In this proposal I seek to shed light on the behavioral and neural effects of mindfulness meditation training (MMT) on attention, memory, and inhibition in adults with attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Eligible subjects who reach criteria for ADHD as per evaluation by the Upenn center of cognitive therapy will attend an 8-week MMT course tailored for an ADHD population by Dr. Michael Baime. Before and after the course we will administer a delayed recognition working memory task with delay spanning distractors and a cued continuous performance task (CPT) while scalp EEG is recorded. An age matched wait-list control group will be tested before and after an 8 week period and given an identical course after their second testing session. We predict that patients with ADHD who learn MMT will improve accuracy on the working memory task and show a correlated attenuation of distractor processing as indexed by a decreased N170 event related potential, time locked to the distractor faces. In addition, we predict mindfulness training to enhance patients’ motor inhibition capacity as measured by commission error frequency and a correlated N200 amplitude increase to nogo stimuli on the CPT. This research will be of interest to neuroscientists, clinicians, and contemplatives.

Zev Rosen

University of Pennsylvania