The Effect of Positive Affect Induction via Metta Meditation on the Attentional Blink

Michelle Burgard, Christopher J May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The attentional blink (AB) is a reduced ability to detect a stimulus presented too quickly (~500ms) after a previously detected stimulus. Mindfulness meditation reduces the AB, and has been explained in terms of the altered attentional resource allocation skills of meditators (Slagter et al., 2007). However, mindfulness meditation also increases positive affect (Davidson et al., 2003), and positive affect has been shown to reduce the AB (Olivers & Nieuwenhuis, 2006). Thus, a positive-affect focused meditation (Metta) may also reduce the AB. While brief practice of Metta meditation prior to engaging in an AB task failed to significantly reduce the AB, these results are useful in determining an approximate effect threshold, currently unknown with respect to meditation (Carmody & Baer, 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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