Meditate to Concentrate

June 26, 2007

Science Daily/University of Pennsylvania

Researchers say that practicing even small doses of daily meditation may improve focus and performance. Even for those new to the practice, meditation enhanced performance and the ability to focus attention. Performance-based measures of cognitive function demonstrated improvements in a matter of weeks.

 

Meditation, according to Penn neuroscientist Amishi Jha and Michael Baime, director of Penn's Stress Management Program, is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works.  Their study is the first to examine how meditation may modify the three subcomponents of attention, including the ability to prioritize and manage tasks and goals, the ability to voluntarily focus on specific information and the ability to stay alert to the environment.

 

In the Penn study, subjects were split into two categories.  Those new to meditation, or "mindfulness training," took part in an eight-week course that included up to 30 minutes of daily meditation.  The second group was more experienced with meditation and attended an intensive full-time, one-month retreat.

 

Researchers found that even for those new to the practice, meditation enhanced performance and the ability to focus attention.  Performance-based measures of cognitive function demonstrated improvements in a matter of weeks.  The study, to be published in the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, suggests a new, non-medical means for improving focus and cognitive ability among disparate populations and has implications for workplace performance and learning.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625193240.htm

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