Improve the Brain’s Attentional Ability with a Meditation Retreat

Improve the Brain’s Attentional Ability with a Meditation Retreat

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Here’s where meditation begins to show itself as a biohacking marvel. Learning how to interrupt one’s reaction pattern – and then doing that over and over – can reshape behaviour. And if behaviour is changing, then the brain is changing.” – Zoe Schlanger

 

Retreat can be a powerful experience. But, it is quite difficult and challenging. It can be very tiring as it can run from early in the morning till late at night every day. It can also be physically challenging as engaging in meditation repeatedly over the day is guaranteed to produce many aches and pains in the legs, back, and neck. But the real challenges are psychological, emotional, and spiritual. Retreat can be a real test.

 

The nervous system is a dynamic entity, constantly changing and adapting to the environment. It will change size, activity, and connectivity in response to experience. These changes in the brain are called neuroplasticity. Over the last decade neuroscience has been studying the effects of contemplative practices on the brain and has identified neuroplastic changes in widespread areas. In other words, meditation practice appears to mold and change the brain, producing psychological, physical, and spiritual benefits.

 

Hence, an intensive meditation retreat would be expected to produce neuroplastic changes in the brains of the participants. In today’s Research News article “Effects of a 7-Day Meditation Retreat on the Brain Function of Meditators and Non-Meditators During an Attention Task.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6004402/ ), Kozasa and colleagues recruited meditation naïve and long-term meditators ( > 3 years of experience) and had them engage in a 7-day intensive Zen meditation retreat. Sessions of sitting and walking meditation, yoga, text reading, and meals were scheduled nearly non-stop from 5:10 in the morning till 11:30 at night each day. Before and after the retreat the participants underwent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (f-MRI) brain scanning while performing and attention demanding task (Stroop test).

 

They did not find any difference between the novice and experienced meditators in performance of the attention task either before or after the retreat. But, they found considerable differences in their brains. Prior to the retreat during the attention task with distraction the experienced meditators and not the novices had reduced activity in the anterior cingulate, ventromedial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate, caudate/putamen/pallidum/temporal lobe (center), insula/putamen/temporal lobe (right) and posterior cingulate. Following the retreat, the novices evidenced similar reductions in activity in these structures.

 

These structures are for the most part components of the so-called default mode network that is activated during mind wandering and self-referential thought. So, the experienced meditators with years of meditative attention training had differences in their brains suggesting better ability to concentrate on the task at hand, with less interference from mind wandering. Surprisingly, novice meditators had similar changes after only 7-day of participation in a meditation retreat. These results suggest that meditation changes the brain to improve concentration and attention. It does so, in part, by reducing the ability of the brain to let the mind wander away from the task at hand.

 

It is interesting that the neuroplastic changes in the brains of the novices essentially caught up to those of the experienced meditators with just 7 days of meditation training. This underscores the power of retreat. It also suggests that meditation can alter the brain relatively quickly. Hence, for improvement of attention, it doesn’t take years of training, it can be accomplished in an intensive week.

 

Improve the brain’s attentional ability with a meditation retreat.

 

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” — Leonardo da Vinci

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Kozasa, E. H., Balardin, J. B., Sato, J. R., Chaim, K. T., Lacerda, S. S., Radvany, J., … Amaro Jr., E. (2018). Effects of a 7-Day Meditation Retreat on the Brain Function of Meditators and Non-Meditators During an Attention Task. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 222. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00222

 

Abstract

Meditation as a cognitive enhancement technique is of growing interest in the field of health and research on brain function. The Stroop Word-Color Task (SWCT) has been adapted for neuroimaging studies as an interesting paradigm for the understanding of cognitive control mechanisms. Performance in the SWCT requires both attention and impulse control, which is trained in meditation practices. We presented SWCT inside the MRI equipment to measure the performance of meditators compared with non-meditators before and after a meditation retreat. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 7-day Zen intensive meditation training (a retreat) on meditators and non-meditators in this task on performance level and neural mechanisms. Nineteen meditators and 14 non-meditators were scanned before and after a 7-day Zen meditation retreat. No significant differences were found between meditators and non-meditators in the number of the correct responses and response time (RT) during SWCT before and after the retreat. Probably, due to meditators training in attention, their brain activity in the contrast incongruent > neutral during the SWCT in the anterior cingulate, ventromedial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate, caudate/putamen/pallidum/temporal lobe (center), insula/putamen/temporal lobe (right) and posterior cingulate before the retreat, were reduced compared with non-meditators. After the meditation retreat, non-meditators had reduced activation in these regions, becoming similar to meditators before the retreat. This result could be interpreted as an increase in the brain efficiency of non-meditators (less brain activation in attention-related regions and same behavioral response) promoted by their intensive training in meditation in only 7 days. On the other hand, meditators showed an increase in brain activation in these regions after the same training. Intensive meditation training (retreat) presented distinct effects on the attention-related regions in meditators and non-meditators probably due to differences in expertise, attention processing as well as neuroplasticity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6004402/

 

Improve Movement and Flexibility in Older Women with Tai Chi

Improve Movement and Flexibility in Older Women with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Practising the ancient martial art of Tai Chi is so beneficial to elderly people’s health that it should be “the preferred mode of training” – The Telegraph

 

The process of aging affects every aspect of the physical and cognitive domains. Every system in the body deteriorates including motor function with a decline in strength, flexibility, and balance. Impaired balance is a particular problem as it can lead to falls. In the U.S. one third of people over 65 fall each year and 2.5 million are treated in emergency rooms for injuries produced by falls. About 1% of falls result in deaths making it the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly. It is obviously important to discover methods to improve balance and decrease the number of fall in the elderly.

