Mindfulness training refers to a group of practices that focus awareness on one’s internal state and the present moment; it has beneficial effects on anxiety, depression, and other problems. In this study, Singapore researchers administered cognitive tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), taking pictures of the brain at work, to 47 participants, who either practiced mindfulness or did not. They found that after 3 months, those in the mindfulness group showed increases in brain connections in regions known to be associated with cognitive tasks. They also performed better on a test of verbal memory, suggesting that the mindfulness training had improved their cognitive performance by increasing the connection efficiency in their brains.
Fam J, Sun Y, Qi P, Lau RC, Feng L, Kua EH, Mahendran R. Mindfulness practice alters brain connectivity in community-living elders with mild cognitive impairment. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2020 Apr;74(4):257-262. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12972. Epub 2020 Jan 25.