Open-Monitoring Meditation May Help You Make Fewer Mistakes

A new study, conducted by researchers from Michigan State University, U.S., tested how meditation that focuses awareness on feelings, thoughts, or sensations in the mind and body, called open-monitoring meditation, altered brain activity in a way that results in better error recognition.Open-Monitoring Meditation May Help You Make Fewer Mistakes

For their research, scientists recruited more than 200 individuals to find out how open-monitoring meditation affected how people detect and respond to errors.

The participants, who had never meditated before, were taken through a 20-minute open-monitoring meditation exercise while the researchers measured brain activity with the help of electroencephalography. After this, they performed a computerized distraction test.

Study co-author Jeff Lin, MSU psychology doctoral candidate, says: “The EEG can measure brain activity at the millisecond level, so we got precise measures of neural activity right after mistakes compared to correct responses. A certain neural signal occurs about half a second after an error called the error positivity, which is linked to conscious error recognition. We found that the strength of this signal is increased in the meditators relative to controls.”

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