 

Tai Chi training is designed to enhance and regulate the functional activities of the body through regulated breathing, mindful concentration, and gentle movements. It includes balance training and has been shown to improve balance and coordination. Because it is not strenuous, involving slow gentle movements, and is safe, having no appreciable side effects, it is appropriate for an elderly population. So, it would seem that tai chi practice would be well suited to improving balance and coordination in seniors and thereby reduce the likelihood of falls.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of Yang-Style Tai Chi on Gait Parameters and Musculoskeletal Flexibility in Healthy Chinese Older Women.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968961/ ), Zou and colleagues recruited elderly women (> 65 years of age) and randomly assigned them to either a Tai Chi practice or no-treatment control conditions. Tai Chi was practiced under the supervision of a Tai Chi master for 90 minutes, 3 times per week for 8 weeks. They were measured before and after practice for physical activity and hip and foot flexibility. They also walked a short distance and their movements of the knee, hip, and ankle were analyzed through a kinematic analysis.

 

They found that the Tai Chi group and not the control group after the 8-week practice period had significant improvements in their walking including stride length, gait speed, stance phase, swing phase, and double support time. They also had significant improvements in their hip and foot flexibility and range of motion of the knee, hip, and ankle. No adverse events as a result of Tai Chi practice were reported by the participants.

 

These findings conclusively document the ability of Tai Chi practice to help maintain the flexibility and range of motion of elderly women. This is particularly important as it suggests that these women would be less likely to fall and maintain a high quality of life. In addition, as Tai Chi is gentle and safe, is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion, is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. So, Tai Chi practice would appear to be an almost ideal gentle exercise to maintain the health and well-being of the elderly.

 

So, improve movement and flexibility in older women with Tai Chi.

 

“Unlike other exercises, TCE may contribute to improving the quality of life and reducing depression in patients with chronic diseases.” – X. Wang

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zou, L., Wang, C., Tian, Z., Wang, H., & Shu, Y. (2017). Effect of Yang-Style Tai Chi on Gait Parameters and Musculoskeletal Flexibility in Healthy Chinese Older Women. Sports, 5(3), 52. http://doi.org/10.3390/sports5030052

 

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of Yang-style Tai chi (TC) on gait parameters and musculoskeletal flexibility in healthy Chinese female adults. Sixty-six female adults aged >65 years were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (67.9 ± 3.2 years of age) receiving three 90-min simplified 24-form TC sessions for eight weeks, or a control group (67.4 ± 2.9 years of age) who maintained their daily lifestyles. All study participants were instructed to perform a selected pace walking for recording gait parameters (stride length, gait speed, swing cycle time, stance phase, and double support times) at both baseline and after the experiment. Low-limb flexibility and range of motion at specific musculoskeletal regions (hip flexion, hip extension, and plantar flexion, as well as anterior and lateral pelvic tilts, pelvic rotation, and joint range of motion (hip, knee, and ankle)) were also assessed in the present study. Multiple separate 2 × 2 Factorial Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures were used to examine the effects of TC on the abovementioned outcomes between baseline and posttest in the two groups. When compared to those in the control group, older female adults who experienced the 8-week Tai chi intervention demonstrated significant improvements in most of the outcome measures. More specifically, positive changes in the TC group were found, including gait parameter (p < 0.001 for all; stride length (1.12 to 1.24, +8.6%), gait speed (1.06 to 1.21, +13.9%), stance phase (66.3 to 61.8, −5.5%), swing phase (33.7 to 38.4, +10.1%), double support time (0.33 to 0.26, −21.1%)), flexibility-related outcomes (hip flexion (90.0 to 91.9, 22.6%, p < 0.0001), single hip flexor (6.0 to 2.0, −61.5%, p = 0.0386), and plantar flexion (41.6 to 49.7, +17.5%, p < 0.0001)), and range of motion (anterior pelvic tilt (9.5 to 6.2, −34.7%, p < 0.0001), lateral pelvic tilt (6.6 to 8.3, +23.8%, p = 0.0102), pelvic rotation (10.3 to 14.7, 28.2%, p < 0.0001), hip range of motion (29.8 to 32.9, +13.5%, p = 0.001), and ankle range of motion (28.0 to 32.6, +11.1%, p < 0.0001)). The present study supports the notion that the practice of TC has a positive effect on healthy older female adults in improving gait parameters and flexibility, counteracting the normal functional degeneration due to age.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968961/

 

Improve Psychological Well-Being of Children with Learning Disabilities with Mindfulness

Improve Psychological Well-Being of Children with Learning Disabilities with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness is a practice that can help children with LD manage stress and anxiety • Daily meditation gives children a relaxation tool they can call upon when stress levels rise” – Marcia Eckerd

 

