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Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2017 Dec;17(6):1164-1175. doi: 10.3758/s13415-017-0540-x.

Brief training in mindfulness may normalize a blunted error-related negativity in chronically depressed patients.

Author information

1
Dahlem Center for Neuroimaging of Emotions, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
2
Dahlem Center for Neuroimaging of Emotions, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany. t.barnhofer@exeter.ac.uk.
3
Mood Disorders Centre, University of Exeter, Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research, Perry Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK. t.barnhofer@exeter.ac.uk.

Abstract

The error-related negativity (ERN), an evoked-potential that arises in response to the commission of errors, is an important early indicator of self-regulatory capacities. In this study we investigated whether brief mindfulness training can reverse ERN deficits in chronically depressed patients. The ERN was assessed in a sustained attention task. Chronically depressed patients (n = 59) showed significantly blunted expression of the ERN in frontocentral and frontal regions, relative to healthy controls (n = 18). Following two weeks of training, the patients (n = 24) in the mindfulness condition showed a significantly increased ERN magnitude in the frontal region, but there were no significant changes in patients who had received a resting control (n = 22). The findings suggest that brief training in mindfulness may help normalize aberrations in the ERN in chronically depressed patients, providing preliminary evidence for the responsiveness of this parameter to mental training.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic depression; Error-related negativity; Major depressive disorder; Mindfulness; Sustained attention

PMID:
28975567
PMCID:
PMC5709439
DOI:
10.3758/s13415-017-0540-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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