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Emerging evidences have shown that one form of mental training - mindfulness meditation, can improve attention, emotion Emerging evidences have shown that one form of mental training - mindfulness meditation, can improve attention, emotion regulation and cognitive performance through changing brain activity and structural connectivity. However, whether and how the short-term mindfulness meditation alters large-scale brain networks are not well understood. Here, we applied a novel data-driven technique, the multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to resting-state fMRI data to identify changes in brain activity patterns and assess the neural mechanisms induced by a brief mindfulness training - integrative body–mind training (IBMT), which was previously reported in our series of randomized studies. Whole brain resting-state fMRI was performed on an undergraduate group who received 2 weeks of IBMT with 30 min per session (5 h training in total). Classifiers were trained on measures of functional connectivity in this fMRI data, and they were able to reliably differentiate (with 72% accuracy) patterns of connectivity from before vs. after the IBMT training. After training, an increase in positive functional connections (60 connections) were detected, primarily involving bilateral superior/middle occipital gyrus, bilateral frontale operculum, bilateral superior temporal gyrus, right superior temporal pole, bilateral insula, caudate and cerebellum. These results suggest that brief mental training alters the functional connectivity of large-scale brain networks at rest that may involve a portion of the neural circuitry supporting attention, cognitive and affective processing, awareness and sensory integration, and reward processing.

Background: One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement.Methods: Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. Results: As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Conclusions: Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation.

The present study examined the reliability and validity of a Chinese translation of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Three questionnaires, the MAAS, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and the brief version of the World Health Organization's Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF), were completed by 263 Chinese undergraduates (207 males, 56 females). Seventy of these students were assessed again with the MAAS after 20 days to evaluate the scale's test–retest reliability. Results from confirmatory factory analysis indicated that a one-factor solution fit the MAAS data satisfactorily. Reliability coefficients, including Cronbach's alpha, Guttman split-half, item–total correlations, and test–retest, were also satisfactory. Addressing validity, the MAAS was negatively correlated with PANAS negative affect and positively associated with PANAS positive affect as well as with the quality of life indexed by the WHOQOL-BREF. The Chinese version of the MAAS appears to be a reliable and valid instrument to assess levels of mindfulness in a Chinese college population.