Learning disabilities are quite common, affecting an estimated 4.8% of children in the U.S. These disabilities present problems for the children in learning mathematics, reading and writing. These difficulties, in turn, affect performance in other academic disciplines. The presence of learning disabilities can have serious consequences for the psychological well-being of the children, including their self-esteem and social skills. In addition, anxiety, depression, and conduct disorders often accompany learning disabilities.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to lower anxiety and depression and to improve self-esteem and social skills, and to improve conduct disorders. It has also been shown to improve attention, memory, and learning and increase success in school. So, it would make sense to explore the application of mindfulness training for the treatment of children with severe learning disabilities.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Mindfulness-Based Intervention Pilot Feasibility Study for Elementary School Students with Severe Learning Difficulties: Effects on Internalized and Externalized Symptoms from an Emotional Regulation Perspective.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871167/ ), Malboeuf-Hurtubise and colleagues recruited children with severe learning disabilities who were 9 to 12 years of age and attended a special education class. They received an 8-week mindfulness training program that met once a week for 60 minutes and included body scan, walking, and breath meditations. The children also practiced in class once a week for 30 minutes. They were measured before and after training for mindfulness, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, aggression, attention, and conduct problems.

 

They found that in comparison to the baseline measurements, after mindfulness training the children evidenced significant improvements in anxiety, depression, aggression, attention, and conduct problems. Hence, after mindfulness training the children showed significant improvements in their psychological well-being and behavior. It should be noted that this was a pilot study and did not contain a control or comparison condition. So, firm conclusions cannot be made. But the results are sufficiently interesting and the magnitude of the effects large enough, that they support the conduct of a large scale randomized controlled clinical trial. If mindfulness training can be definitively shown to improve the psychological well-being and behavior of children with learning disabilities, it will be of great benefit in relieving at least some of the suffering of these unfortunate children.

 

So, improve psychological well-being of children with learning disabilities with mindfulness.

 

“Study outcomes suggest that mindful meditation decreases anxiety and detrimental self-focus, which, in turn, promotes social skills and academic success for students with learning disabilities” – Kristine Burgess

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Malboeuf-Hurtubise, C., Lacourse, E., Taylor, G., Joussemet, M., & Ben Amor, L. (2017). A Mindfulness-Based Intervention Pilot Feasibility Study for Elementary School Students with Severe Learning Difficulties: Effects on Internalized and Externalized Symptoms From an Emotional Regulation Perspective. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 22(3), 473–481. http://doi.org/10.1177/2156587216683886

Abstract

Objective.

Students with severe learning disabilities often show signs of anxiety, depression, and problem behaviors such as inattention and conduct problems. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in school settings constitute a promising option to alleviate these co-occurring symptoms. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the impact of an MBI on symptoms and behaviors of elementary school students with severe learning disabilities.

Method.

A one-group pretest-posttest design was used. The sample comprised 14 students aged 9 to 12 years with special education needs. Both student-report and teacher-report of the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition were used.

Results.

Repeated-measures analyses of variance revealed a significant impact of the MBI on symptoms and behaviors such as anxiety, depression, inattention, aggression, and conduct problems. Effect sizes for all variables were considered large (partial η2 = .31-.61).

Conclusion.

These preliminary results indicate that MBIs can reduce the frequency of symptoms and problem behaviors often found in children with learning disabilities in elementary schools. Further multiple baseline experimental trials with a long-term follow-up are warranted to establish more robustly the effect of MBIs for children with learning disabilities.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871167/

 

Improve PTSD and Academic Burnout in Adolescents with Mindfulness and Parental Attachment

Improve PTSD and Academic Burnout in Adolescents with Mindfulness and Parental Attachment

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness can help people train themselves to get unstuck from a vicious cycle of negative thinking, often a cornerstone of trauma.” – Jennifer Wolkin

 

Experiencing trauma is quite common. It has been estimated that 60% of men and 50% of women will experience a significant traumatic event during their lifetime. Only a fraction will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); about 7%-8%. PTSD involves a number of troubling symptoms including reliving the event with the same fear and horror in nightmares or with a flashback. They often experience negative changes in beliefs and feelings including difficulty experiencing positive or loving feelings toward other people, avoiding relationships, avoiding situations that remind them of the event memory difficulties, or see the world as dangerous and no one can be trusted. Sufferers may feel keyed up and jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. They may experience sudden anger or irritability, may have a hard time sleeping or concentrating, may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.

 

Mindfulness training has been found to be particularly effective in treating the symptoms of PTSD. So, it would seem reasonable to examine the relationship of individual mindfulness with the ability to cope with the aftermath of traumatic events. Adolescents have been found to be particularly vulnerable to the psychological impact of traumatic events. But, might be buffered by their positive attachment to their parents.

 

In today’s Research News article “Dispositional mindfulness mediates the relationships of parental attachment to posttraumatic stress disorder and academic burnout in adolescents following the Yancheng tornado.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5965031/ ), An and colleagues examine the impact of mindfulness and parental support on the ability of adolescents to deal with trauma. In particular they examine youths about a year after a traumatic tornado in their community in China. The tornado killed 99 people, injured approximately 800 and affected more than 1.6 million people. They recruited junior High School students from the affected area and measured them for mindfulness, PTSD symptoms, academic burnout, and parental attachment.

