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Poster A31

Longitudinal trajectories of neural activity change distinguish training of different mindfulness skills

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Marne White1, Yanli Lin1, Natee Viravan2, Monet Davis1, Rithvika Payala1, Samuel Wang1, Deanna Wu1, Todd Braver1; 1Washington University in St. Louis, 2Mahidol University

Prior research suggests that mindfulness training (MT) improves cognitive functioning and psychological well-being. Nevertheless, there is surprisingly sparse evidence that links these beneficial outcomes to neural changes associated with longitudinal MT effects and to enhanced subjective quality of activated mindfulness states. Additionally, much of the prior work conflates different mindfulness techniques, including open monitoring (OM) and focused attention (FA), despite increasing evidence that each practice has distinct neural correlates and functional effects. To address these gaps, we conducted a rigorous within-subject longitudinal MT study involving time-intensive electroencephalogram (EEG) sampling of both FA and OM practices. Across 8 training weeks, participants complete 20 minutes each of FA and OM meditation practice 3 days per week in the laboratory, for a minimum of 120 minutes of weekly meditation practice during which EEG data is collected. In each session, participants also complete self-report measures of mindfulness practice quality, and of mood, motivation, and stress. Longitudinal analyses provide strong evidence that mindfulness quality increases throughout the course of training and is predicted by corresponding decreases in theta power. Follow up analyses show that theta activity during FA and OM is associated with distinct facets of mindfulness quality at both the individual and group levels. Our overarching goal is to bridge 1st and 3rd person methodological approaches to better characterize the neural, subjective, and functional trajectories of FA and OM training.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Other


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April 13–16  |  2024