Can attention and working memory be strengthened via training?

Our research suggests that mindfulness training (MT), more so than other comparison programs, bolsters attention and working memory. Since attention and working memory are critical for performance success but prone to degradation by a number of factors, we have been pursuing training modalities to strengthen and protect these functions. Our research suggests that MT strengthens attention and working memory moreso than other active comparison programs such as relaxation training (Rooks et al., 2017; Denkova et al., 2020) and positivity training (Jha et al., 2020). Our findings provide guidance on best practices regarding critical program content (Jha et al., 2020), minimum program duration (Zanesco et al., 2019), and key trainer competencies (Jha et al., 2020, Denkova et al., 2021) to promote salutary effects with MT. In our current projects, we are exploring scalable dissemination approaches to MT, such as self-guided, technology supported approaches.

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