 

They found that the higher the level of student’s mindfulness and parental attachment the lower the level of PTSD symptoms and academic burnout. In addition, the higher the level mindfulness the higher the level of parental attachment. Employing statistical modelling, they found that parental attachment being associated with to lower PTSD symptoms and academic burnout was partially mediated by the student’s level of mindfulness. Hence, higher parental attachment was associated with lower PTSD symptoms and academic burnout directly and also indirectly by being associated with higher levels of mindfulness which, in turn, were associated with lower levels of PTSD symptoms and academic burnout.

 

These are interesting results but they must be interpreted cautiously as the study was correlational. As a result, causation cannot be determined. Nevertheless, the results suggest that having a positive attachment to parents helps to buffer the adolescent from the effects of trauma and it does so, in part, by improving the youths’ ability to be present in the moment; mindfulness. It can be speculated that positive attachment makes the youth more secure and thereby more able to perceive reality just as it is and not be overly affected by previous negative events. This, in turn, allows them to be more effective in relation to their schooling, reducing burnout.

 

Since, trauma occurs in such a large proportion of the population, producing tremendous suffering, it is important to find ways to lessen its impact. The results suggest that being a good parent and attaching in a positive way with your child promotes mindfulness and my buffer the child from the effects of experiencing a traumatic event.

 

So, improve PTSD and academic burnout in adolescents with mindfulness and parental attachment.

 

“The memories are so painful that many live their life trying to avoid triggers. The problem is that the triggers are everywhere.” But the development of better mindfulness skills “might allow patients to be fully present and lean into these scary or avoided situations.” – Tony King

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

An, Y., Yuan, G., Liu, Z., Zhou, Y., & Xu, W. (2018). Dispositional mindfulness mediates the relationships of parental attachment to posttraumatic stress disorder and academic burnout in adolescents following the Yancheng tornado. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 9(1), 1472989. http://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2018.1472989

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • We found that parental attachment and dispositional mindfulness are both negatively correlated with PTSD and academic burnout.
  • We found that parental attachment and dispositional mindfulness are both negatively correlated with academic burnout.
  • We found that dispositional mindfulness mediates the relationships between parental attachment and PTSD and academic burnout

ABSTRACT

Background: Previous studies have shown that parental attachment is associated with low severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and low academic burnout in individuals who have experienced traumatic events.

Objective: The present study investigated the ways in which parental attachment is related to PTSD symptoms and academic burnout in Chinese traumatized adolescents by considering the role of dispositional mindfulness.

Method: A total of 443 Chinese adolescents who had experienced a severe tornado one year prior to this study completed measures of parental attachment, dispositional mindfulness, PTSD and academic burnout.

Results: The results showed that our model fitted the data well [χ2/df = 2.968, CFI = 0.971, TLI = 0.955, RMSEA (90% CI) = 0.067 (0.052–0.082)] and revealed that dispositional mindfulness partially mediates the relationship between parental attachment, PTSD severity and academic burnout.

Conclusions: The findings suggested that dispositional mindfulness and parental attachment may be two critical resources in dealing with traumatization and academic burnout.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5965031/

Yoga Practice is a Safe and Effective Treatment for Patients Recovering from Heart Failure

Yoga Practice is a Safe and Effective Treatment for Patients Recovering from Heart Failure

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“With heart failure rates accelerating alongside other cardiovascular diseases in our society, the need for a medically effective and cost-effective solution is more pressing than ever. Fortunately, in addition to its broad range of heart-related health benefits, yoga offers an inexpensive solution for those who may not be able to afford regular treatments for their condition.” – Melinda Gosvig

 

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack.” – Centers for Disease Control. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a major type of cardiovascular disease. “CHF is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscles. While often referred to simply as “heart failure,” CHF specifically refers to the stage in which fluid builds up around the heart and causes it to pump inefficiently” (Healthline).

 

There are myriads of treatments that have been developed to treat Heart Failure including a variety of surgical procedures and medications. Importantly, lifestyle changes have proved to be quite effective. These include quitting smoking, weight reduction, improved diet, physical activity, and reducing stresses. Contemplative practices, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga, have also been shown to be helpful for heart health. In addition, mindfulness practices have also been shown to be helpful for producing the kinds of other lifestyle changes needed such as smoking cessationweight reduction and stress reduction.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga for Heart Failure: A Review and Future Research.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934956/ ), Pullen and colleagues review the published research literature on the effects of yoga practice on heart failure patients. They found that the published randomized clinical trials report that yoga practice improves cardiac function, and exercise capacity and reduces body weight, depression, blood pressure, and markers of inflammation in heart failure patients. Hence yoga practice helps with the physical and psychological well-being of patients with heart failure.

 

The authors postulate that yoga has these benefits as a result of its ability to reduce stress responses. This in turn increases the activity of the calming parasympathetic nervous system which, in turn, reduces heart rate, blood pressure, inflammatory responses, and physiological arousal in general. In this way the practice of yoga is thought to be beneficial for the patients. Hence, yoga practice calm the physiology allowing the patient to strengthen and heal.

 

So, they report that yoga practice is a safe and effective treatment for patients recovering from heart failure.

