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The ability to focus one's attention underlies success in many everyday tasks, but voluntary attention cannot be sustained for extended periods of time. In the laboratory, sustained-attention failure is manifest as a decline in perceptual sensitivity with increasing time on task, known as the vigilance decrement. We investigated improvements in sustained(More)
BACKGROUND Telomerase activity is a predictor of long-term cellular viability, which decreases with chronic psychological distress (Epel et al., 2004). Buddhist traditions claim that meditation decreases psychological distress and promotes well-being (e.g., Dalai Lama and Cutler, 2009). Therefore, we investigated the effects of a 3-month meditation retreat(More)
We examined the impact of training-induced improvements in self-regulation, operationalized in terms of response inhibition, on longitudinal changes in self-reported adaptive socioemotional functioning. Data were collected from participants undergoing 3 months of intensive meditation training in an isolated retreat setting (Retreat 1) and a wait-list(More)
The ability to remain vigilant over long periods of time is critical for many everyday tasks, but controlled studies of visual sustained attention show that performance declines over time when observers are required to respond to rare stimulus events (targets) occurring in a sequence of standard stimulus events (nontargets). When target discrimination is(More)
The capacity to focus one's attention for an extended period of time can be increased through training in contemplative practices. However, the cognitive processes engaged during meditation that support trait changes in cognition are not well characterized. We conducted a longitudinal wait-list controlled study of intensive meditation training. Retreat(More)
Different imaging modalities capture different aspects of brain activity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) reveals intrinsic networks whose BOLD signals have periods from 100 s (0.01 Hz) to about 10s (0.1 Hz). Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings, in contrast, commonly reflect cortical electrical fluctuations with periods up to 20 ms (50 Hz)(More)
OBJECTIVE Cognitive perseverations that include worry and rumination over past or future events may prolong cortisol release, which in turn may contribute to predisease pathways and adversely affect physical health. Meditation training may increase self-reported mindfulness, which has been linked to reductions in cognitive perseverations. However, there are(More)
Meditation involves focusing one's attention on an object or a phenomenon. Numerous studies have discovered beneficial effects of meditation. However, very few scientific studies have attempted to formally understand the underlying mechanisms. In the present study, two 3-month retreats were conducted. 88-channel EEG data was collected while participants(More)
Attention biases sensory processing toward neurons containing information about behaviorally relevant events. These attentional biases apparently reflect the combined influence of feature enhancement and suppression. We examined the separate influence of enhancement and suppression in visual processing by determining whether responses to an unattended(More)
Meditation practices purportedly help people develop focused and sustained attention, cultivate feelings of compassionate concern for self and others, and strengthen motivation to help others who are in need. We examined the impact of 3 months of intensive meditative training on emotional responses to scenes of human suffering. Sixty participants were(More)