Research Update

March 22, 2021 by

Mindfulness Training Improves Visual Processing and Attention in Older Adults

Mindfulness has been shown to improve attention, which often declines with aging. These investigators used electroencephalograms (EEGs) to examine neural activation in older adults engaged in mindfulness training to examine the long-term stability of training effects.  A total of 81 participants (average age 70 years) were randomly assigned to either an eight-week mindfulness training program or a computer-based attention training program without mindfulness.  Each group practiced for 33-35 minutes a day.  After six months of follow-up, mindfulness practitioners displayed enhanced neural activation. Similar changes were not observed in the control group. Neural changes following mindfulness training were accompanied by improvements on attention tasks. The authors concluded that mindfulness may enhance neural processes known to deteriorate in normal aging and age- related neurodegenerative diseases.

Isbel B, Weber J, et al. Neural changes in early visual processing after 6 months of mindfulness training in older adults. Scientific Reports 2020; 10: 21163.

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