optimal support facilitates development of the child’s own potential (Vantage Sensitivity). The optimal attitude of the parents and carers working with highly sensitive children and its roots in humanistic psychology are described afterwards. A highly sensitive child is the recipient of educational and parental efforts. Realization of those functions requires considering specific needs of a highly sensitive child and the adaptation of the ways of achieving those goals. Because of the specific ways of experiencing reality and the individualized responses, a highly sensitive child is often seen by teachers as difficult. It requires an effort of their part to surface and develop the child’s innate potential. Keywords: highly sensitive child, educational environment, upbringing, humanistic upbringing, vantage sensitivity
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As mindfulness research advances on a variety of fronts, it has become increasingly important to carefully define and measure the construct. In this commentary, we draw from our recent research experience on these topics in addressing four issues of primary concern to Bishop et al: The nature of mindfulness, the role of acceptance in the phenomenon, the relation between mindfulness and meditation, and the measurement of mindfulness in meditative and other contexts. © American Psychological Association D12 2004; all rights reserved.
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Mindfulness, achieved without meditation, is discussed with particular reference to learning. Being mindful is the simple act of drawing novel distinctions. It leads us to greater sensitivity to context and perspective, and ultimately to greater control over our lives. When we engage in mindful learning, we avoid forming mind-sets that unnecessarily limit us. Many of our beliefs about learning are mind-sets that have been mindlessly accepted to be true. Consideration is given to some of the consequences that result from a mindful reconsideration of those myths of learning.
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The effect on two sessions of mindfulness training on attentional efficiency was examined. 150 novice meditators were randomly assigned to mindfulness training, relaxation training, or a neutral task and were tested before and after participation. They were evaluated with performance measures of attentional efficiency and short-term memory as well as self-report measures of mindfulness and affect. Results indicated that mindfulness training was not related to better performance on any attention measure or a verbal memory measure as compared to relaxation and control groups. Possible reasons for the failure to find attentional benefits are explored and directions for future research are discussed.
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Mindfulness is the cognitive propensity to be aware of what is happening in the moment without judgment or attachment to any particular outcome. This concept flies in the face of modern, Western philosophical outcomes-based thinking about events and activities. This article presents results of a formative evaluation of whether participation in a mindfulness training program affected first, second, and third grade students' outcomes on measures of attention. The training was designed and intended to help students learn to focus and pay attention. The 24-week training employed a series of exercises including breathwork, bodyscan, movement, and sensorimotor awareness activities. Results from three attentional measures administered to the students show significant differences between those who did and did not participate in mindfulness practice training. Results are discussed and recommendations are made for future work in this developing field of interest.
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The present study describes the development of a short, general measure of experiential avoidance, based on a specific theoretical approach to this process. A theoretically driven iterative exploratory analysis using structural equation modeling on data from a clinical sample yielded a single factor comprising 9 items, A fully confirmatory factor analysis upheld this same 9-item factor in an independent clinical sample. The operational characteristics of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAO) were then examined in 8 additional samples. All totaled, over 2,400
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The present study describes the development of a short, general measure of experiential avoidance, based on a specific theoretical approach to this process. A theoretically driven iterative exploratory analysis using structural equation modeling on data from a clinical sample yielded a single factor comprising 9 items. A fully confirmatory factor analysis upheld this same 9-item factor in an independent clinical sample. The operational characteristics of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ) were then examined in 8 additional samples. All totaled, over 2,400 participants were studied. As expected, higher levels of experiential avoidance were associated with higher levels of general psychopathology, depression, anxiety, a variety of specific fears, trauma, and a lower quality of life. The AAQ related to more specific measures of avoidant coping and to self-deceptive positivity, but the relation to psychopathology could not be fully accounted for by these alternative measures. The data provide some initial support for the model of experiential avoidance based on Relational Frame Theory that is incorporated into Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and provides researchers with a preliminary measure for use in population-based studies on experiential avoidance.
