Investigation of “Meditation Labs” at Brown University:
Effects on Attention, Emotional Wellbeing, and Life Satisfaction
Background: In order to promote learning from both didactic (third person) and experiential (first person) perspectives, “meditation labs” have been incorporated into several courses by Professor Hal Roth since 2000, so that students may experience the contemplative practices that they are learning about in class. This study investigated the effects of these meditation labs on attention, memory, emotion, and sleep in comparison to other forms of attention training (music, dance).
Effects on emotional memory: In comparison to music classes, students in the meditation classes increased in positive word recall, and this increase was associated with improved depression, anxiety and wellbeing. Read the original article here.
Effects on women’s body awareness: In comparison to both musicians and male meditators, female meditators became significantly faster at registering their physiological responses (interoceptive awareness) to sexual stimuli. These increases in bidy awareness were associated with improvements in anxiety and depression. Read the original article here.
Gender-Specific Effects: The study also found that women had larger improvements in negative affect than their male counterparts in response to ICP mindfulness training. Read the original article here. Be sure to read the Science vs. Spin response to the media coverage.
Silverstein RG, Brown AC, Roth HD, Britton WB. Effects of mindfulness training on body awareness to sexual stimuli: implications for female sexual dysfunction. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2011; 73 (9) : 817-25 . PubMed
Roberts-Wolfe D, Sacchet MD, Hastings E, Roth H, Britton W. Mindfulness training alters emotional memory recall compared to active controls: support for an emotional information processing model of mindfulness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2012; 6 : 15 . full text PubMed
Rojiani, Rahil, Santoyo, Juan F., Rahrig, Hadley, Roth, Harold D., Britton, Willoughby B. Women Benefit More Than Men in Response to College-based Meditation Training Frontiers in Psychology. 2017; 8 . full text