This study suggests that participation in an eight week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.
When assessing unfairness in the Ultimatum Game, meditators activate a different network of brain areas compared with controls enabling them to uncouple negative emotional reactions from their behaviour.
Four companies took part in randomized controlled experiments to test the effectiveness of different approaches to management education designed to develop such socially responsible behaviour. The data provides evidence that traditional approaches to management education are not effective in changing decisions made regarding CSR dilemmas. Approaches aimed at personal development, such as training techniques of relaxation and mental silence meditation, even without explicit reference to CSR, show strong impact on changes in the decisions made and specific psychological characteristics of managers (affect, values and cognitive reasoning, referred to as 'social consciousness') that enhance the emergence of socially responsible behaviour.
Over eight weeks of training, meditators compared with the non-meditators experienced significant increases in left-sided anterior activation, a pattern associated with positive affect. There were also significant increases in immune response among the meditation group. The magnitude of increase in left-sided activation predicted the magnitude of antibody titer rise to a flu vaccine.
This study investigated the impact of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and
affective experience. Findings suggest that mindfulness training may protect against the functional impairments associated with high-stress contexts.
Our associate Ed Halliwell was commissioned by the UK's Mental Health Foundation to write a report in response to the growing evidence for and popularity of mindfulness training. The report examines the evidence for the effectiveness of the mindfulness training and explores the potential beneficial effects of it for society at large.
Training in mindfulness meditation and communication can alleviate the psychological distress and burnout experienced by many physicians and can improve their well-being.
A cross-sectional of more than 300 full-time working adults with different amounts of experience in meditation found that those participants with greater meditation experience exhibited higher emotional intelligence, less perceived stress and better mental health than those who had less. It then randomly tested whether meditation training improves people's state, and found that those who completed a mindfulness meditation training course demonstrated significant improvements in the same variables.
This short article by Michael first appeared in the Newsletter of the Association of Business Psychologists. In it, he describes some of the ways in which mindfulness training affects brain mechanisms and how that can impact on one's capacities as a leader.