Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation

Trends Cogn Sci. 2008 Apr;12(4):163-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.01.005. Epub 2008 Mar 10.


Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes developed for various ends, including the cultivation of well-being and emotional balance. Among these various practices, there are two styles that are commonly studied. One style, focused attention meditation, entails the voluntary focusing of attention on a chosen object. The other style, open monitoring meditation, involves nonreactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment. The potential regulatory functions of these practices on attention and emotion processes could have a long-term impact on the brain and behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Awareness / physiology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Humans
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Practice, Psychological