Index of meditation studies and features


This is a list of the most recent studies reviewed, newest pages appear in descending order. Many of the studies and subject areas have been suggested by visitors, so if you’d like us to review a study, or have a particular area of interest drop  us a line.

The billion-dollar mindfulness experiment.
A new study may have discovered why, despite the huge scientific investment, mindfulness research has been problematic for decades.
The mindfulness concept can be saved, but a major revision is needed.
The latest study of mindfulness in schools found that it ‘does not improve mental health’ and is contraindicated for some students.
Balance reporting mindfulness research.As mindfulness heads towards another incarnation, unresolved issues linked to its scientific reliability remain unresolved.
Compassion meditation?
Compassion may be the most beneficial of all meditation techniques, but scientists must work harder to understand it.
Can Mindfulness Meditation Boost Immunity?Many preliminary scientific studies indicate meditation improves self-reported measures of disease symptomatology. But what do we know about the link between mindfulness and inflammation?
The crisis in mindfulness researchA review of mindfulness research in New Scientist highlighted long-standing scientific problems; is it time for a new approach?
Protection against mental illness and cognitive declineCan meditation slow cognitive decline?
Can mind-training regulate connectivity between brain networks?
Meditation, poverty and mental healthWe know that poverty can make poor mental health more likely. But therapeutic interventions rarely consider the root causes of mental illness. Could nondual treatments be a solution?
Replication crisis, mindfulness crisis
The scientific study of meditation has been limited by a replication crisis and a mindfulness crisis. What does this mean, and what is the way forward for contemplative science?
Meditation, mindfulness and suicide preventionMeditation as a Protective Factor Against Suicide In the US Army. Can meditation help to prevent suicide? The US Army is considering if mind training can boost mental resilience in military personnel.
A brief history of the science of meditation to 1980The scientific history of meditation reveals that we may be overlooking many important findings from the past.
Non-judgement and mindfulness meditation; costs and opportunitiesThe absence of judgement from medicalised mindfulness suggests an uncoupling from traditional meditation methods. Why did this happen, and what does it mean?
Meditation, mindfulness and the nondual; an agenda for scientific changeHow did a spiritual practice become a medicalised health intervention? An understanding of nonduality is essential to harnessing the health benefits of meditation.
Compassionate meditation from a scientific perspectiveA review of the origins of compassion and the benefits of compassionate mind training from spiritual and scientific perspectives.
History of the science of meditationThe scientific history of meditation helps to explain the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary medicalised meditation methods.
Adverse effects of meditationPerhaps the first review of the adverse events linked to meditation practices (MAEs). This paper suggests that research in this field has lacked scientific objectivity for half a century.
CompassionA further review of Richard Layard’s book on compassion highlights opportunities and systemic problems with the science of mindfulness (links to the Critical Mindfulness website). The claims made about the benefits of meditation-based mind training fail to discuss the potential adverse effects.
MotivationAlthough it has attracted little media attention, there are profound implications to the news that mindfulness meditation impairs task motivation but not performance. Evidence that mindfulness reduces our commitment to a task raises contradictions with many spiritual meditation traditions.
Meditation, nondualityNow a little dated,  Capra’s paper still raises essential questions generally ignored by contemporary meditation scientists. The implications of combining ontologically distinct disciplines
Altruism A controversial book by Richard Layard suggests that increasing altruism is correlates with happiness.
Altruism, pro-social behaviourScientists demonstrate a relationship between pro-social behaviour and reduced suffering, even the experience of pain.
Dementia, cognitive declineMeditation appears able to improve brain function in people already suffering cognitive decline.
Theoretical frameworks, mindfulness, meditationContemplative cognition: A more integrative framework for advancing mindfulness and meditation research
MBIs, retractions, mindfulnessStandardised mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs
Empathy, compassion and prosocial behaviourA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Effects of Meditation on Empathy, Compassion and Pro-social Behaviors
Default mode network (DMN)How far can we trust meditation research?: Growing concerns about the quality of meditation research are discussed from a scientific perspective.
PodcastNondual Awareness – Duality and non-duality are the two poles of human experience; understanding them is a key part of engaging with meditation.
Default mode network (DMN)A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Few scientific studies have acknowledged the importance of correlations between intrinsic-extrinsic network activity and the practice of meditation.
Default mode network (DMN)A wandering mind is a less caring mind: Daily experience sampling during compassion meditation training.
Default mode network (DMN)The default network and self‐generated thought: component processes, dynamic control, and clinical relevance
MCI, dementia, brain health in middle ageA personalized 12‐week ” Brain Fitness Program” for improving cognitive function and increasing the volume of hippocampus in elderly with mild cognitive impairment.
Mind-wanderingThe wandering brain: Meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies of mind-wandering and related spontaneous thought processes
Depression, mindfulnessMeditation buffers medical student compassion from the deleterious effects of depression
Mindfulness, stop smoking.Efficacy of mindfulness meditation for smoking cessation: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Meditation, cognitive ageingCognitive Ageing and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training
Research issuesOutstanding Challenges in Scientific Research on Mindfulness and Meditation
Compassion mind training, palliative careMindfulness and compassion-oriented practices at work reduce distress and enhance self-care of palliative care teams: a mixed-method evaluation of an “on the job“ program.
Prosocial effectsThe limited prosocial effects of meditation: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Mirror neuronsUnderstanding motor events: a neurophysiological study
Nondual meditationNeural correlates of nondual awareness in meditation
Defining mindfulnessIs mindfulness Buddhist? (and why it matters)
Defining mindfulnessWhat does mindfulness really mean? A canonical perspective
Stress and wellbeingMeditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Mindfulness and MBSRSome reflections on the origins of MBSR, skilful means, and the trouble with maps
Defining mindfulnessOn Some Definitions of Mindfulness
Defining mindfulnessIs mindfulness present-centred and non-judgmental? A discussion of the cognitive dimensions of mindfulness
Defining mindfulnessMindfulness in Cultural Context
Theoretical frameworksInvestigating the Phenomenological Matrix of Mindfulness-Related Practices from a Neurocognitive Perspective
Research issuesConceptual and Methodological Issues in Research on Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and structural changeMindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain grey matter density.
Mindfulness and time perceptionThe effect of mindfulness meditation on time perception
Mindfulness and societyMindfulness: Towards A Critical Relational Perspective
Loving-kindness meditation, PTSDLoving-kindness Meditation for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Pilot Study
Mindfulness, MAASThe Benefits of Being Present: Mindfulness and Its Role in Psychological Well-being
Meditation and structural changeNeural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners
Meditation and structural changeEffects of Mindful-attention and Compassion Meditation Training on Amygdala Response to Emotional Stimuli in an Ordinary, Non-meditative State
Meditation and structural changeRegulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise
Meditation and emotional changeOpen Hearts Build Lives: Positive Emotions, Induced Through Loving-Kindness Meditation, Build Consequential Personal Resources
Loving-kindness meditation and back painLoving-Kindness Meditation for Chronic Low Back Pain
Loving-kindness meditationLoving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness.

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