Research Update

September 29, 2022 by

The Impact of Brief Mindfulness Training on Interception

Interception refers to the brain’s representation of sensations originating within the body, including many sensations associated with emotions. How these signals are perceived is related to both emotion regulation and dysregulation. There is evidence that mindfulness meditation practices can increase interoceptive awareness. In this study, the investigators assessed the effects of a brief three-day mindfulness training on interoceptive accuracy and ​sensitivity among healthy young adults. The participants, who had no prior mindfulness practice, were randomized to a brief mindfulness training (n = 20) or to an active control group (n = 20). They underwent assessment of interception and anxiety before and after the three-day training. The training consisted of listening to standard mindfulness meditations (body scan and breath awareness) with the same audio for 30 minutes sessions on three consecutive days. The control group listened to recordings on health topics.  The mindfulness group had significantly increased interoceptive ​sensitivity (as measured by the 32-item Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness) following the training while the control group had no change. There was no significant difference in either group in interoceptive accuracy (as measured by counting heartbeats without using touch) after training.  Changes in anxiety (as measured by the state anxiety scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) were accounted for (mediated) by changes in interoceptive ​sensitivity. The authors concluded that the changes in interoceptive sensitivity they observed provide a plausible mechanism to explain the anxiety reducing effects of meditation practices.

Geissy Lainny de Lima-Araujo , Geovan Menezes de Sousa Júnior, Thatiane Mendes, Marcelo Demarzo, Norman Farb, Draulio Barros de Araujo, Maria Bernardete Cordeiro de Sousa. PLoS ONE. 17(9):e0273864, 2022.

Filed Under: News and Notes