Investigating the impact of mindfulness meditation training on working memory

A mathematical modeling approach

Marieke K. Van Vugt, Amishi Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated whether mindfulness training (MT) influences information processing in a working memory task with complex visual stimuli. Participants were tested before (T1) and after (T2) participation in an intensive one-month MT retreat, and their performance was compared with that of an age- and education-matched control group. Accuracy did not differ across groups at either time point. Response times were faster and significantly less variable in the MT versus the control group at T2. Since these results could be due to changes in mnemonic processes, speed-accuracy trade-off, or nondecisional factors (e.g.; motor execution), we used a mathematical modeling approach to disentangle these factors. The EZ-diffusion model (Wagenmakers, van der Maas, & Grasman, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 14:(1), 3-22, 2007) suggested that MT leads to improved information quality and reduced response conservativeness, with no changes in nondecisional factors. The noisy exemplar model further suggested that the increase in information quality reflected a decrease in encoding noise and not an increase in forgetting. Thus, mathematical modeling may help clarify the mechanisms by which MT produces salutary effects on performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-353
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

Fingerprint

Mindfulness
Meditation
Short-Term Memory
Control Groups
Automatic Data Processing
Reaction Time
Noise
Research Design
Education

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Computational model
  • Decision making
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Investigating the impact of mindfulness meditation training on working memory : A mathematical modeling approach. / Van Vugt, Marieke K.; Jha, Amishi.

In: Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 11, No. 3, 01.09.2011, p. 344-353.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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