, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 41–63 | Cite as

Searching for Mindfulness in the Brain: A Process-Oriented Approach to Examining the Neural Correlates of Mindfulness

  • Lindsay B. FletcherEmail author
  • Benjamin Schoendorff
  • Steven C. Hayes
Review Paper


There has been great interest of late in trying to capture the benefits of meditation by scanning meditators’ brains. In this paper, we argue that a successful neuroscience of mindfulness needs to be based on an adequate psychological analysis. We present a definition of mindfulness based on four psychological processes that are relatively well understood, and we show how this model may help organize neuroimaging research and create a bridge to clinical applications. This framework provides an approach to neuroscience research grounded in psychological principles and theory. We propose that this is critical for advancing scientific endeavors such that the knowledge gained helps improve the human condition.


Mindfulness Functional contextualism Neuroimaging Meditation Acceptance and commitment therapy 



Benjamin Schoendorff wishes to thank Jean-Philippe Lachaux, Olivier Bertrand, and the whole team at the Inserm U821, Brain Dynamics and Cognition laboratory, Lyon, France for having supported his evolving thinking about neuroscience, meditation and clinical psychology over the past five years.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay B. Fletcher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benjamin Schoendorff
    • 2
  • Steven C. Hayes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA
  2. 2.INSERM-U821, Brain Dynamics and CognitionBron CedexFrance

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