Can specific attentional skills be modified with mindfulness training for novice practitioners?

Rodrigo Becerra, Coralyn Dandrade, Craig Harms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Mindfulness practice is becoming an accepted psychological
intervention used in clinical settings to help enhance
attention. To date however relatively few randomised
control trial (RCT) studies have investigated the effect of
mindfulness training on attentional skills in novice practitioners.
This study examined the effect of daily mindfulness
practice on changes in attention skills; alerting, orienting and
executive control in novice practitioners. Forty six university
students from Perth, Western Australia were randomly
assigned to one of two groups (mindfulness or waitlist control).
Baseline analyses of psychological wellbeing indicated
that the two groups initially were comparable in this domain.
Pre- and post-test assessments using the Attention Network
Test (ANT) were conducted to measure attention skills.
Repeated measures ANOVA were used to examine the effect
of intervention. Significant improvement in orienting and executive
control skills following the mindfulness intervention
was noted, however, no changes in alerting attentional skills
were detected. Mindfulness practice impacted on the fundamental
processes of the selective (orienting) and executive
attention (executive control) networks which may in turn have
additional beneficial effects in a variety of domains and situations.
These findings add to existing literature that supports
the positive and beneficial effect of regular mindfulness practice
for the enhancement of attentional skills and its potential
application to clinical populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-664
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


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