Cognitive Effects of Mindfulness Training : Results of a Pilot Study Based on a Theory Driven Approach

The present paper reports a pilot study which tested cognitive effects of mindfulness practice in a theory-driven approach. Thirty-four fifth graders received either a mindfulness training which was based on the mindfulness-based stress reduction approach (experimental group), a concentration training (active control group), or no treatment (passive control group). Based on the operational definition of mindfulness by Bishop et al. (2004), effects on sustained attention, cognitive flexibility, cognitive inhibition, and data-driven as opposed to schema-based information processing were predicted. These abilities were assessed in a pre-post design by means of a vigilance test, a reversible figures test, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, a Stroop test, a visual search task, and a recognition task of prototypical faces. Results suggest that the mindfulness training specifically improved cognitive inhibition and data-driven information processing.


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