Memory and Cognition

168 views 7 pages ~ 1855 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Many research have been conducted to investigate the relationship between memory and cognition. The study looks at how mindfulness affects sustained attention as indicated by the sustained attention response task. According to research, working memory and attention are two essential components of human cognition. Furthermore, the report looks at the concept that mindfulness techniques help to develop and sharpen some parts of attention and working memory. According to the findings, mindfulness is a critical aspect that increases an individual's ability to pay attention to moment-to-moment memories. Furthermore, mindfulness improves working memory, which boosts a person's ability to access initial knowledge held in memory. Besides, the report shows that mind wandering is a common defect in human beings that destructs people from paying attention to current occurrences. However, mindfulness training significantly refreshes the memory and improves attention to moment-to-moment events. Finally, the report concludes that mindfulness is important for cognition since it improves attention and working memory. Thus, it recommends that mindfulness training is a vital technique that facilitates the cognitive ability of individuals hence should be promoted to overcome the limitations of human cognition.

Table of Content


Abstract 2

Introduction 4

Findings 5

Attention and Working Memory 5

Mind Wandering 6

Discussion 6

Significance of Mindfulness in Sustained Attention 6

Mindfulness Training 7

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Health Benefits 8

Effects of Mindfulness Training on Working Memory Capacity 8

Conclusion 9

Recommendations 9

References 11


The main purpose of this report is to investigate the effects of mindfulness on the sustained attention of an individual and broadly discuss the cognitive process and working memory. Consequently, the report seeks to recommend various mindfulness training that strengthens attention and working memory besides enhancing human cognition. After an experiment and examining a wide range of journal articles, the report defines mindfulness as attention to the present moment or current activity in a way that is free from exaggeration. The report then considers a specific hypothesis that involving in mindfulness practices strengthens certain aspects of both attention and working memory.

Furthermore, the report discusses arrays of well-developed practices that cultivate mindfulness including awareness and control of fundamental cognitive processes like working memory and attention. Deep understandings of mindfulness need an introduction to the processes of cognition that enhance strengthen sustained attention to the current moment. Moreover, it recommends that mindfulness training is necessary to protect against the pervasive tendencies of the mind to roam from the present moments that warrants irrelevant thoughts and feelings. The unrelated tasks result from bolstered attention and working memory. Besides, the report explores not only the effects of mindfulness training on the capacity of a working memory but also the stress reduction approaches based on mindfulness as well as its health benefits.


Attention and Working Memory

Attention and working memory are parts of the cognitive processes that practically control enables human beings to select and maintain information. The minds often receive a large and various information besides acquiring various thoughts and opinions. However, the brain lacks adequate computational recourses that enable it efficiently process the information. Cognitive processes, therefore, are crucial to guide the current experiences and aid the selection of subset information for detailed analyses. Thus, attention is the prime facility that selects information which reaches the conscious awareness besides facilitating the commitment to a certain task. Hence, common mistakes like failing to notice obvious events or miss important facts during a discussion result from lack of attention.

Various studies indicate that working memory is always critical for dorsal attention. A working memory creates a space in the mind that stores information of current activities that the mind receives from moment-to-moment. Though a functioning memory has a limited capacity, it depends on two cognitive processes including a controlled search of the information attended and the retrieval of previous related information stored in the memory.

Negative conditions of stress and emotional experiences degrade working memory and lead to low attention (Morrison & Jha, 2015). Consequently, tasks instructions that need more cognitive involvement impair a working memory. In essence, repeated cognitive demand in emotionally neutral and evocative event is harmful to future performance on activities that demand attention and working memory.

Mind Wandering

Besides being depletable and fragile, working memory and attention are highly susceptible to distractions from other competing external stimuli as well as internally created distractions (Morrison & Jha, 2015). The mind frequently wanders off the attended tasks. Mind wandering leads to poor performance of tasks and decreased mood as a result of lacking attention and working memory which are significant for cognitive processes. Mind wandering comes along with the fluctuations in the meta-awareness. In most cases, people do not realize when mind wandering occurs. However, reports indicate that people with the higher capacity of working memory rarely experience the condition of mind wandering in comparison to other individuals with lower capacity. Therefore, people with higher working memory can store tasks goals as well as task-related information in mind. Notably, mind wandering is not only a condition that occurs as a failure to control attention but a process that the mind restricts or allows depending on the demands of that particular moment.


Significance of Mindfulness in Sustained Attention

According to Morrison & Jha (2015), mindfulness creates attention to the present moment and keeps the memory to work on the current tasks. Mindfulness initiates people to direct attention to breathing. For instance, mindfulness breathing instructs people to comfortably position themselves in an upright posture, select a certain sensation linked to breathing, and then ensure that they maintain the selected position for the duration. Therefore, practices that expound on concentrative focus need appropriate selection and maintenance of information besides controlling of mind wandering thoughts throughout the exercise. Thus, mindfulness is essential for engaging in cognitive practices involving the controlling of mind wandering, engaging attention, and working memory to strengthen the process. Hence, spending the time to establish mindfulness is equivalent to sharpening attention and working memory as well as controlling thoughts unrelated to the present tasks.

