Strengthening the Brain’s Attention System with Mindfulness Training, Amishi Jha

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m. in Robison Concert Hall, Mahaney Center for the Arts

Mindfulness is a mental mode of paying attention to present-moment experience without emotional reactivity. This presentation will discuss recent neuroscientific findings regarding the effectiveness of mindfulness training to strengthen attention and improve well-being. A growing body of literature finds that protracted periods of high stress degrade cognitive functioning and weaken the capacity to regulate emotions. Our research involving a broad range of groups, such as military service members, elite athletes, teachers, and undergraduate students, has found that attention, working memory, and mood improve with mindfulness-based interventions. Based on these findings, we argue that mindfulness training programs should be further examined in academic settings.