 

“yoga can help lower blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve respiratory function and heart rate, and boost circulation and muscle tone. It can also improve your overall well-being while offering strength-building benefits.” – M. Mala Cunningham

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Pullen, P. R., Seffens, W. S., & Thompson, W. R. (2018). Yoga for Heart Failure: A Review and Future Research. International Journal of Yoga, 11(2), 91–98. http://doi.org/10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_24_17

 

Abstract

Background:

Complementary and alternative medicine is a rapidly growing area of biomedical inquiry. Yoga has emerged in the forefront of holistic medical care due to its long history of linking physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Research in yoga therapy (YT) has associated improved cardiovascular and quality of life (QoL) outcomes for the special needs of heart failure (HF) patients.

Aim:

The aim of this study is to review yoga intervention studies on HF patients, discuss proposed mechanisms, and examine yoga’s effect on physiological systems that have potential benefits for HF patients. Second, to recommend future research directions to find the most effective delivery methods of yoga to medically stable HF patients.

Methods:

The authors conducted a systematic review of the medical literature for RCTs involving HF patients as participants in yoga interventions and for studies utilizing mechanistic theories of stretch and new technologies. We examined physical intensity, mechanistic theories, and the use of the latest technologies.

Conclusions:

Based on the review, there is a need to further explore yoga mechanisms and research options for the delivery of YT. Software apps as exergames developed for use at home and community activity centers may minimize health disparities and increase QoL for HF patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934956/

 

Relaxation and Mindfulness Training Have Differing Psychological and Neural Effects

Relaxation and Mindfulness Training Have Differing Psychological and Neural Effects

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“this practice of nonjudgmental self-awareness is one of the most effective ways to improve mood and anxiety.” – Neda Gould

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to improve health and well-being. It has also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. As a result, mindfulness training has been called the third wave of therapies. One problem with understanding mindfulness training effects is that there are, a wide variety of mindfulness techniques and it is not known which work best for improving different conditions.

 

There are a number of different types of meditation. Many can be characterized on a continuum with the degree and type of attentional focus. In focused attention meditation, the individual practices paying attention to a single meditation object, learns to filter out distracting stimuli, including thoughts, and learns to stay focused on the present moment, filtering out thoughts centered around the past or future. In open monitoring meditation, the individual opens up awareness to everything that’s being experienced regardless of its origin. These include bodily sensations, external stimuli, and even thoughts.

 

These techniques have common properties of restful attention on the present moment, but there are large differences. These differences are likely to produce different effects on the practitioner. One way to distinguish between the effects of these different meditation techniques is to observe the effects of each technique on the brain.  In today’s Research News article “Common and Dissociable Neural Activity After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Relaxation Response Programs.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976535/ ), Sevinc and colleagues recruited adults and randomly assigned them to receive 8 weekly 2-hour group sessions with 20 minutes of daily home practice with guided recordings of either a Relaxation Response program or a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.

 

In the Relaxation Response program, the participants practiced a body scan with emphasis on relaxation and focused meditation on the breath in a 20-minute session. In the MBSR program the participants practiced body scan with focus on awareness of the sensations from the body for 2 weeks, yoga for 2 weeks, and open monitoring meditation for 2 weeks. The last 2 weeks the participants could chose whichever of the practices they wanted to perform. They were measured before and after training for perceived stress, mindfulness, self-compassion, rumination, and life stressors. They also underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) while they listened to a guided recording for the body scan from their home practices.

 

They found that both practices equivalently reduced perceived stress and increased mindfulness. But the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program also significantly increased self-compassion and decreased rumination. Interestingly, although both practices produced increases functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and motor cortex, the two practices also produced different connectivities. When the body scan was practiced with emphasis on relaxation there was increased functional connectivity was with the right inferior frontal gyrus. This is an area that’s involved in behavioral inhibition. On the other hand, when the body scan was practiced with emphasis on awareness of sensations there was increased functional connectivity between the Insula and Cingulate Cortex, areas associated with sensory awareness.

 

Hence, although both practices were beneficial, the MBSR program appears to create better psychological well-being. In addition, the body scan technique used in the MBSR program, emphasizing sensory awareness, appears to increase the connectivity between brain areas that are involved in sensory awareness. On the other hand, a relaxation instruction with the body scan appears to produce increased brain systems devoted to restraining responses. Different mindfulness techniques produced different psychological and neural outcomes. Both appear to improve stress responding and mindfulness, but the MBSR program also produces better compassion for the self and less repetitive negative thinking, rumination.

 

So, there may be a place for the relaxation response program, but with these otherwise healthy adults, the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program appears to produce superior results.

 

 “If you have unproductive worries,” you can train yourself to experience those thoughts completely differently. “You might think ‘I’m late, I might lose my job if I don’t get there on time, and it will be a disaster!’ Mindfulness teaches you to recognize, ‘Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before. But it’s just that—a thought, and not a part of my core self,’” – Elizabeth Hoge

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sevinc, G., Hölzel, B. K., Hashmi, J., Greenberg, J., McCallister, A., Treadway, M., … Lazar, S. W. (2018). Common and Dissociable Neural Activity After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Relaxation Response Programs. Psychosomatic Medicine, 80(5), 439–451. http://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000590

 

ABSTRACT

Objective

We investigated common and dissociable neural and psychological correlates of two widely used meditation-based stress reduction programs.

