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It matters what you practice: Differential training effects on subjective experience, behavior, brain and body in the ReSource Project

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Singer,  Tania
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Social Neuroscience Lab, Berlin, Germany;

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Engert,  Veronika
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Research Group Social Stress and Family Health, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany;

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Singer, T., & Engert, V. (2019). It matters what you practice: Differential training effects on subjective experience, behavior, brain and body in the ReSource Project. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 151-158. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.12.005.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-A34C-F
Abstract
Mindfulness interventions have gained much attraction, also due to their promise to improve health and wellbeing. However, not enough attention is devoted to the differentiation between various mental practice types. Here, we summarize findings from the ReSource Project, a 9-month longitudinal mental training study comparing practices focusing on (a) present-moment attention and interoception, (b) socio-emotional processes such as compassion and loving kindness and (c) meta-cognitive processes and perspective-taking on self and others. We find evidence for differential training effects of these practice types on all levels of observation, ranging from distinct phenomenological fingerprints and structural brain plasticity to selective improvements in social cognition, altruism and peripheral physiology, including the cortisol response to psychosocial stress. We argue for a more differentiated view on the concept of mindfulness and meditation.