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Brain Connect. 2018 Feb;8(1):40-48. doi: 10.1089/brain.2017.0520. Epub 2018 Jan 2.

Resting-State Network Functional Connectivity Patterns Associated with the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale.

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1 Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba , Winnipeg, Canada .
2 St. Boniface Hospital Research , Winnipeg, Canada .
3 Department of Psychology, University of Winnipeg , Winnipeg, Canada .
4 Department of Radiology, University of Manitoba , Winnipeg, Canada .


Mindfulness refers to attending to moment-to-moment experiences with acceptance and no judgment. Several scales have been developed to quantify different components of mindfulness. The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) is particularly sensitive to trait mindfulness and is proposed to measure the attentional component of mindfulness. The purpose of this study was to identify the neural correlates of the MAAS in four resting-state networks related to attention-the default mode network (DMN), the salience network (SN), and the left and right central executive network (CEN). Thirty-two university students naive to mindfulness completed the MAAS and later underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Resting-state data were analyzed using an independent component analysis; the scores from the MAAS were covaried to the connectivity maps in an analysis of covariance. The results indicate that variations in MAAS scores correlated with variations in functional connectivity patterns in resting-state networks. Specifically, within the SN and CEN, the MAAS was negatively correlated with functional connectivity in the precuneus, even though the precuneus is a key component of the DMN. Negative correlations in the DMN between the MAAS and the insula and negative correlations in the SN between the MAAS and the posterior cingulate cortex were also observed. These results suggest that MAAS scores (1) are correlated with the functional connectivity of several brain structures related to attention and (2) involve cross-network functional connectivity.


Mindful Attention Awareness Scale; fMRI; functional connectivity; resting state; trait mindfulness


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