Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities?

Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings.Clin Psychol Rev. 2010 Dec 1. by Chiesa A, Calati R, Serretti A.

Mindfulness meditation practices (MMPs) are a subgroup of meditation practices which are receiving growing attention. The present paper reviews current evidence about the effects of MMPs on objective measures of cognitive functions. Five databases were searched. Twenty three studies providing measures of attention, memory, executive functions and further miscellaneous measures of cognition were included. Fifteen were controlled or randomized controlled studies and 8 were case-control studies. Overall, reviewed studies suggested that early phases of mindfulness training, which are more concerned with the development of focused attention, could be associated with significant improvements in selective and executive attention whereas the following phases, which are characterized by an open monitoring of internal and external stimuli, could be mainly associated with improved unfocused sustained attention abilities. Additionally, MMPs could enhance working memory capacity and some executive functions. However, many of the included studies show methodological limitations and negative results have been reported as well, plausibly reflecting differences in study design, study duration and patients’ populations. Accordingly, even though findings here reviewed provided preliminary evidence suggesting that MMPs could enhance cognitive functions, available evidence should be considered with caution and further high quality studies investigating more standardized mindfulness meditation programs are needed

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About Rena Reese

Rena Reese is the Founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company,author of several inspirational titles and the host of The Soul Salon radio show. SSI offers coaching, consulting, books, and classes to support the physical and spiritual wellness of clients. Additionally SSI offers blog/web-design, fundraising support, and publishing as well as promo videos.
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