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When looking at a scene, observers feel that they see its entire structure in great detail and can immediately notice any changes in it. However, when brief blank fields are placed between alternating displays of an original and a modified scene, a striking failure of perception is induced: identification of changes becomes extremely difficult, even when changes are large and made repeatedly. Identification is much faster when a verbal cue is provided, showing that poor visibility is not the cause of this difficulty. Identification is also faster for objects mentioned in brief verbal descriptions of the scene. These results support the idea that observers never form a complete, detailed representation of their surroundings. In addition, results also indicate that attention is required to perceive change, and that in the absence of localized motion signals it is guided on the basis of high-level interest. To see or not to see: The need for attention to perceive changes in scenes. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236170014_To_see_or_not_to_see_The_need_for_attention_to_perceive_changes_in_scenes [accessed Jun 15, 2017].
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This chapter is divided into two parts. The first describes the effect of Pat Rabbitt's influence in encouraging the first author to use the increasingly sophisticated methods of ageing research to answer questions about the fundamental characteristics of working memory, together with reflections on why so little of this work reached publication. The second part presents a brief review of the literature on working memory and ageing, followed by an account of more recent work attempting to apply the traditional method of experimental dissociation to research on normal ageing and Alzheimer's disease. The discussion suggests that even such simple methods can throw light on both the processes of ageing and the understanding of working memory.
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We review evidence for partially segregated networks of brain areas that carry out different attentional functions. One system, which includes parts of the intraparietal cortex and superior frontal cortex, is involved in preparing and applying goal-directed (top-down) selection for stimuli and responses. This system is also modulated by the detection of stimuli. The other system, which includes the temporoparietal cortex and inferior frontal cortex, and is largely lateralized to the right hemisphere, is not involved in top-down selection. Instead, this system is specialized for the detection of behaviourally relevant stimuli, particularly when they are salient or unexpected. This ventral frontoparietal network works as a 'circuit breaker' for the dorsal system, directing attention to salient events. Both attentional systems interact during normal vision, and both are disrupted in unilateral spatial neglect.
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This article addresses the question: How should mindfulness be understood? Three views are considered. The first is that mindfulness should be understood as a cognitive ability. According to this view, people differ in their capacity to think in a mindful way, much as people differ in memory or intelligence. The second view is of mindfulness as a personality trait. According to this view, mindfulness is a stable disposition, much as would be extraversion or neuroticism. The third view is of mindfulness as a cognitive style. According to this view, mindfulness represents a preferred way of thinking. Mindfulness has characteristics of all three but seems closest to being a cognitive style. Construct validation is needed in order to address this and related questions.
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Baer (2003; this issue) has provided a thoughtful conceptual and empirical review of mindfulness-based clinical interventions, emphasizing the need for further research. In this commentary we elaborate on some of the areas needing further study. The promising initial data suggest a need for basic experimental and treatment outcome research in order to determine active ingredients and mechanisms of action in mindfulness-based interventions. In addition, questions remain regarding the optimal mode of delivery of this treatment, as well as how to integrate the nonstriving aspect of mindfulness into clinical intervention.
Book
An ACT Approach Chapter 1. What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, Kara Bunting, Michael Twohig, and Kelly G. Wilson Chapter 2. An ACT Primer: Core Therapy Processes, Intervention Strategies, and Therapist Competencies. Kirk D. Strosahl, Steven C. Hayes, Kelly G. Wilson and Elizabeth V. Gifford Chapter 3. ACT Case Formulation. Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, Jayson Luoma, Alethea A. Smith, and Kelly G. Wilson ACT with Behavior Problems Chapter 4. ACT with Affective Disorders. Robert D. Zettle Chapter 5. ACT with Anxiety Disorders. Susan M. Orsillo, Lizabeth Roemer, Jennifer Block-Lerner, Chad LeJeune, and James D. Herbert Chapter 6. ACT with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Alethea A. Smith and Victoria M. Follette Chapter 7. ACT for Substance Abuse and Dependence. Kelly G. Wilson and Michelle R. Byrd Chapter 8. ACT with the Seriously Mentally Ill. Patricia Bach Chapter 9. ACT with the Multi-Problem Patient. Kirk D. Strosahl ACT with Special Populations, Settings, and Methods Chapter 10. ACT with Children, Adolescents, and their Parents. Amy R. Murrell, Lisa W. Coyne, & Kelly G. Wilson Chapter 11. ACT for Stress. Frank Bond. Chapter 12. ACT in Medical Settings. Patricia Robinson, Jennifer Gregg, JoAnne Dahl, & Tobias Lundgren Chapter 13. ACT with Chronic Pain Patients. Patricia Robinson, Rikard K. Wicksell, Gunnar L. Olsson Chapter 14. ACT in Group Format. Robyn D. Walser and Jacqueline Pistorello
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A survey of 110 subjects was conducted to investigate the differences in the phenomenological quality of mindfulness mediators who attended retreats of either two days (twenty-seven subjects), two weeks (twenty-five subjects), or three months (fifty-eight subjects). A questionnaire, the Profile of Trance, Imaging, and Meditation Experience (TIME), was used for the survey. Discriminant analyses were used to construct models of the dimensions of experience along which the three groups differed. A number of phenomenological dimensions, in the major areas of attention, thinking, memory, imagery, body sensations, emotions, time sense, reality sense, sense of self, perception, and interpersonal interaction, were found which could accurately distinguish among the three groups of retreatants. No attributions as to the causes or sources of these phenomenological differences are made, as the survey was not large enough to provide comparison groups, subject matching or other statistical controls necessary for causal analyses.
