Research has found that meditation can help in becoming less susceptible to making mistakes. The study tested how open-monitoring meditation, which focuses awareness on thoughts, feelings, or sensations while they are unfolding in the body and mind, changed activity in the brain in a way that suggested an increase in recognizing errors.
According to one of the researchers, the interest in mindfulness and meditation is outpacing what can be proved by science with regards to benefits and effects. He found it amazing that just 1 session of guided meditation can produce brain activity changes in individuals who had never meditated before.
The study results indicate that various types of meditation can produce different neurocognitive effects. Certain types of meditation focus on just one object, usually the breath, open-monitoring meditation is however slightly different. It requires focusing inward on everything happening in the body and mind. The objective is to be seated quietly and be aware of where the mind is traveling without getting too involved in the details.
More than 200 individuals were recruited for testing how open-monitoring meditation impacted how they detected and responded to errors. The individuals were guided through 20 minutes of open-monitoring meditation while activity in the brain was measured through electroencephalography. A computerized distraction test was then completed by the participants.
The electroencephalography can determine activity in the brain at the millisecond level, so exact neural activity measures were obtained immediately after mistakes in comparison to correct responses. A certain neural signal happens approximately half a second following an error which is known as the error positivity and is associated with conscious error recognition. The researchers discovered that this signal strength was increased after the meditation session.
The study results demonstrate what meditating for just 20 minutes can do for enhancing the ability of the brain in detecting and paying attention to mistakes.
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