Greater efficiency in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation

Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2010 Jun;63(6):1168-80. doi: 10.1080/17470210903249365.


In this study, attentional processing in relation to mindfulness meditation was investigated. Since recent studies have suggested that mindfulness meditation may induce improvements in attentional processing, we have tested 20 expert mindfulness meditators in the attention network test. Their performance was compared to that of 20 age- and gender-matched controls. In addition to attentional network analyses, overall attentional processing was analysed by means of efficiency scores (i.e., accuracy controlled for reaction time). Better orienting and executive attention (reflected by smaller differences in either reaction time or error score, respectively) were observed in the mindfulness meditation group. Furthermore, extensive mindfulness meditation appeared to be related to a reduction of the fraction of errors for responses with the same reaction time. These results provide new insights into differences in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation and suggest the possibility of increasing the efficiency in attentional processing by extensive mental training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reaction Time