Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention

Micah Allen, Martin Dietz, Karina Blair, Martijn van Beek, Geraint Rees, Peter Vestergaard-Poulsen, Antoine Lutz, Andreas Roepstorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory, and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures renders difficult distinguishing their respective roles. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6 week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active-control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved significantly on a responseinhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group-by-time interactions on negative affect-related reaction times or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending on context, contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15601-15610
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume32
Issue number44
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2012

Fingerprint

Mindfulness
Neuronal Plasticity
Prefrontal Cortex
Meditation
Gyrus Cinguli
Reaction Time
Healthy Volunteers
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Allen, M., Dietz, M., Blair, K., van Beek, M., Rees, G., Vestergaard-Poulsen, P., ... Roepstorff, A. (2012). Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(44), 15601-15610. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2957-12.2012

Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention. / Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin; Blair, Karina; van Beek, Martijn; Rees, Geraint; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Lutz, Antoine; Roepstorff, Andreas.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 32, No. 44, 31.10.2012, p. 15601-15610.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Allen, M, Dietz, M, Blair, K, van Beek, M, Rees, G, Vestergaard-Poulsen, P, Lutz, A & Roepstorff, A 2012, 'Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 32, no. 44, pp. 15601-15610. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2957-12.2012
Allen, Micah ; Dietz, Martin ; Blair, Karina ; van Beek, Martijn ; Rees, Geraint ; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter ; Lutz, Antoine ; Roepstorff, Andreas. / Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2012 ; Vol. 32, No. 44. pp. 15601-15610.
@article{4a3e6f30b3bf4bb187bc14b0b66f2807,
title = "Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention",
abstract = "Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory, and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures renders difficult distinguishing their respective roles. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6 week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active-control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved significantly on a responseinhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group-by-time interactions on negative affect-related reaction times or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending on context, contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach.",
author = "Micah Allen and Martin Dietz and Karina Blair and {van Beek}, Martijn and Geraint Rees and Peter Vestergaard-Poulsen and Antoine Lutz and Andreas Roepstorff",
year = "2012",
month = "10",
day = "31",
doi = "10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2957-12.2012",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "32",
pages = "15601--15610",
journal = "Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0270-6474",
publisher = "Society for Neuroscience",
number = "44",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention

AU - Allen, Micah

AU - Dietz, Martin

AU - Blair, Karina

AU - van Beek, Martijn

AU - Rees, Geraint

AU - Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter

AU - Lutz, Antoine

AU - Roepstorff, Andreas

PY - 2012/10/31

Y1 - 2012/10/31

N2 - Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory, and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures renders difficult distinguishing their respective roles. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6 week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active-control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved significantly on a responseinhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group-by-time interactions on negative affect-related reaction times or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending on context, contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach.

AB - Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory, and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures renders difficult distinguishing their respective roles. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6 week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active-control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved significantly on a responseinhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group-by-time interactions on negative affect-related reaction times or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending on context, contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84868091284&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84868091284&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2957-12.2012

DO - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2957-12.2012

M3 - Article

VL - 32

SP - 15601

EP - 15610

JO - Journal of Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0270-6474

IS - 44

ER -