cingulate cortex

Mindfulness Meditation Part 6

Posted on Actualizado enn

Science & Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR; Kabat-Zinnn, 2003) is a meditation-based treatment program applied to diverse clinical conditions. It seems that MBSR improves attention, nonjudgmental attitude and focus on the present.

Nonjudgmental attitude may be related to an emotional response. Emotional resonses are linked to the emotional brain, Mindfulness meditation 6particularly with the amygdala. It has been demonstrate that the response of the amygdala to negative distractors in a sustained attention task is better in experienced meditators (Brefczynski-Lewis et al., 2007). In normal life, negative distractors tend to focus our attention on the future more than in the present. For example, if I am studying for an exam, my fear of fail on the exam, disrupts my sustained attention on what I am learning. At the same time, my attention jumps from the present to the future.

There is a big difference on studying for achieve or pass the test, and studying for learning. In the first condition, you will need a big attentional effort because your motivation is clearly in the future and not in the process itself. The process itself always happens in the present. It can not always be ensured that you will pass the exam with a mindful brain.

 

HOW TO MEDITATE

  • TRY ON SUNSET.
  • TRY WITH FRIENDS.
  • DO NOT TRY WITH RELAXATION MUSIC.
  • DO NOT TRY IN YOUR BED, BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP.
  • YOU NEED TO MASTER THE EXERCISE BEFORE TRYING IT IN VERY BAD DAYS.

 

References:

Brefczynski-Lewis, J. A., Lutz, A., Schaefer, H. S., Levinson, D. B., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(27), 11483-11488. doi:10.1073/pnas.0606552104

Jensen, C. G., Vangkilde, S., Frokjaer, V., & Hasselbalch, S. G. (s.d.). Mindfulness training affects attention—Or is it attentional effort? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(1), 106-123. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024931

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Constructivism in the Human Sciences, 8(2), 73-107.

 

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Mindfulness Meditation Part 5

Posted on Actualizado enn

There are two styles of meditation. The first, is to try to focus our attention on a single object. The second is to monitor our attention in a Mindfulness meditaton 4moment-by-moment experienceBoth of them could be viewed as an attentional training and a possible way to cultivate our well-being. Focused attention meditation is not a passive work. You must constantly and actively monitor the quality of your attention. You must constantly and actively monitor the quality of your attention. In our normal lives, attention jumps from an object to object, without any work. Monitoring implies to recognize that attention wanders away. Then, you must consciously refocus your attention to the chosen object.

Science & Mindfulness Meditation

There are different and specific neural systems associated with meditation. These systems are the neural network for some cognitive functions:

  • Conflict monitoring (cingulate cortex, prefrontal cortex).
  • Selective attention (temporoparietal junction, prefrontal cortex).
  • Sustained attention (right frontal cortex; prefrontal cortex).

HOW TO MEDITATE

  • SIT UP WITH YOUR BACK “STRAIGHT RIGHT”.
  • FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS ON EXPIRATION.
  • STAY WITH FIVE MINUTES EVERYDAY: AT LEAST THREE MONTHS!!
  • DON’T TRY TO GET THE PRIZE. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION WITH YOURSELF.

References:

Corbetta, M., & Shulman, G. L. (2002). Control of goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention in the brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3(3), 201-215. doi:10.1038/nrn755

Posner, M. I., & Rothbart, M. K. (2007). Research on Attention Networks as a Model for the Integration of Psychological Science. Annual Review of Psychology, 58(1), 1-23. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085516

Weissman, D. H., Roberts, K. C., Visscher, K. M., & Woldorff, M. G. (2006). The neural bases of momentary lapses in attention. Nature Neuroscience, 9(7), 971-978. doi:10.1038/nn1727

If you want to receive more information or to contact with a psychologist, please fill out the contact form:

Cerebral cortex development in ADHD

Posted on Actualizado enn

Children with ADHD continue to have symptomatology as adults. Hyperactivity and impulsivity tend to decrease but attentional problems remain persistent over the years. Incidence of ADHD in adulthood is near 2,5% of the population and ADHD in adult age is linked with underemployment, poor relationships and underachievement (Pingault et al., 2011; Simon et al., 2009). Cerebral regions that are important for cognitive control and attention are the cingulate cortex, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and posterior cortical regions of the precuneus and cuneus (Seidman et al., 2006; Proal et al., 2011). Trajectories of cerebral cortex development are associated with the development of ADHD across the ages. Cortical thinning of medial regions is associated with symptomatology in adult ADHD. Decrease activation on frontoparietal networks is found in ADHD and tend to persist in adulthood. Adults with ADHD tend to have problems in goal-directed behavior and cognitive control. They have poor inhibition responses in front of stimuli. In fact, Barkley shows that adults with ADHD tend to have more car accidents and drive faster than control adults. Cortical thinning is not a biomarker but it shows a correlation with ADHD symptomatology across the years. One of the hypothesis for the remission in ADHD is the cortex functional normalization. However larger studies are needed to test this kind of hypothesis, because variables of the samples used, as high IQ, could be a confunding factor. In conclusion, the study of Shaw et al., 2013 is a good starting point to study the developmental trajectories of cortical components of networks supporting attention, cognitive control and the default mode network.

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 References

Pingault, J.-B., Tremblay, R. E., Vitaro, F., Carbonneau, R., Genolini, C., Falissard, B., & Côté, S. M. (2011). Childhood trajectories of inattention and hyperactivity and prediction of educational attainment in early adulthood: A 16-year longitudinal population-based study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168(11), 1164-1170. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.10121732

Proal E, Reiss PT, Klein RG, & et al. (2011). BRain gray matter deficits at 33-year follow-up in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder established in childhood. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(11), 1122-1134. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.117

Seidman, L. J., Valera, E. M., Makris, N., Monuteaux, M. C., Boriel, D. L., Kelkar, K., … Biederman, J. (2006). Dorsolateral Prefrontal and Anterior Cingulate Cortex Volumetric Abnormalities in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Identified by Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Biological Psychiatry, 60(10), 1071-1080. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.04.031

Shaw, P., Malek, M., Watson, B., Greenstein, D., de Rossi, P., & Sharp, W. (2013). Trajectories of Cerebral Cortical Development in Childhood and Adolescence and Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 74(8), 599-606. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.04.007

Simon, V., Czobor, P., Bálint, S., Mészáros, Á., & Bitter, I. (2009). Prevalence and correlates of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 194(3), 204-211. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.107.048827