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Mindfulness, Attention, and Working Memory

Chapter

Abstract

The human mind relies on a set of processes to guide moment-to-moment experience. These processes include attention and working memory. Interest in cognitive training results from the knowledge that these processes are capacity limited and are diminished under contexts such as stress or negative affect. Mindfulness is a mental mode characterized by attention to the present moment without emotional reactivity or conceptual engagement. Recent research tests the hypothesis that mindfulness training produces measurable benefits to attention and working memory. This chapter illustrates the cognitive processes that determine the contents of the mind at any given moment, and then discusses the results of empirical studies examining mindfulness training as a cognitive enhancement tool, particularly for the core systems of attention and working memory.

Keywords

Attention Cognitive enhancement Meditation Mindfulness Mindfulness training Mind wandering Neuroscience Stress Working memory 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

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