Cognitive Processing

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 73–85 | Cite as

Long-term meditation: the relationship between cognitive processes, thinking styles and mindfulness

  • Rosa Angela Fabio
  • Giulia Emma Towey
Research Report


The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between meditation and cognitive functions. More in depth the purpose is to demonstrate that long-term meditation practice improves attention skills and cognitive flexibility. Eighteen long-term meditation practitioners were compared to a matched control group, who never practiced meditation. Each subject was tested, using computerized software (Presentation Software 9.90), which measured: attention, visual search abilities, working memory and Stroop’s interference tasks. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between long-term meditation practice, mindfulness skills and thinking styles, namely styles of processing information. The results showed significant differences between the two groups, demonstrating that long-term meditation is linked to improvements of attentional functions, working memory and cognitive flexibility.


Meditation Attention Working memory Cognitive flexibility Thinking styles 



The authors would like to thank Romeo, Z., Ciccocioppi, L. and Scalici, F. for their assistance in data collection.


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive Empowerment Laboratory, Department of Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, Education and Cultural StudiesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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