Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Cognitive Neuroscience


Tony Ro

Subject Categories

Cognitive Neuroscience


Meditation, Attention, EEG, ERP, Focused Attention


Mindfulness meditation – often broken down into two distinct types, focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) – has been associated with a range of affective and attentional benefits. Using an attentional blink (AB) paradigm that demonstrated improved attention for novice FA meditators, we explored whether novices who engaged in a single, brief bout of meditation exhibited any differences in alpha or theta power during meditation, and whether these differences were apparent by meditation type. In the AB paradigm, participants are asked to identify two targets, T1 and T2, which are separated by 200-500 ms. Our results showed no significant differences between FA and OM meditators with regard to changes in alpha or theta power during meditation. However, exploratory analyses found a statistically significant negative correlation between changes in theta power during meditation and accuracy in detecting a second target (T2) post-meditation as well as post-meditation T1- and T2-elicited P300s. These correlations were seen in the FA, but not in the OM group such that, the more a subject’s theta power decreased, the more their post-meditation AB was reduced (as reflected in higher T2 accuracy). A decrease in theta power was also significantly correlated with a less suppressed P300 at T1 and at T2 post-meditation for the FA, but not for the OM group.