Psychobiology of mindfulness

CNS Spectr. 2008 Sep;13(9):752-6. doi: 10.1017/s1092852900013869.


There is controversy about whether mindfulness-based approaches to psychotherapy represent a new wave of cognitive-behavioral therapy or a core process in all psychotherapies. One way of conceptualizing mindfulness is in terms of emotion regulation; mindfulness is a strategy aimed at opposing suppression and avoidance. Dispositional mindfulness has been associated with greater activation in prefrontal cortex and greater deactivation of amygdala during affect labeling. A number of rigorous studies of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression have been positive. However, much remains to be discovered about the underlying mechanisms of and clinical indications for mindfulness-based approaches.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amygdala / physiopathology
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Thinking / physiology*