Meditation Improves Cognitive Skills in Just Four Days

Thursday, June 17, 2010 by: Wee Peng Ho
Tags: meditation, cognitive skills, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Governments seize colloidal silver being used to treat Ebola patients, says advocate
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises

(NaturalNews) If you are still undecided whether to sign up for that meditation class, perhaps this piece of research news may do the trick. A study published in the April 2 issue of Consciousness and Cognition found that 20 minutes of meditation each day can improve cognitive skills in as short as four days.

The research involved 63 students randomly split into two groups. Researchers trained one group on mindfulness meditation while the other group listened to J.R.R. Tolkein's fantasy novel, The Hobbit. Before and after the experiment, students from both groups were assessed on their mood and cognitive functions, including memory, concentration and visual attention.

A total of 49 students completed the experiment. All of them reported an improvement in mood, but only students in the meditation group fared a noticeable improvement in cognitive abilities. They scored consistently higher averages than those in the listening group on all tests.

"Simply stated, the profound improvements that we found after just four days of meditation training -- are really surprising," said Fadel Zeidan, a post-doctoral researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and a former doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where the research was conducted. "It goes to show that the mind is, in fact, easily changeable and highly influenced, especially by meditation."

In one particular test called the "computer adaptive n-back task", the meditation group did as much as ten times better than the control group. This test required participants to remember whether a stimulus had been shown two steps earlier in a sequence. Every correct answer will speed up the next stimulus, increasing the difficulty of the test. The group briefly trained in meditation scored an average of ten consecutive correct answers compared to the listening group`s one.

"The meditation group did especially better on all the cognitive tests that were timed," Zeidan noted. "In tasks where participants had to process information under time constraints causing stress, the group briefly trained in mindfulness performed significantly better."

The study author, however, admitted that more brain imaging studies are required to confirm the brain power boost seen in the study.

"But this seems to be strong evidence for the idea that we may be able to modify our own minds to improve our cognitive processing -- most importantly in the ability to sustain attention and vigilance -- within a week's time."

The meditation training given to the students was administered by an experienced facilitator. Adapted from a Buddhist meditation practice, the training required participants to relax and focus on their breaths. When distracting thoughts arose, participants were told to acknowledge them and gently bring their attention back to their breathing. On top of the mindfulness meditation, students also received other training to enhance their awareness and concentration.

Does this study imply that four days of meditation are all one needs to improve cognitive skills permanently? No, said the study author. "This kind of training seems to prepare the mind for activity, but it's not necessarily permanent," Zeidan cautioned. "This doesn't mean that you meditate for four days and you're done -- you need to keep practicing."

The findings of this study coincide with similar research done in 2007 that investigated the effects of short-term meditation on attention and mood (see Source #3). In that study, 40 Chinese students were given five days of 20-minute integrative body-mind training and exhibited higher concentration, better mood, lesser stress and higher immunity.


About the author

Wee Peng Ho is a health enthusiast who enjoys writing about physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Learn how to use anti-inflammatory food, natural herbs, selected quality supplements (such as Zyflamend), guided meditations and more to improve your life on his website. While you're at it, don't forget to claim your FREE subscription to his newsletter and get access to exclusive contents today!

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.