Effects on attention and creativity

Lippelt, D. P., Hommel, B., & Colzato, L. S. (2014). Focused attention, open monitoring and loving kindness meditation: effects on attention, conflict monitoring and creativity. Cognition, 5, 1083. Full text.

Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a topic for scientific research and theories on meditation are becoming ever more specific. We distinguish between what is called Focused Attention meditation, Open Monitoring meditation, and Loving kindness (or compassion) meditation.

Research suggests that these meditations have differential, dissociable effects on a wide range of cognitive (control) processes, such as attentional selection, conflict monitoring, divergent and convergent thinking. Although research on exactly how the various meditations operate on these processes is still missing, different kinds of meditations are associated with different neural structures and different patterns of electroencephalographic activity.

In this review we discuss recent findings on meditation and suggest how the different meditations may affect cognitive processes and we give suggestions for directions of future research.