A translational neuroscience perspective on mindfulness meditation as a prevention strategy

Transl Behav Med. 2016 Mar;6(1):63-72. doi: 10.1007/s13142-015-0360-x.


Mindfulness meditation research mainly focuses on psychological outcomes such as behavioral, cognitive, and emotional functioning. However, the neuroscience literature on mindfulness meditation has grown in recent years. This paper provides an overview of relevant neuroscience and psychological research on the effects of mindfulness meditation. We propose a translational prevention framework of mindfulness and its effects. Drawing upon the principles of prevention science, this framework integrates neuroscience and prevention research and postulates underlying brain regulatory mechanisms that explain the impact of mindfulness on psychological outcomes via self-regulation mechanisms linked to underlying brain systems. We conclude by discussing potential clinical and practice implications of this model and directions for future research.

Keywords: Mindfulness meditation; Prevention science; Self-regulation; Translational neuroscience.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Preventive Health Services / methods*
  • Research Design
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods*