Poster Session D, Monday, March 25, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Neurophysiological Correlates of Trait Mindfulness
Ana Navarro Cebrian1, Jessica Cooperman1, Donna Wilcox1, Ximena Mendez Schagar1, Keisharely Perez1; 1Loyola University Maryland
Individuals who are more mindful in everyday tasks (trait mindfulness) demonstrate low anxiety and an increase in self-regulation of attention. However, the brain mechanisms underlying this psychological trait are still not fully understood. Individual alpha peak frequency (iAPF), the maximum alpha power value in the EEG frequency spectrum, is a type of brain activity that is stable over time that seems to be related to cognition in general, and to attention in particular. On the other hand, mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve attention. Based on these previous findings, in the current study we hypothesized that higher iAPF would be related to higher trait mindfulness scores. We tested this hypothesis on a group of undergraduate participants who filled both the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and the Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale (PHLMS) and carried out two eyes-open resting state EEG sessions that allowed us to calculate the iAPF. Additionally, they completed two cognitive tasks (the STROOP test and the Flanker task) to measure attention and cognitive control. Our preliminary data (n = 9) show a positive correlation between trait mindfulness and iAPF, indicating that higher scores in the FFMQ covary with higher iAPF. Additionally, we observe a trending correlation between mindfulness and alpha-band phase synchrony, which has previously been associated with attentional control. In summary, our study suggests common neural substrates for trait mindfulness and attention. We hope that our findings can help future research towards developing more effective meditation treatments for people with an attention deficit.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Nonspatial