Mindfulness training for adolescents: A neurodevelopmental perspective on investigating modifications in attention and emotion regulation using event-related brain potentials

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Mindfulness training is increasingly being introduced in schools, yet studies examining its impact on the developing brain have been scarce. A neurodevelopmental perspective on mindfulness has been advocated as a powerful tool to enhance our understanding of underlying neurocognitive changes that have implications for developmental well-being research and the implementation of mindfulness in education. To stimulate more research in the developmental cognitive neuroscience of mindfulness, this article outlines possible indexes of mindfulness-based change in adolescence, with a focus on event-related brain potential (ERP) markers. We provide methodological recommendations for future studies and offer examples of research paradigms. We also discuss how mindfulness practice could impact on the development of prefrontal brain structures and enhance attention control and emotion regulation skills in adolescents, impacting in turn on their self-regulation and coping skills. We highlight advantages of the ERP methodology in neurodevelopmental research of mindfulness. It is proposed that research using established experimental tasks targeting ERP components such as the contingent negative variability, N200, error-related negativity and error positivity, P300, and late positive potential could elucidate developmentally salient shifts in the neural plasticity of the adolescent brain induced by mindfulness practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-711
JournalCognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date7 Apr 2015
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2015

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