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The Effect of Short-Term Training of Vipassana’s Body-Scan on Select Cognitive Functions

Abstract

This experiment examined the effect of a short-term body-scan meditation technique of vipassana practice on select cognitive functions. Participants (n = 77) were randomly divided into an experimental group (n = 37) and an active control group (n = 40). The average age of participants in the experimental group and the active control group was 21.67 ± 1.16 and 21.40 ± 3.14 years, respectively. The experimental group practiced body-scan mindfulness, one session per day for 6 days with each session lasting for 25 min. Participants in the active control group spent an equal amount of time reading fiction of their choice and listening to soothing music. Variables that were studied included five cognitive functions, namely reaction time, attention, learning, working memory, and social-emotional cognition. Results showed that short-term mindfulness meditation decreased reaction time and increased attention, with mild effect size. It may be concluded that short-term mindfulness practice might be an alternative for individuals who, due to various reasons, cannot practice long-term courses.

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Correspondence to Kishor Adhikari.

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This study involved human subjects. All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was taken from all the participants and their right to leave the study at any time without any conditions was explained to them.

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Adhikari, K., Kothari, F. & Khadka, A. The Effect of Short-Term Training of Vipassana’s Body-Scan on Select Cognitive Functions. Psychol Stud 63, 228–235 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12646-018-0461-y

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Keywords

  • Vipassana
  • Body-scan
  • Mindfulness
  • Cognition