Training in mindfulness meditation has been associated with more adaptive emotional and behavioral responding, as indicated by reductions in symptoms of a range of clinical disorders, increased psychological well-being in non-clinical populations, and reduced mind-wandering. Despite compelling evidence for a relationship between meditation and mental health, the mechanisms responsible for its salutary effects are largely unknown. One possible pathway through which meditation practice enhances emotion regulation is a process called “decentering,” wherein individuals learn to view and relate to emotional experience from a wider, more objective perspective. However, no studies have yet examined the connection between meditation experience, decentering, and the neural correlates of emotion regulation. Thus, the primary aims of the investigation are twofold: 1) examine the effect of long-term meditation practice on the spontaneous engagement of brain regions associated with emotion regulation using electroencephalogram (EEG), and 2) examine the behavioral correlates of decentering, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and executive functioning in individuals with and without significant meditation experience. We hope that by further elucidating bio-behavioral markers of meditation experience, these studies will help to inform the development or refinement of psychological interventions for a range of clinical disorders.

Kathrine Shepherd

Kent State University

Kathrine is currently in her third year of graduate training in clinical psychology at Kent State University. Her primary research interests lie in understanding the factors that predict adaptive responding … MORE