Meditators Can Switch Mental Processes More Quickly

In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that the habitual practice of being heedful to distraction from spontaneous thoughts during meditation renders regular meditators, as compared to control subjects, more able to voluntarily contain the automatic cascade of conceptual associations triggered by semantic stimuli. To this purpose, we adapted a simple lexical decision task [11] that required the subjects to decide whether the visually presented stimuli were real English words or strings of letters with plausible readings but no semantic content (“nonwords”) by pressing a button on an MRI-compatible response device. The stimuli were delivered on a temporally sparse schedule within an ongoing meditative condition: subjects were instructed to attend to their breathing throughout the scan, perform the lexical decision task when a stimulus appeared on the screen, and promptly re-focus their attention to their breathing. We hypothesized that the default network in meditators would display a response associated with semantic processing characterized by a reduced duration compared to control subjects, for whom the cascade of conceptual associations triggered by semantic stimuli would be less effectively terminated by the experimental prescription of redirecting attention to the breathing.


In an experiment where they are flashed words and non words at random during meditation and tasked to categorize which they are seeing.

Folksonomies: meditation

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Experiment (0.921321): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Semantics (0.890272): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Meditation (0.879109): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mantra (0.758821): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Thought (0.747246): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Hypothesis (0.743590): dbpedia | freebase
Zen (0.729208): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 "Thinking about Not-Thinking": Neural Correlates of Conceptual Processing during Zen Meditation
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Pagnoni, Cekic, Guo (2008), "Thinking about Not-Thinking": Neural Correlates of Conceptual Processing during Zen Meditation, PLoS ONE, Retrieved on 2012-06-26
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: meditation


    17 APR 2011

     Science and Meditation

    Empirical evidence concerning meditation.
    Folksonomies: science meditation
    Folksonomies: science meditation