Working Memory And Attention

921 Words4 Pages
Across the literature, the relationship between working memory and attention are interconnected and overlapping concepts that rely on one another to properly perform cognitive processes. In order to perceiving the environment one must selectively process this information, known as attention, and have the capacity to retain the relevant information, known as working memory. With a large body of research supporting the positive effects mindfulness can have on working memory, several researchers have set forth to understand the mediating role attention plays in this relationship. Chambers, Lo, and Allen, (2007) tested the affect of mindfulness practices on cognitive and affective functions. The primary aim of this study was to assess the impact…show more content…
The aim of the study was to see if 8 weeks of mindfulness training would improve the ability of for a soldier to control emotion by improving their working memory capacity (Jha & Stanely, 2010). The study consisted of three groups, the meditating military group, the non-meditating military group, and the non-meditating civilians (controlled group). The results of the study found that both military groups had high levels of stress prior to deployment and this decreased their overall working memory capacity (Jha & Stanely, 2010). However, the military participants within the meditation group showed a significant increase in working memory capacity, in proportion to the amount of time they spent these exercises, compared to the non-meditating groups (Jha & Stanely, 2010). These findings demonstrate that stress can reduce the capacity of working memory and that mindfulness is a successful process to diminish the perception of stress, and in turn, improve working memory capacity. These findings are similar results as Chambers et al. (2008) and emphasises that practicing mindfulness can enhance working memory…show more content…
This literature review analyzed the relationship between working memory and mindfulness through three different lenses. The first looked at the neurological changes within the brain, and research found that mindfulness meditation changes the physical structure and the gray matter concentration. Literature on the capacity of working memory was also evaluated and it can be concluded that mindfulness increases the capacity. Lastly, the reviewed literature highlighted the important mediating role of attention and how mindfulness increases attention capabilities, which helps improve working memory. The following studies have consistently found that practicing mindfulness has significant benefits on working memory (Mrazek et al., 2013; Jah & Stanely, 2010; Quach, Mano, & Alexander, 2015; Zeidan et al., 2010; Hölzel et al., 2010). As hypothesized, practicing mindfulness has profound beneficial effect on the capacity and efficiency of working memory. Furthermore, certain mediating factors, like attention, can be enhanced with mindfulness exercises and this in turn improves working memory. Human cognition has many overlapping components and variables
Open Document