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Classical Tibetan meditation texts are used to specify the most important variables in meditation that can be subjected to empirical test. There are 3 kinds of variables: (a) nonspecific variables, common to all meditation systems; (b) specific variables, limited to spec & types of meditation practice; and (c) timedependent variables, changing over the course of meditation practice. The latter, time-dependent variables, comprise the majority of meditation variables. One set of time-dependent variables for classical concentrative meditation is explored. Using the semantic-field method of translating, technical terms most important in each level of the entire phenomenology of concentrative meditation are discussed. These terms are translated into hypotheses, which are worded in terms of traditional constructs from cognitive psychology. Supporting empirical research is presented and suggestions for further research are made. Certain similarities are noted between the Yogic texts and the constructivist theories of perception, information-processing, and affect. The overall direction of change in concentrative meditation follows an invariant sequence of levels of consciousness.
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In order to gain a deeper understanding of the mindfulness construct and the mental health benefits associated with mindfulness-based programmes, the relation between mindfulness and its proposed core component attention was studied. Buddhist and Western mindfulness meditators were compared with non-meditators on tasks of sustained (SART) and executive (the Stroop Task) attention. Relations between self-reported mindfulness (FFMQ) and sustained and executive attention were also analysed. No significant differences were found between meditators and non-meditators either in sustained or executive attention. High scores on the FFMQ total scale and on Describe were related to fewer SART errors. High scores on Describe were also related to low Stroop interference. Mindfulness meditators may have an increased awareness of internal processes and the ability to quickly attend to them but this type of refined attentional ability does not seem to be related to performance on attention tests requiring responses to external targets.
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The performance of concentrative and mindfulness meditators on a test of sustained attention (Wilkins' counting test) was compared with controls. Both groups of meditators demonstrated superior performance on the test of sustained attention in comparison with controls, and long-term meditators were superior to short-term meditators. Mindfulness meditators showed superior performance in comparison with concentrative meditators when the stimulus was unexpected but there was no difference between the two types of meditators when the stimulus was expected. The results are discussed in relation to the attentional mechanisms involved in the two types of meditation and implications drawn for mental health.
