Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Attention in Novices


Past research has found that mindfulness meditation training improves executive attention and that this effect could be driven by more efficient allocation of resources on demanding attentional tasks, such as the Flanker Task. However, it is not clear whether these changes depend on long-term practice. We sought to investigate the effects of a brief, 10-minute meditation session on attention in novice meditators, compared to a control activity. We also tested moderation by individual differences in Neuroticism. We found that participants randomly assigned to meditate for 10 minutes showed improved performance on incongruent trials on a Flanker task, with no detriment in reaction times, indicating better allocation of resources. Neuroticism moderated this effect, as only those low in Neuroticism showed improved allocation of attentional resources following meditation.

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