University of Twente Student Theses


Understanding the Basis of Mindfulness-Based Enhancement for Motor Learning

Berndt, Lukas (2023) Understanding the Basis of Mindfulness-Based Enhancement for Motor Learning.

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Abstract:Previous research has highlighted the role of cognitive control in goal directed activities, like motor sequence learning (MSL). Moreover, these studies address the modulation of cognitive functions through cognitive enhancement activities, like single-session meditation. Although a single session of focused attention meditation (FAM) biases practitioners towards employing an external stimulus-based strategy, we are curious if other meditation techniques like open monitoring meditation (OMM) induce different effects. Participants performed a cognitive training with either a single session of FAM (n = 16), OMM (n =16) or listening to a podcast (n = 16) in the control condition before engaging in six training and two testing blocks of the dance-step version of the Discrete Sequence Production (DSP) task. Moreover, since effort plays a crucial role in goal-directed activities, it was assessed with a questionnaire at (1) baseline, (2) after cognitive training, (3) after three training blocks and (4) after finishing the six training blocks of the DSP task. After OMM, participants started with longer response times (RT), continued to make mistakes, had more concatenation, had longer RT on unfamiliar sequences and greater RT improvement during training compared to FAM and the control condition. Hence, FAM and OMM revealed distinct effects on cognitive control in line with previous research. It was found that FAM evokes a persistence metacontrol state thereby inducing an external stimulus-based strategy during MSL, while it was suggested that OMM biased participants towards a flexibility metacontrol state thereby eliciting an internal plan-based approach to MSL. Opposed to previous work, our results revealed a positive correlation between effort during cognitive training and MSL improvements. Despite similar performance of OMM and FAM groups at the end of training, the findings imply that cognitive control has a crucial influence on how MSL is approached.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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