Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Program

Cognitive Neuroscience

Advisor

Tony Ro

Committee Members

Valerie Shafer

Subject Categories

Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

Mindfulness, Focused Attention, Open Monitoring, Attentional Blink, Non-meditators

Abstract

Attentional resources are limited therefore a stimulus can go undetected if it closely follows another target by 200-500ms. This phenomenon is known as the attentional blink. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be beneficial in target detection and in decreasing the attentional blink. Since there is no standard for the type of meditation or duration of practice that leads to attention benefits, this study compares the two most popular types of meditation in a group of non-meditators: focused attention and open monitoring meditation. This study utilized an attentional blink paradigm to measure if a single session of mindfulness meditation can improve target detection capabilities. The focused attention group decreased their attentional blink, shown in improved T2 detection whereas the open monitoring group did not however this change was not significant. This finding suggests that focused attention meditation can improve participants’ ability to distribute attentional resources effectively to multiple targets, but a longer session and/or more participants will be necessary to have confidence in this conclusion.

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