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Two hundred twenty-five chronic pain patients were studied following training in mindfulness meditation. Large and significant overall improvements were recorded post-intervention in physical and psychological status. These gains were maintained at follow-up in the majority of subjects. Follow-up times ranged from 2.5-48 months. Status on the McUill Melzack Pain Rating Index (PRI). however, tended to revert to preintervention levels following the intervention. Most subjects reported a high degree of adherence with the meditation techniques, maintenance of improved status over time, and a high degree of importance attributed to the training program. We conclude that such training can have long-term benefit for chronic pain patients.
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In this study, we examined the effects of a short mindfulness meditation induction (MMI) on the performance of a P300-based brain–computer interface (BCI) task. We expected that MMI would harness present-moment attentional resources, resulting in two positive consequences for P300-based BCI use. Specifically, we believed that MMI would facilitate increases in task accuracy and promote the production of robust P300 amplitudes. Sixteen-channel electroencephalographic data were recorded from 18 subjects using a row/column speller task paradigm. Nine subjects participated in a 6 min MMI and an additional nine subjects served as a control group. Subjects were presented with a 6 × 6 matrix of alphanumeric characters on a computer monitor. Stimuli were flashed at a stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of 125 ms. Calibration data were collected on 21 items without providing feedback. These data were used to derive a stepwise linear discriminate analysis classifier that was applied to an additional 14 items to evaluate accuracy. Offline performance analyses revealed that MMI subjects were significantly more accurate than control subjects. Likewise, MMI subjects produced significantly larger P300 amplitudes than control subjects at Cz and PO7. The discussion focuses on the potential attentional benefits of MMI for P300-based BCI performance.