Research Publication Title

Mindfulness and Attentional Control

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Diana L. Young

Abstract

Mindfulness, a core teaching in Buddhist philosophy, can be described as a state of heightened awareness and openness towards one's present experiences (Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007). The purpose of mindfulness is to clear one's mind of distraction and focus on the present. The current study aims to further examine the effects of mindfulness meditation on attentional control in the presence of distractions from external sources, such as sensory input (as opposed to internal distractions, such as one's own thoughts). Furthermore, we aim to investigate distraction from auditory as well as visual sources. To accomplish these goals, participants complete two computerized cognitive tasks that measure attentional control. In order to measure attentional control in the presence of auditory distraction, participants complete an Immediate Serial Recall task with irrelevant speech. To measure attentional control in the presence of visual distraction, participants complete the Stroop Task. It is hypothesized that induced mindfulness will improve attentional control in the presence of auditory and visual distraction, leading to improved performance on both of these tasks. This presentation will emphasize the mindfulness induction and attentional control task methodologies pertaining to this ongoing project.

Start Date

10-4-2015 12:15 PM

End Date

10-4-2015 1:00 PM

Location

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

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Apr 10th, 12:15 PM Apr 10th, 1:00 PM

Mindfulness and Attentional Control

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

Mindfulness, a core teaching in Buddhist philosophy, can be described as a state of heightened awareness and openness towards one's present experiences (Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007). The purpose of mindfulness is to clear one's mind of distraction and focus on the present. The current study aims to further examine the effects of mindfulness meditation on attentional control in the presence of distractions from external sources, such as sensory input (as opposed to internal distractions, such as one's own thoughts). Furthermore, we aim to investigate distraction from auditory as well as visual sources. To accomplish these goals, participants complete two computerized cognitive tasks that measure attentional control. In order to measure attentional control in the presence of auditory distraction, participants complete an Immediate Serial Recall task with irrelevant speech. To measure attentional control in the presence of visual distraction, participants complete the Stroop Task. It is hypothesized that induced mindfulness will improve attentional control in the presence of auditory and visual distraction, leading to improved performance on both of these tasks. This presentation will emphasize the mindfulness induction and attentional control task methodologies pertaining to this ongoing project.