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In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
( This reprinted article originally appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1935, Vol 18, 643–662. The following abstract of the original article appeared in PA, Vol 10:1863.) In this study pairs of conflicting stimuli, both being inherent aspects of the same symbols, were presented simultaneously (a name of one color printed in the ink of another color—a word stimulus and a color stimulus). The difference in time for reading the words printed in colors and the same words printed in black is the measure of the interference of color stimuli on reading words. The difference in the time for naming the colors in which the words are printed and the same colors printed in squares is the measure of the interference of conflicting word stimuli on naming colors. The interference of conflicting color stimuli on the time for reading 100 words (each word naming a color unlike the ink-color of its print) caused an increase of 2.3 sec or 5.6% over the normal time for reading the same words printed in black. This increase is not reliable, but the interference of conflicting word stimuli on the time for naming 100 colors (each color being the print of a word which names another color) caused an increase of 47.0 sec or 74.3% of the normal time for naming colors printed in squares.… (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Data for an "A-X" version of the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) were collected from 138 7–11 yr old nonreferred boys. Most CPT measures were age-dependent, reliable, sensitive to decrements in performance over time, and resistant to practice effects. Most were unrelated to estimates of intellectual functioning, but several were significantly correlated with academic achievement. Reaction time (RT) data support the notion that CPT measures can be divided into distinct inattention, impulsivity, and dyscontrol scores. In this normal sample, correlations with behavior ratings were relatively weak. Further research is necessary before widespread clinical use of this instrument is warranted. However, it appears to be a useful research tool and may have a role in the assessment of attention and impulsivity in a wide range of psychiatrically, neurologically, and educationally impaired children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Objective To provide a comprehensive review and evaluation of the psychological and neurophysiological literature pertaining to mindfulness meditation. Methods A search for papers in English was undertaken using PsycINFO (from 1804 onward), MedLine (from 1966 onward) and the Cochrane Library with the following search terms: Vipassana, Mindfulness, Meditation, Zen, Insight, EEG, ERP, fMRI, neuroimaging and intervention. In addition, retrieved papers and reports known to the authors were also reviewed for additional relevant literature. Results Mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions appear to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, psychosis, borderline personality disorder and suicidal/self-harm behaviour. Mindfulness meditation per se is effective in reducing substance use and recidivism rates in incarcerated populations but has not been specifically investigated in populations with psychiatric disorders. Electroencephalography research suggests increased alpha, theta and beta activity in frontal and posterior regions, some gamma band effects, with theta activity strongly related to level of experience of meditation; however, these findings have not been consistent. The few neuroimaging studies that have been conducted suggest volumetric and functional change in key brain regions. Conclusions Preliminary findings from treatment outcome studies provide support for the application of mindfulness-based interventions in the treatment of affective, anxiety and personality disorders. However, direct evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation per se in the treatment of psychiatric disorders is needed. Current neurophysiological and imaging research findings have identified neural changes in association with meditation and provide a potentially promising avenue for future research.
Article
This article addresses the question: How should mindfulness be understood? Three views are considered. The first is that mindfulness should be understood as a cognitive ability. According to this view, people differ in their capacity to think in a mindful way, much as people differ in memory or intelligence. The second view is of mindfulness as a personality trait. According to this view, mindfulness is a stable disposition, much as would be extraversion or neuroticism. The third view is of mindfulness as a cognitive style. According to this view, mindfulness represents a preferred way of thinking. Mindfulnesshas characteristics of all three but seems closest to being a cognitive style. Construct validation is needed in order to address this and related questions.
Chapter
Memory is one of the central ingredients in determining who we are and become. Without it, we would struggle to make sense of the present and would have no past or future. And yet, while so critical, memory is an extremely vulnerable cognitive system, and therefore its evaluation is especially important following acute or progressive insults to the brain, such as those resulting from motor vehicle accidents, blast injuries, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, infections, and strokes. Memory also normally exhibits measurable differences within and across the age range, with the greatest variability seen in younger children and older adults. The Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning, second edition (WRAML2), is an individually administered test battery designed to assess memory ability across the age range (5 to 90 years). Consequently, the battery can prove useful in assessment settings often found in hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, and neuropsychologists' offices. Keywords: memory; assessment; WRAML2
Article
This study was designed to test the hypothesis that mindfulness involves sustained attention, attention switching, inhibition of elaborative processing and non-directed attention. Healthy adults were tested before and after random assignment to an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course (n = 39) or a wait-list control (n = 33). Testing included measures of sustained attention, attention switching, Stroop interference (as a measure of inhibition of elaborative processing), detection of objects in consistent or inconsistent scenes (as a measure of non-directed attention), as well as self-report measures of emotional well-being and mindfulness. Participation in the MBSR course was associated with significantly greater improvements in emotional well-being and mindfulness, but no improvements in attentional control relative to the control group. However, improvements in mindfulness after MBSR were correlated with improvements in object detection. We discuss the implications of these results as they relate to the role of attention in mindfulness. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
The overall goal of this chapter is to explore the initial findings of neuroscientific research on meditation; in doing so, the chapter also suggests potential avenues of further inquiry. It has three sections that, although integral to the chapter as a whole, may also be read independently. The first sec-tion, "Defining Meditation," notes the need for a more precise understanding of med-itation as a scientific explanandum. Argu-ing for the importance of distinguishing the particularities of various traditions, the sec-tion presents the theory of meditation from the paradigmatic perspective of Buddhism, and it discusses the difficulties encountered when working with such theories. The sec-tion includes an overview of three prac-tices that have been the subject of research, and it ends with a strategy for developing a questionnaire to define more precisely a practice under examination. The second sec-tion, "The Intersection of Neuroscience and Meditation," explores some scientific moti-vations for the neuroscientific examination of meditation in terms of its potential impact on the brain and body of long-term prac-titioners. After an overview of the mecha-nisms of mind-body interaction, this section addresses the use of first-person expertise, especially in relation to the potential for research on the neural counterpart of sub-jective experience. In general terms, the sec-tion thus points to the possible contributions of research on meditation to the neuro-science of consciousness. The final section, "Neuroelectric and Neuroimaging Correla-tes of Meditation," reviews the most relevant neuroelectric and neuroimaging findings of research conducted to date, including some preliminary correlates of the previously dis-cussed Buddhist practices.