Methods

Participants were randomized to the Relaxation Response (RR; n = 18; 56% female) or the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR; n = 16; 56% female) programs. Both programs use a “bodyscan” meditation; however, the RR program explicitly emphasizes physical relaxation during this practice, whereas the MBSR program emphasizes mindful awareness with no explicit relaxation instructions. After the programs, neural activity during the respective meditation was investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Results

Both programs were associated with reduced stress (for RR, from 14.1 ± 6.6 to 11.3 ± 5.5 [Cohen’s d = 0.50; for MBSR, from 17.7 ± 5.7 to 11.9 ± 5.0 [Cohen’s d = 1.02]). Conjunction analyses revealed functional coupling between ventromedial prefrontal regions and supplementary motor areas (p < .001). The disjunction analysis indicated that the RR bodyscan was associated with stronger functional connectivity of the right inferior frontal gyrus—an important hub of intentional inhibition and control—with supplementary motor areas (p < .001, family-wise error [FWE] rate corrected). The MBSR program was uniquely associated with improvements in self-compassion and rumination, and the within-group analysis of MBSR bodyscan revealed significant functional connectivity of the right anterior insula—an important hub of sensory awareness and salience—with pregenual anterior cingulate during bodyscan meditation compared with rest (p = .03, FWE corrected).

Conclusions

The bodyscan exercises in each program were associated with both overlapping and differential functional coupling patterns, which were consistent with each program’s theoretical foundation. These results may have implications for the differential effects of these programs for the treatment of diverse conditions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976535/

 

Improve the Psychological Health of Women with Uterine Bleeding with Yoga

Improve the Psychological Health of Women with Uterine Bleeding with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Overall, exercise has positive effects on your period. It is interesting to note that women who are sedentary and do not get regular exercise typically have heavier and more painful periods. Get moving. After all, who wouldn’t want a lighter period with less cramping? “ – Andrea Chisholm

 

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB, also called menorrhagia) is a condition that affects nearly every woman at some point in her life, particularly between the ages of 30 to 49 years. It involves vaginal bleeding occurring outside of the regular menstrual cycle. The main cause of dysfunctional uterine bleeding is an imbalance in the sex hormones. Certain medical conditions, hormonal conditions, and medications may also trigger DUB. Stress may also evoke or exacerbate DUB. It is generally temporary and subsides as hormones become normalized, sometimes with the use of oral contraceptives.

 

Yoga practice has been shown to help regularize and menstrual cycle, help to improve menstrual disorders, and to reduce stress responses. So, it would seem reasonable to investigate the application of yoga practice for Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB). In today’s Research News article “Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention in the Management of Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding: A Controlled Pilot Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879852/ ), Nalgirkar and colleagues recruited adult women aged 20 to 40 years who were diagnosed with Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) and randomly assigned them to either no-treatment or 3 months of Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy (IAYT) . They practiced meditation, postures, and breathing exercises for 60 minutes 3 days per week. They were measured before and after training for blood loss–comprising hemoglobin, pictorial blood loss assessment chart, endometrial thickness, and psychological assessments of anxiety, perceived stress, and sleep quality.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the no-treatment group, after treatment, the yoga group had significantly lower levels of anxiety and perceived stress, and improved sleep quality. But, there were no significant differences in blood loss. Hence, yoga did not improve the primary symptoms of Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), but, did significantly improve the psychological well-being of the women. This should improve the quality of life of women suffering from DUB.

 

So, improve the psychological health of women with uterine bleeding with yoga.

 

“Excessive bleeding is another problem which many women have to face during the menstrual cycle. This leads to discomfort in the women. The pain accompanied with the heavy bleeding can disturb the normal work of the woman. Yoga asanas can be very helpful in dealing with this problem. The various asanas help the women in concentrating on the emotional disturbances that are accompanied with the menstrual cycle. It also helps in gaining inner strength.” – DIY Health

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Nalgirkar, S. P., Vinchurkar, S. A., Saoji, A. A., & Mohanty, S. (2018). Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention in the Management of Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding: A Controlled Pilot Study. Journal of Mid-Life Health, 9(1), 8–13. http://doi.org/10.4103/jmh.JMH_76_17

 

Abstract

Background:

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) is one of the most common gynecological disorders encountered in women during the reproductive age. Yoga therapy has shown promising benefits in several gynecological disorders.

Methods:

Thirty women between the ages of 20 and 40 years with primary DUB were randomly assigned to a yoga (n = 15) and a waitlist control group (n = 15). Participants in the yoga group received a 3-month yoga module and were assessed for hemoglobin values, endometrial thickness (ET), pictorial blood loss assessment chart (PBAC), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, perceived stress scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) before and after a 3-month follow-up period.

Results:

At the end of 3 months of intervention, the yoga group, unlike the control group, reported a significant reduction in the anxiety scores (P < 0.05) and perceived stress (P < 0.05). The PSQI scores indicated a reduction in sleep disturbances (P < 0.001) and the need for sleep medications (P < 0.01) and higher global scores (P < 0.001). However, there were no changes in PBAC and ET in both the groups.

