Dispositional mindfulness and semantic integration of emotional words: Evidence from event-related brain potentials

Electronic versions

Initial research shows that mindfulness training can enhance attention and modulate the affective response. However, links between mindfulness and language processing remain virtually unexplored despite the prominent role of overt and silent negative ruminative speech in depressive and anxiety-related symptomatology. Here, we measured dispositional mindfulness and recorded participants’ event-related brain potential responses to positive and negative target words preceded by words congruent or incongruent with the targets in terms of semantic relatedness and emotional valence. While the low mindfulness group showed similar N400 effect pattern for positive and negative targets, high dispositional mindfulness was associated with larger N400 effect to negative targets. This result suggests that negative meanings are less readily accessible in people with high dispositional mindfulness. Furthermore, high dispositional mindfulness was associated with reduced P600 amplitudes to emotional words, suggesting reduced post-analysis and attentional effort which possibly relates to a lower inclination to ruminate. Overall, these findings provide initial evidence on associations between modifications in language systems and mindfulness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
JournalNeuroscience Research
Volume97
Early online date20 Mar 2015
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2015
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