Article
Interventions based on training in mindfulness skills are becoming increasingly popular. Mindfulness involves intentionally bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, and is often taught through a variety of meditation exercises. This review summarizes conceptual approaches to mind-fulness and empirical research on the utility of mindfulness-based interventions. Meta-analytic techniques were incorporated to facilitate quantification of findings and comparison across studies. Although the current empirical literature includes many methodological flaws, findings suggest that mindfulness-based interventions may be helpful in the treatment of several disorders. Methodologically sound investigations are recommended in order to clarify the utility of these interventions.
Article
Baer (2003; this issue) has provided a thoughtful conceptual and empirical review of mindfulness-based clinical interventions, emphasizing the need for further research. In this commentary we elaborate on some of the areas needing further study. The promising initial data suggest a need for basic experimental and treatment outcome research in order to determine active ingredients and mechanisms of action in mindfulness-based interventions. In addition, questions remain regarding the optimal mode of delivery of this treatment, as well as how to integrate the non-striving aspect of mindfulness into clinical intervention.
Article
Complex span tasks are predictive of many aspects of behavior, in both experimental and applied areas of cognitive psychology. Our view is that these tasks measure primarily working memory capacity (WMC), which we argue is the ability to control attention. The development of the Attention Network Test (ANT) provided the opportunity to study the relationship between WMC and specific types of attention. Extreme WMC-span groups differed in the executive control network but not in the alerting or orienting networks, supporting the view that individual differences in WMC reflect variation in the ability to control attention. We discuss problems with the design of the ANT that limit its appropriateness for applied research. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
There has been substantial interest in mindfulness as an approach to reduce cognitive vulnerability to stress and emotional distress in recent years. However, thus far mindfulness has not been defined operationally. This paper describes the results of recent meetings held to establish a consensus on mindfulness and to develop conjointly a testable operational definition. We propose a two-component model of mindfulness and specify each component in terms of specific behaviors, experiential manifestations, and implicated psychological processes. We then address issues regarding temporal stability and situational specificity and speculate on the conceptual and operational distinctiveness of mindfulness. We conclude this paper by discussing implications for instrument development and briefly describing our own approach to measurement.
Article
Bishop et al. (this issue) propose an operational definition of mindfulness developed by a recent consensus panel. The group provides a solid empirical framework from which to develop measures of mindfulness, and they propose an exciting research agenda. We describe measurement development work from our research group that provides initial support for the proposed consensus definition and that examines mindfulness in relation to emotion regulation variables. We extend the discussion by describing how mindfulness can enhance the stabilizing and destabilizing aspects of therapeutic change, and we illustrate this in the context of our treatment program for depression.
Article
As mindfulness research advances on a variety of fronts, it has become increasingly important to carefully define and measure the construct. In this commentary, we draw from our recent research experience on these topics in addressing four issues of primary concern to Bishop et al: The nature of mindfulness, the role of acceptance in the phenomenon, the relation between mindfulness and meditation, and the measurement of mindfulness in meditative and other contexts.