Conclusion:

The results indicate that yoga therapy positively impacts the outcome of DUB by reducing the perceived stress and state anxiety and improving the quality of sleep. This warrants larger clinical trials to validate the findings of this pilot study.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879852/

 

Improve the Psychological Well-Being of Dementia Patients and their Caregivers with Mindfulness

Improve the Psychological Well-Being of Dementia Patients and their Caregivers with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness training eases depression and improves sleep and quality of life for both people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers. . . . Mindfulness involves attentive awareness with acceptance for events in the present moment. You don’t have to be drawn into wishing things were different. Mindfulness training in this way takes advantage of people’s abilities rather than focusing on their difficulties.” – Marla Paul

 

Dementia is a progressive loss of mental function produced by degenerative diseases of the brain. Dementia patients require caregiving particularly in the later stages of the disease. Caregiving for dementia patients is a daunting intense experience that can go on for four to eight years with increasing responsibilities as the loved one deteriorates. This places tremendous psychological and financial stress on the caregiver. Hence, there is a need to both care for the dementia patients and also for the caregivers. Mindfulness practice for caregivers has been shown to help them cope with the physical and psychological demands of caregiving. In addition, mindfulness training has been found to help protect aging individuals from physical and cognitive declines.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Training for People with Dementia and Their Caregivers: Rationale, Current Research, and Future Directions.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00982/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_686352_69_Psycho_20180626_arts_A ), Berk and colleagues review and summarize the published research on the application of mindfulness training for the treatment for dementia patients and their caregivers.

 

They find that the published research reports that mindfulness training improves the psychological well-being of caregivers for dementia patients. It significantly reduces depression and anxiety and improves self-efficacy. Studies of mindfulness training for the dementia patients themselves report improvements in attention, memory, cognition, and quality of life. When the patients and their caregivers were both trained in mindfulness there were significant improvements in stress responses and mood in both.

 

These are important findings that strongly suggests that mindfulness training is a safe and effective means to improve the psychological well-being of both the dementia patient and their caregiver. Given the great difficulty and stress produced by dementia on both the patient and caregiver, these improvements are very important to relieve or at least mitigate the suffering of both. This suggests that mindfulness training should be routinely provided for dementia patients and their caregivers.

 

So, improve the psychological well-being of dementia patients and their caregivers with mindfulness.

 

“The dementia journey is hugely challenging and provokes in us a great deal of frustration, fear and dread—understandably. But as much as dementia is described as a journey of loss, it can also become a journey of love and understanding. At times, love needs to be gritty and determined; at other times, it will be sweet. At all times it must be unconditional.” – Alice Ashwell

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Berk L, Warmenhoven F, van Os J and van Boxtel M (2018) Mindfulness Training for People With Dementia and Their Caregivers: Rationale, Current Research, and Future Directions. Front. Psychol. 9:982. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00982

 

Abstract

The world population is aging and the prevalence of dementia is increasing. By 2050, those aged 60 years and older are expected to make up a quarter of the population. With that, the number of people with dementia is increasing. Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia. The progression of symptoms with no hope of improvement is difficult to cope with, both for patients and their caregivers. New and evidence-based strategies are needed to support the well-being of both caregiver and patient. Mindfulness training is a body-mind intervention that has shown to improve psychological well-being in a variety of mental health conditions. Mindfulness, a non-judgmental attention to one’s experience in the present moment, is a skill that can be developed with a standard 8-week training. Research has shown preliminary but promising results for mindfulness-based interventions to benefit people with dementia and caregivers. The aim of this review is (a) to provide a rationale for the application of mindfulness in the context of dementia care by giving an overview of studies on mindfulness for people with dementia and/or their caregivers and (b) to provide suggestions for future projects on mindfulness in the context of dementia and to give recommendations for future research.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00982/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_686352_69_Psycho_20180626_arts_A

 

Relieve Depression with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Training

Relieve Depression with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Training

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Still, there are a handful of key areas — including depression, chronic pain, and anxiety — in which well-designed, well-run studies have shown benefits for patients engaging in a mindfulness meditation program, with effects similar to other existing treatments.” – Alvin Powell

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But, drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment or relapsing is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training is an alternative treatment for depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs fail.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01034/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_686352_69_Psycho_20180626_arts_A ), Chi and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of published randomize controlled trials (RCTs) of the application of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for the treatment of depression in adolescents and young adults. They discovered 18 published studies including a total of 2042 patients from 18 to 25 years of age.

 

They found that the published studies found that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) treatment effectively reduced depression in these patients with a moderate effect size. The type of control condition made a difference as active control groups as opposed to no-treatment control groups also produced significant reductions in depression. So, in comparison to active control groups MBSR had a smaller effect size. This suggests that placebo effects (subject expectancy effects) were responsible for some of the improvements and overall MBSR had an even greater impact on depression.

 

Hence, the published research literature supports the conclusion that MBSR is a safe and moderately effective treatment for depression in adolescents and young adults. MBSR is a compound treatment program which contains meditation, body scan, and yoga practices. It would be interesting in future research to begin to determine which components are necessary for the ability of MBSR treatment to reduce depression.

 

So, relieve depression with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training.

