The effect of mindfulness meditation on time perception

Kramer, Robin S. S. and Weger, Ulrich W. and Sharma, Dinkar (2013) The effect of mindfulness meditation on time perception. Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (3). pp. 846-852. ISSN 1053-8100

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Abstract

Research has increasingly focussed on the benefits of meditation in everyday life and performance. Mindfulness in particular improves attention, working memory capacity, and reading comprehension. Given its emphasis on moment-to-moment awareness, we hypothesised that mindfulness meditation would alter time perception. Using a within-subjects design, participants carried out a temporal bisection task, where several probe durations are compared to "short" and "long" standards. Following this, participants either listened to an audiobook or a meditation that focussed on the movement of breath in the body. Finally, participants completed the temporal bisection task for a second time. The control group showed no change after the listening task. However, meditation led to a relative overestimation of durations. Within an internal clock framework, a change in attentional resources can produce longer perceived durations. This meditative effect has wider implications for the use of mindfulness as an everyday practice and a basis for clinical treatment.

Keywords:Mindfulness, Meditation, Time perception, Temporal bisection, Attention, Arousal
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:29115
Deposited On:31 Oct 2017 12:55

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