This article explores initial findings and the implications of neuro-scientific research on meditation. Meditation is conceptualized here as a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes developed for various ends, including the cultivation of well-being and emotional balance.
The review focuses on the mental processes and the underlying neural circuitry that are critically involved in two styles of meditation.One style, Focused Attention (FA) meditation, entails the voluntary focusing of attention on a chosen object. The other style, Open Monitoring (OM) meditation, involves non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment. We discuss the potential regulatory functions of these practices on attention and emotion processes and their putative long-term impact on the brain and behavior.