|Abstract||The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain atten- tion. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behav- ioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Roman Borisyuk, Galina Borisyuk & Yakov Kazanovich (1998). Synchronization of Neural Activity and Information Processing. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):833-833.
Antoine Lutz, H. A. Slagter, J. D. Dunne & R. J. Davidson (2008). Attention Regulation and Monitoring in Meditation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences:163-169.
Antoine Lutz (2008). Attention Regulation and Monitoring in Meditation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):163--169.
R. Rensink (2000). Visual Search for Change: A Probe Into the Nature of Attentional Processing. Visual Cognition 7:345-376.
Antoine Lutz, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis & Richard J. Davidson, Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise.
Brian Bruya (2010). Introduction: Toward a Theory of Attention That Includes Effortless Attention. In Brian Bruya (ed.), Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action. MIT Press.
J. Fell, P. Klaver, C. E. Elger & G. Fernandez (2002). Suppression of EEG Gamma Activity May Cause the Attentional Blink. Consciousness and Cognition 11 (1):114-122.
Kevin M. Spencer & Robert W. McCarley (2005). Visual Hallucinations, Attention, and Neural Circuitry: Perspectives From Schizophrenia Research. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):774-774.
Miguel Castelo-Branco (2005). Neural Correlates of Visual Hallucinatory Phenomena: The Role of Attention. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):760-761.
Carissa Véliz (2011). Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? Rethinking Causal Directions Between Neural Mechanisms, Agency, and Human Enhancement. American Journal of Bioethics 2 (3):46-48.
Victor A. F. Lamme (2001). Neural Mechanisms of Visual Awareness: A Linking Proposition. [REVIEW] Brain and Mind 1 (3):385-406.
Alan Allport (1993). Attention and Control. Have We Been Asking the Wrong Questions? A Critical Review of Twenty-Five Years. In David E. Meyer & Sylvan Kornblum (eds.), Attention and Performance XIV. The Mit Press.
Bruce Bridgeman (1997). Attention Shuts Out Irrelevant Stimuli. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):769-769.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads10 ( #114,362 of 722,864 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,917 of 722,864 )
How can I increase my downloads?