A growing body of research implicates meditation and mindfulness training for the adaptive training of executive and affective function. While these findings are exciting, it is surprising that far less attention has been paid to the neurophenomenological aspects of meditation practice. We set out to investigate the role of meta-cognitive awareness in mediating affective and cognitive benefits of long term meditation practice, using event-related and resting-state fMRI in a single-blinded study. By matching groups on age, intelligence, education, and gender as well as providing controls financial performance incentives, we hope to control for task-demands that may confound other studies of mindfulness and sustained attention. In this way, we hope to conclusively implicate the capacity for heightened self-awareness in positive mindfulness-related outcomes, linking these results to alterations in intrinsic neural dynamics and their interaction with effortful cognitive processing.

Micah Allen

Aarhus University, Århus, Denmark


I am a PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Aarhus, Denmark where I conduct research on the neurobiology of meditation, social cognition, and neural plasticity. I’m particularly … MORE