Mental Training Affects Electrophysiological Markers of Attention Resource Allocation in Healthy Older Adults.

Author: Isbel BD1, Lagopoulos J2, Hermens DF3, Summers MJ4
Author Information:
1Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4 (ML59), Maroochydore DC, QLD, 4558, Australia. Electronic address: Ben.Isbel@research.usc.edu.au.
2Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4 (ML59), Maroochydore DC, QLD, 4558, Australia. Electronic address: Jim.Lagopoulos@usc.edu.au.
3Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4 (ML59), Maroochydore DC, QLD, 4558, Australia. Electronic address: adhermens@usc.edu.au.
4Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4 (ML59), Maroochydore DC, QLD, 4558, Australia. Electronic address: msummers@usc.edu.au.
Conference/Journal: Neurosci Lett.
Date published: 2019 Jan 16
Other: Pages: S0304-3940(19)30041-2 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2019.01.029. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 153


Aging is associated with a decline in performance and speed of attentional processing. Mindfulness has been shown to enhance attentional performance, however evidence of this is lacking in aging cohorts. A longitudinal RCT was conducted to examine the effect of mindfulness training on attentional performance in healthy older adults (n = 49) together with an active control computer-based attention training group (n = 30). While both groups displayed decreased N2 amplitudes at frontal and central regions during an auditory oddball task after training, only the mindfulness group showed reductions in frontal N2 and P3 latency. These results suggest that programs targeting sustained attention may result in efficient allocation of attentional resources in older adults. In particular, mindfulness may enhance the speed of attentional processes which are known to decline in aging, thereby providing benefits against age-related cognitive decline.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.

KEYWORDS: ERP; age-related cognitive decline; attention; cognitive training; mindfulness

PMID: 30659914 DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2019.01.029

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