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness training is the vessel that expedites the understanding of attention, mind wandering, and working memory as crucial aspects of cognition. Effective mindfulness training should focus on controlling attention. Moreover, self-reported as well as subjective measures of attention assert that mindfulness practices highly improve cognition. Furthermore, mindfulness training strengthens involuntary attention and experience. Similarly, findings show that mindfulness training greatly supports individuals’ performance under a high working memory load. Working memory refers to the processes that support attention.

Additionally, the working memory has a retrieval component that refreshes the mind if it loses tasks goals. Mindfulness continuously strengthens a working memory in various ways. First, mindfulness training can limit the reactivity to information contained in the working memory hence enabling the sustainability of more task-relevant information. For instance, mindfulness limits irrelevant information in the working memory to allow an individual to utilize working memory more effectively (Morrison & Jha, 2015). Also, mindfulness training expands the capacity of working memory hence enabling the accommodation of larger amount o information.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Health Benefits

People suffering from physical, psychiatric, and psychosomatic disorders often have low cognition as a result of poor working memory and reduced attention. Mindfulness-based stress reduction program, therefore, uses mindfulness meditation to completely alleviate the human suffering linked to physical, psychological, and psychosomatic disorders. The program enhances a deep awareness of moment-to-moment experiences (Grossman et al., 2004). The program anchors on the assumption that greater awareness not only improves vitality as well as coping but also facilitates more veridical perception apart from reducing the negative effect.

Similarly, various research provides that people suffering from emotional disturbances such as depression often have difficulties retrieving certain autobiographical memories but remember over general memories. The authors suggest that mindfulness training increases the retrieval of specific autobiographical memories in patients who were formerly depressed (Heeren, Van Broeck & Philippot, 2009). Also, mindfulness training reduces over generality and improves the capacity of cognitive flexibility. Moreover, Shapiro, Brown& Biegel (2007) pinpoints the significance of mindfulness-based stress reduction approach to mental health therapists to care for the patients who are emotionally distressed efficiently..

Effects of Mindfulness Training on Working Memory Capacity

Jha et al. (2010) argue that the working memory capacity is important for managing cognitive demands besides regulating emotions. However, the persistent and intensive demands experienced under high-stress intervals can potentially deplete working memory capacity resulting in cognitive failures and emotional distress. Therefore, mindfulness training bolsters the working memory capacity hence mitigating the detrimental effects. Findings prove that mindfulness essentially improves working memory capacity and attention.


In essence, the report identifies the effects of mindfulness on attention. The report vividly indicates that mindfulness is the attention to the moment-to-moment activities and describes major parts of cognitions including working memory and attention. Additionally, findings indicate that working memory and attention enables an individual to receive information and process it for use besides enhancing the retrieval of initial information stored in the memory. Also, this report shows that mind wandering occurs frequently limiting the human ability to process information, maintain attention to the present events, and retrieve information in the memory. Precisely, mind wandering impairs attention and working memory. However, mindfulness strengthens attention and working memory of an individual. Besides, the report indicates the significance of mindfulness in creating attention to the present moment and keeping the memory to work on current tasks processed. Furthermore, the report explores the importance of mindfulness training in facilitating working memory capacity and proves that mindfulness greatly improves cognition. Moreover, it shows that mindfulness-based stress reduction essentially alleviates problems associated with psychological, physiological, and psychosomatic disorders hence improving the attention and memory of patients with such mental disorders.


The findings and conclusions in this report significantly support the following mandatory recommendations:

1. Mindfulness training is a unique tool that enhances cognitive ability of people hence should be promoted to overcome the limitations of human mind.

2. Mindfulness training is essential for managing detrimental effects of various factors such as effect, disease, aging, and stress on human cognition as well as the failure of certain techniques to improve intellectual abilities.

3. Skills training and neuro-feedback training are important approaches for that enhance cognition efficiency.

4. People suffering from emotional disturbances like depression that cause difficulties in retrieving autobiographical memories should undergo mindfulness training to sharpen their memories.

5. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is essential for mental health therapists to enable them to offer efficient care to patients suffering from mental disorders.


Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of psychosomatic research, 57(1), 35-43.

Heeren, A., Van Broeck, N., & Philippot, P. (2009). The effects of mindfulness on executive processes and autobiographical memory specificity. Behaviour research and therapy, 47(5), 403-409.

Jha, A. P., Stanley, E. A., Kiyonaga, A., Wong, L., & Gelfand, L. (2010). Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience. Emotion, 10(1), 54.

Morrison, A. B., & Jha, A. P. (2015). Mindfulness, attention, and working memory. In B. D. Ostafin, M. D. Robinson, & B. P. Meier (Eds.),Handbook of Mindfulness and Self-Regulation (pp. 33-46). New York, NY: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-2263-5.

Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K. W., & Biegel, G. M. (2007). Teaching self-care to caregivers: effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and education in professional psychology, 1(2), 105.

April 26, 2023



Learning Love

Subject area:

Research Relationship Study

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Study
Verified writer

RiaSm02 is great for all things related to education. Sharing a case study that I could not understand for the life of mine, I received immediate help. Great writer and amazing service that won’t break the bank!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro