Thursday, 11 April 2013

Daily Mail News: Living in the moment will improve your memory, working life and relationships, researchers say

The right-wing tabloid UK newspaper The Daily Mail online posted an article on 27th March 2013 in its Science section titled: Living in the moment will improve your memory, working life and relationships, researchers say.

The article lacked any cynicism, which was a surprise, and kept a generally grounded tone throughout.

Here are some key quotes:
"Just two weeks of mindfulness training on how to 'live in the moment' can significantly improve reading comprehension, memory capacity and the ability to focus.

Many psychologists define mindfulness as a state of non-distraction characterised by full engagement with our current task or situation.
‘What surprised me the most was actually the clarity of the results,’ said Michael Mrazek, graduate student researcher in psychology and the lead and corresponding author of the paper, Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering.

‘Even with a rigorous design and effective training program, it wouldn't be unusual to find mixed results. But we found reduced mind-wandering in every way we measured it.’

Their findings were recently published online in the empirical psychology journal Psychological Science.
‘This is the most complete and rigorous demonstration that mindfulness can reduce mind-wandering, one of the clearest demonstrations that mindfulness can improve working memory and reading, and the first study to tie all this together to show that mind-wandering mediates the improvements in performance,’ said Mrazek.

He added that the research establishes with greater certainty that some cognitive abilities often seen as immutable, such as working memory capacity, can be improved through mindfulness training.

The research team are extending their work by investigating whether similar results can be achieved with younger populations, or with web-based mindfulness interventions.
The University of Oxford’s Centre for Suicide Research found that mindfulness meditation can cut the recurrence of depression by 50 per cent, and neuroimaging scans have shown significant positive change in brain activity of long-term meditators."

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