Mindfulness, attention, and working memory

Alexandra B. Morrison, Amishi Jha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


The human mind relies on a set of processes to guide moment-to-moment experience. These processes include attention and working memory. Interest in cognitive training results from the knowledge that these processes are capacity limited and are diminished under contexts such as stress or negative affect. Mindfulness is a mental mode characterized by attention to the present moment without emotional reactivity or conceptual engagement. Recent research tests the hypothesis that mindfulness training produces measurable benefits to attention and working memory. This chapter illustrates the cognitive processes that determine the contents of the mind at any given moment, and then discusses the results of empirical studies examining mindfulness training as a cognitive enhancement tool, particularly for the core systems of attention and working memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Mindfulness and Self-Regulation
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781493922635, 9781493922628
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Attention
  • Cognitive enhancement
  • Meditation
  • Mind wandering
  • Mindfulness
  • Mindfulness training
  • Neuroscience
  • Stress
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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