Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training

Authors
Fadel Zeidan, Susan K. Johnson, Bruce J. Diamond, Zhanna David, Paula Goolkasian
Publication
Consciousness and Cognition
Abstract

Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training
can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators.

Related Listings
The Relaxation Response: Psychophysiologic Aspe...
Authors
Herbert Benson, M.D., Martha M. Greenwood, A.B., Helen Klemchuk, A.B.
Journal
The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
·
It is hypothesized that situations requiring continuous behavioral adjustment activate an integrated, hypothalamic response, the emergency reaction. The frequent elicitation of the physiologic changes associated with the emergency reaction has been implicated in the development of diseases such as hypertension. Prevention and treatment of these diseases may be through the use of the relaxation response, an integrated hypothalamic response whose physiologic changes appear to be the cou […]
Fluid intelligence and brain functional organiz...
Authors
Tim Gard, Maxime Taquet, Rohan Dixit, Britta K. Holzel, Yves-Alexandre de Montoye, Narayan Brach, David H. Salat, Bradford C. Dickerson, Jeremy R. Gray, Sara W. Lazar
Journal
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Numerous studies have documented the normal age-related decline of neural structure, function, and cognitive performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that meditation may reduce decline in specific cognitive domains and in brain structure. Here we extended this research by investigating the relation between age and fluid intelligence and resting state brain functional network architecture using graph theory, in middle-aged yoga and meditation practitioners, and matched controls. Flui […]
Daily Relaxation Response Breaks in a Working P...
Authors
Ruanne K. Peters, Herbert Benson, John M. Peters
Journal
American Journal of Public Health
·
A 12-week randomized experiment investigated the effects of daily relaxation breaks on office workers with “normal” blood pressure. Blood pressures of 126 volunteers from the corporate offices of a manufacturing firm were measured biweekly. After four weeks of baseline monitoring, volunteers were divided randomly into three groups: Group A was taught a technique for producing the relaxation response; Group B was “taught” to sit quietly; and Group C was taught nothing. Groups A and B w […]