Through the practice of Mindfulness Meditation (MM), meditators become familiar with the observation of ongoing spontaneous thoughts, while maintaining an attitude of openness and equanimity. The aim of this systematic review is to present a synthesis of available findings of the short and long-term effects of MM on mind wandering (MW). We included studies that considered both first-person and behavioral/physiological measures of MW. The search resulted in 2035 papers, 24 of which were eligible. Reviewed studies revealed a high heterogeneity in designs, outcome measures and interventions. Most of the pre-post intervention studies showed that a protracted practice of MM (at least 2 weeks) reduced MW, limiting its negative effects on different cognitive tasks. Cross-sectional studies highlighted differences between expert meditators and naïve individuals: meditators self-reported less MW and showed decreased Default Mode Network activity, during meditation and resting-state. Further studies are needed to replicate available findings and to more deeply explore how MW is influenced by meditation, also considering its qualitative characteristics that remain largely unexplored.

The Impact of Mindfulness Meditation on the Wandering Mind: a Systematic Review

Matiz A.;Fabbro F.;Crescentini C.
2021

Abstract

Through the practice of Mindfulness Meditation (MM), meditators become familiar with the observation of ongoing spontaneous thoughts, while maintaining an attitude of openness and equanimity. The aim of this systematic review is to present a synthesis of available findings of the short and long-term effects of MM on mind wandering (MW). We included studies that considered both first-person and behavioral/physiological measures of MW. The search resulted in 2035 papers, 24 of which were eligible. Reviewed studies revealed a high heterogeneity in designs, outcome measures and interventions. Most of the pre-post intervention studies showed that a protracted practice of MM (at least 2 weeks) reduced MW, limiting its negative effects on different cognitive tasks. Cross-sectional studies highlighted differences between expert meditators and naïve individuals: meditators self-reported less MW and showed decreased Default Mode Network activity, during meditation and resting-state. Further studies are needed to replicate available findings and to more deeply explore how MW is influenced by meditation, also considering its qualitative characteristics that remain largely unexplored.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1213252
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