Scientific American Mind magazine discussing the cell mechanisms underlying meditative states. The author briefly mentioned the fact that expert meditators were able to avoid the attentional blink that lay people are prone to experiencing when barraged with rapidly presented visual stimuli.
This brought up a question for me. Would expert meditators perform better on dual-tasks compared to age-matched subjects?
I believe the answer is in the affirmative. My reasoning behind this hypothesis has to do with the fact that meditation not only strengthens attentional abilities, but fosters neural efficiency as well (dual-tasking is not about doing two things simultaneously, but more about doing one thing at a time at an extremely fast pace, thus creating an illusion as if one is doing two things at once). A 2007 study by Farb et. al has shown that meditation activates the anterior cingulate cortex, which is a region central to switching your attention.
With the development of my dual-task paradigm underway I hope to prove that daily meditation practice can have beneficial effects when it comes to multi-tasking. If my prediction proves to be true, not only will this ancient practice developed thousands of years ago better our physical and emotional well-being, but assist us in keeping afloat in this fast pace era of "divided attention" as well.
Farb, N., Segal, Z., Mayberg, H., Bean, J., McKeon, D., Fatima, Z., & Anderson, A. (2007). Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2 (4), 313-322 DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsm030