A comparison of single-session focused attention meditation and computerised attention task instantaneous effects on cognitive control in sequence learning

Contributors:
  1. Maarten Alberto Immink
  2. Kurt Lushington

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Description: Chan et al. (2017) demonstrated that top-down control states established in FAM persist to influence subsequent sequence learning through increased stimulus-based planning. To test if top-down control influences on attention allocation and contribute to sequence learning effects of FAM, we compared against a computerised attention task (CAT). We investigated if effort, arousal or pleasure associated with FAM or CAT, explained the influence on sequence learning. Relative to Control, FAM and CAT resulted in shorter reaction time (RT) in the SRTT. FAM resulted in a greater rate of improvement than both CAT and control across training blocks of the SRTT, aligned with general practice benefits associated with reliance on stimulus-based planning. Neither effort, arousal or pleasure associated with FAM, CAT or control conditions correlated with SRTT performance or learning indices. Enhanced sequence learning following FAM is attributed to increased top-down control states established by FAM that transfer to subsequent sequence learning.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

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