Neural correlates of meta-consciousness events as experienced during Zen meditation practice

During concentration tasks, spontaneous attention shifts occurs towards self-centered matters. Little is known about the brain oscillatory activity underlying these mental phenomena. We recorded 128-channels electroencephalographic activity from 12 subjects performing a breath-counting task. Subjects were instructed to press a button whenever, based on their introspective experience, they realized their attention had drifted away from …

Mindfulness meditation for social anxiety disorder: Examining the neural and psychological mechanisms of therapeutic change

There is a growing interest in the application of mindfulness techniques for modulating one’s relationship to ongoing mental experience. However, there is need for detailed empirical investigations using experimental paradigms to address (a) whether mindfulness training works, (b) how it affects emotional reactivity and regulation, (c) what neural systems are modulated by training in mindfulness …

Cultivating Emotional Balance Classroom Project

Daily teachers are confronted with challenging child behaviors that provoke their emotional reactivity and result in stress that may affect the classroom climate and the pupils’ learning (Emmer, 1994; Sutton & Wheatley, 2003). Although teachers’ emotionally-related behavior may have powerful effects on the social and emotional development of their pupils (Hamre & Pianta, 2001), few …

Effects of mindfulness meditation training on attentional control in neutral and emotional contexts

Mindfulness has been defined as a quality of “enhanced attention to and awareness of current experience or present reality” (p. 822, Brown & Ryan, 2003). Studies of mindfulness-based interventions have shown beneficial effects on well-being–both physical and psychological. However, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying these effects—using an experimental approach with conditions that control …

Investigation of attentional modulation in visual cortex during meditation

In several meditation traditions, practitioners engage in a form of sustained, spatially directed visual attention which can lead to an alteration in visual perception and awareness. To understand how this state arises, it is important to identify the neural circuitry that underlies the sustained spatial attention technique and to characterize its effects on the mechanisms …

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, well-being and immune changes among rheumatoid arthritis patients

Within a randomized, waitlist-controlled study of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) among rheumatoid arthritis patients, we evaluated treatment effect on immune parameters c-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin(IL)-6, IL-10 and transforming growth factor-beta-1 (TGF), the relation between depressive symptoms and well-being and immune parameters, and relation to meditation practice. 63 patients were randomized to 8-week MBSR or control. …

Mindfulness meditation for reduction of smoking craving: An fMRI investigation

For quitting smokers, there are myriad threats to abstinence. Mindfulness may either diminish perceived craving or increase tolerance of craving. Each of these scenarios may be reflected in the activation of different neural systems (the former by decreased activation of areas in the mesolimbic reward system associated with craving, and the latter by increased activation …

Mindfulness for well-being and enhanced teaching in academia: A mindfulness-based program in South African higher education

Mindfulness and stress-reduction is a connection well established. However, it is important to analyze the specific effects of mindfulness in different professional fields. One such field is academia, where burn-out is pervasive, resulting in increased depersonalization, physical and mental exhaustion and cynicism. In this study, a Mindfulness-based Program will be offered free of cost to …