Enhancing sequential action through single session meditation and training: Behavioural and neural correlates of meditation-facilitated motor sequence learning

Russell W. Chan, Lena Zou, Phillip M. Alday, Kurt Lushington, Matthias Schlesewsky, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Maarten A. Immink

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Abstract

Aims: Understanding the conditions which can optimise motor sequence learning is an important challenge in our field. Recent theoretical models outline that motor learning can be influenced by cognitive control to derive different learning strategies. Growing evidence suggests that mental tasks such as focused attention meditation (FAM) can influence cognitive control by narrowingattention in a convergent control style, although support from more direct electrophysiological evidence has thus far been lacking. We aimed to better understand the neural correlates of motor learning improvements from FAM.

Methods: 29 participants were randomised to one of three conditions reflecting the level of FAM experienced prior to a serialreaction timed task (SRTT): 21 sessions of FAM (MED21, N= 12), a single FAM session (MED1, N= 9) or no preceding FAM control(CON, N= 8). Continuous 64-channel EEG were recorded during SRTT where N200 amplitudes for correct trials, and error-relatednegativity (ERN) using difference in amplitudes for correct and error trials, were extracted. Component amplitudes, topography andbehavioural outcomes were compared using mixed models between the groups.

Results: MED21 demonstrated a significantly more pronounced N200 component over frontal-midline and central-midline regionsduring SRTT compared to MED1 and CON. No differences in the ERN component were found. Med21 also had the greatest responserate improvements for SRTT learning, M= -.50 SD= .32, compared to MED1, M= -.39 SD= .27, and CON, M= -.37 SD= .15, althoughthis trend was not as robust as the N200 findings.

Conclusions: The N200 is associated with the increase in top-down control of attentional and inhibitory processes, whilst the ERNis associated with conflict and the updating of an internalised plan. Our combined N200 and behavioural results suggests that FAMbias cognitive control for a convergent control style and thus, the adoption of stimulus-based learning, as opposed to plan-basedlearning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASP2017
Subtitle of host publication27th Annual Meeting for the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology
PublisherFrontiers Research Foundation
Number of pages2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event27th Annual Meeting for the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, ASP 2017 - Parramatta, Australia
Duration: 27 Nov 20171 Dec 2017
Conference number: 27

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
PublisherFrontiers Media S.A.

Conference

Conference27th Annual Meeting for the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, ASP 2017
Abbreviated titleASP
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityParramatta
Period27/11/171/12/17

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