The impact of intensive mindfulness training on attentional control, cognitive style, and affect

Richard Chambers, Barbara Chuen Yee LO, Nicholas B. Allen

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

377 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the impact of an intensive period of mindfulness meditation training on cognitive and affective function, a non-clinical group of 20 novice meditators were tested before and after participation in a 10-day intensive mindfulness meditation retreat. They were evaluated with self-report scales measuring mindfulness, rumination and affect, as well as performance tasks assessing working memory, sustained attention, and attention switching. Results indicated that those completing the mindfulness training demonstrated significant improvements in self-reported mindfulness, depressive symptoms, rumination, and performance measures of working memory and sustained attention, relative to a comparison group who did not undergo any meditation training. This study suggests future directions for the elucidation of the critical processes that underlie the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-322
Number of pages20
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Attention
  • Depression
  • Executive cognition
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Rumination
  • Working memory

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