Mindfulness training disrupts Pavlovian conditioning.

Author: Hanley A1, Garland E2
Author Information:
1Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development (C-MIIND), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; College of Social Work, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
2Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development (C-MIIND), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; College of Social Work, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Electronic address: eric.garland@socwk.utah.edu.
Conference/Journal: Physiol Behav.
Date published: 2019 Feb 23
Other: Pages: S0031-9384(19)30009-5 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.02.028. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 115


Classical conditioning is a quintessential learning process; however, maladaptive forms of conditioning sustain many unhealthy behaviors (e.g., addiction). Mindfulness training is theorized to de-automatize conditioned behavior by decoupling stimulus and response. This study assessed the effect of mindfulness training on conditioned behavior during a classical conditioning task. Findings indicated mindfulness training decreased classically conditioned behavior relative to an active control condition, delaying the onset of first conditioned response and decreasing conditioned response frequency. Thus, mindfulness training may be one method of increasing volitional control over maladaptive conditioned behaviors that contribute to the development and maintenance of clinical disorders.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.

KEYWORDS: Behavioral therapy; Classical conditioning; Meditation; Mindfulness

PMID: 30807770 DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.02.028

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