Considerable research has demonstrated the health-promoting effects of multi-week mindfulness meditation interventions. Recent investigations of brief (three to five session) mindfulness trainings have allowed researchers to better isolate the effects of specific meditative practices (e.g., focused attention) and disentangle nonspecific effects of mindfulness training (e.g., relaxation, group support). Further, this research has provided new insights on neural and biobehavioral mechanisms of mindfulness training, with demonstrated improvements on biobehavioral markers of anxiety, depression, pain, and stress. This panel will consider the theoretical and empirical advantages (and disadvantages) of brief meditation trainings for understanding mindfulness and its effects, and will present research identifying unique psychological and neural mechanisms of short-term mindfulness meditation training. Also included will be an audience-integrated dialogue discussing the experimental methods designed to determine the active mechanisms of mindfulness meditation, and the strengths and weaknesses of using brief mindfulness trainings in laboratory and clinical settings.
Carnegie Mellon University
David’s research focuses broadly on understanding what makes people resilient under stress. Specifically, he conducts community intervention studies, laboratory studies of stress and coping, and neuroimaging studies to understand how … MORE