 

“Through mindfulness, individuals start to see their thoughts as less powerful. These distorted thoughts – such as “I always make mistakes” or “I’m a horrible person” – start to hold less weight. . . watching ourselves think. We ‘experience’ thoughts and other sensations, but we aren’t carried away by them. We just watch them come and go.” – William Marchand

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Chi X, Bo A, Liu T, Zhang P and Chi I (2018) Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front. Psychol. 9:1034. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01034

 

Abstract

Background: Mindfulness as a positive mental health intervention approach has been increasingly applied to address depression in young people. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in the treatment of depression among adolescents and young adults.

Methods: Electronic databases and references in articles were searched. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating MBSR and reporting outcomes for depressive symptoms among young people aged 12 to 25 years were included. Data extraction and risk of bias assessment were conducted by two reviewers independently. Hedges’ gwith a 95% confidence interval was calculated to represent intervention effect.

Results: Eighteen RCTs featuring 2,042 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Relative to the control groups (e.g., no treatment, treatment as usual, or active control), MBSR had moderate effects in reducing depressive symptoms at the end of intervention (Hedges’ g = −0.45). No statistically significant effects were found in follow-up (Hedges’ g = −0.24) due to a lack of statistical power. Meta-regression found that the average treatment effect might be moderated by control condition, treatment duration, and participants’ baseline depression.

Conclusion: MBSR had moderate effects in reducing depression in young people at posttest. Future research is needed to assess the follow-up effects of MBSR on depressive symptoms among adolescents and young adults.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01034/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_686352_69_Psycho_20180626_arts_A

 

Improve Proactive Cognition with Mindfulness

Improve Proactive Cognition with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness meditation has been found to elicit a positive impact on cognitive performance and abilities such as attention, memory, cognitive flexibility, and quality of task performance.” – Lauren Martin

 

Mindfulness is the ability to focus on what is transpiring in the present moment. It involves a greater emphasis on attention to the immediate stimulus environment. Mindful people generally have better attentional abilities and have fewer intrusive thoughts and less mind wandering. As a result, mindfulness has been shown to be associated with improved cognition (thinking). Cognition can involve planning for the future (proactive cognition) or it can also involve processing what has, or is, occurring (reactive cognition). It is not known whether mindfulness training affects either or both forms of cognition.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effect of Mindfulness Training on Proactive and Reactive Cognitive Control.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01002/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_686352_69_Psycho_20180626_arts_A ), Li and colleagues recruited meditation naïve adults and randomly assigned them to either receive 8 weeks of mindfulness training or a no-treatment control condition. Mindfulness training occurred with a once per week, 2.5-hour group training session and 30 minutes of daily home practice. It included meditation, body scan, and yoga practices. They were measured before and after training for mindfulness and its 5 facets, Observing, Describing, Acting with awareness, Non-judging, and Non-reacting.

 

The participants also performed a Continuous Performance Test before and after training. Participants pressed a left button or a right button depending on whether a target or non-target letter followed an “A” on the screen and only one button regardless of letter type if it followed a “B” on the screen. Proactive cognition can be assessed by the tendency to react to the first letter (the “A” or “B”) regardless of what follows. Retroactive cognition can be assessed by the tendency to react to the target letter regardless of what preceded it (the “A” or “B”).

 

Not surprisingly, the mindfulness trained group had significant increases in all facets of mindfulness where the control group did not. More significantly, they found that the mindfulness trained group had higher scores for proactive control relative to retroactive control than the no-treatment group. This suggests that mindfulness training enhances proactive control and not retroactive cognitive control.

 

These results suggest that increasing mindfulness results in an enhancement in responding to the present moment (proactive) and less to the past (retroactive). Since, mindfulness training is designed to do just that, the results suggest that the training makes the individual more sensitive to immediate stimuli, just as its’ supposed to.

 

So, improve proactive cognition with mindfulness.

 

“The meditation group did especially better on all the cognitive tests that were timed. In tasks where participants had to process information under time constraints causing stress, the group briefly trained in mindfulness performed significantly better.” – Fadel Zeidan

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Li Y, Liu F, Zhang Q, Liu X and Wei P (2018) The Effect of Mindfulness Training on Proactive and Reactive Cognitive Control. Front. Psychol. 9:1002. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01002

 

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that mindfulness practice can improve general cognitive control. However, little research has examined whether mindfulness practices affect different cognitive control strategies. According to the dual mechanisms of control (DMC) model, different cognitive control strategies may play distinct roles in individuals’ lives. Proactive control allows people to maintain and prepare for goals, whereas reactive control allows them to respond flexibly to a changing environment. Thus, this study investigates the influences of mindfulness training on proactive and reactive control measured by the AX version of the Continuous Performance Test (AX-CPT). Thirty participants completed AX-CPT and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) before and after random assignment to either an 8-week mindfulness training group or a control group. The results showed no interaction between group and test time for AY or BX trial type, but the training group had fewer post-test errors on the BX trial and a higher Behavior Shift Index (BSI) of reaction time (RT) compared with the control group. This finding indicates enhanced trend of proactive control with mindfulness training. A positive correlation between the BSI of RT and observing scores on the FFMQ confirmed the connection between attentional components in mindfulness and proactive control. Errors on the AY trial in the post-test decreased in both groups, reflecting reactive control that did not differ between groups. The 8-week mindfulness training demonstrates a potential improvement effect on proactive control and could be helpful in overcoming interference.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01002/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_686352_69_Psycho_20180626_arts_A