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Behaviour research and therapy

The effects of adaptive working memory training and mindfulness meditation training on processing efficiency and worry in high worriers.


PMID 27838273

Abstract

Worry is the principle characteristic of generalised anxiety disorder, and has been linked to deficient attentional control, a main function of working memory (WM). Adaptive WM training and mindfulness meditation practice (MMP) have both shown potential to increase attentional control. The present study hence investigates the individual and combined effects of MMP and a dual adaptive n-back task on a non-clinical, randomised sample of high worriers. 60 participants were tested before and after seven days of training. Assessment included self-report questionnaires, as well as performance tasks measuring attentional control and working memory capacity. Combined training resulted in continued reduction in worry in the week after training, highlighting the potential of utilising n-back training as an adjunct to established clinical treatment. Engagement with WM training correlated with immediate improvements in attentional control and resilience, with worry decreasing over time. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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C5H4N6O