With mindfulness meditation, a person increases awareness of random thoughts and redirects attention to the present moment. This ancient and flourishing practice has been used to combat stress, treat depression, and relieve chronic pain. Some people are now tinkering with the idea of it improving test scores of students.
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara are set to find out if this is indeed possible. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences of the university has been studying the correlation between mindfulness and mind-wandering, the tendency of the mind to drift away on “task-unrelated thoughts”.
It was already found out that mind-wandering affects performance on different tests such as working memory capacity and intelligence. The better the working memory, or a person’s ability to keep in mind pieces of information and use them, the higher the performance scores of students on reading comprehension tests.
John Hoffman of The New York Times tells us more about the research in this article.