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Conscious Cogn. 2013 Sep;22(3):846-52. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

The effect of mindfulness meditation on time perception.

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1
School of Psychology, Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NP, Kent, UK. Electronic address: R.S.S.Kramer@kent.ac.uk.

Abstract

Research has increasingly focussed on the benefits of meditation in everyday life and performance. Mindfulness in particular improves attention, working memory capacity, and reading comprehension. Given its emphasis on moment-to-moment awareness, we hypothesised that mindfulness meditation would alter time perception. Using a within-subjects design, participants carried out a temporal bisection task, where several probe durations are compared to "short" and "long" standards. Following this, participants either listened to an audiobook or a meditation that focussed on the movement of breath in the body. Finally, participants completed the temporal bisection task for a second time. The control group showed no change after the listening task. However, meditation led to a relative overestimation of durations. Within an internal clock framework, a change in attentional resources can produce longer perceived durations. This meditative effect has wider implications for the use of mindfulness as an everyday practice and a basis for clinical treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Arousal; Attention; Meditation; Mindfulness; Temporal bisection; Time perception

PMID:
23778017
DOI:
10.1016/j.concog.2013.05.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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