Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 349-358

First online:

Meditation in Higher Education: Does it Enhance Cognition?

  • Casey HelberAffiliated withFordham University
  • , Nancy A. ZookAffiliated withPurchase College, State University of New York Email author 
  • , Matthew ImmergutAffiliated withPurchase College, State University of New York

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We predicted that students in a sociology course that included contemplative practices (i.e., mindfulness meditation) would show an increase in performance on higher level cognitive abilities (executive functions) over the semester compared to a control group of students. Change in executive functions performance was not significantly different between the two groups. However, when looking within the meditation group, the time spent meditating predicted the amount of executive function improvement, suggesting that the amount of time spent meditating is strongly related to the level of improvement. This finding provides preliminary support for benefits of meditation for students’ higher level cognitive abilities.


Meditation Executive Functions Education