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Conscious Cogn. 2009 Sep;18(3):593-9. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2009.05.001. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Age effects on attentional blink performance in meditation.

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Cognitive Neurology Unit, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University & Brain Imaging Center, Schleusenweg 2-16, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Here we explore whether mental training in the form of meditation can help to overcome age-related attentional decline. We compared performance on the attentional blink task between three populations: A group of long-term meditation practitioners within an older population, a control group of age-matched participants and a control group of young participants. Members of both control groups had never practiced meditation. Our results show that long-term meditation practice leads to a reduction of the attentional blink. Meditation practitioners taken from an older population showed a reduction in blink as compared to a control group taken from a younger population, whereas, the control group age-matched to the meditators' group revealed a blink that was comparatively larger and broader. Our results support the hypothesis that meditation practice can: (i) alter the efficiency with which attentional resources are distributed and (ii) help to overcome age-related attentional deficits in the temporal domain.

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