Meditation Improves Long-Term Cognition

Extended Mental Health Benefits




Pavel Shlykov/Shutterstock.com

Cognitive gains that people experience from an intense meditation retreat can persist for at least seven years and slow age-related cognitive decline, a new study shows. Researchers from the University of California at Davis followed up with 60 people that had participated in a three-month retreat in which they meditated in a group and alone for a total of about eight hours a day.

Immediately afterwards, the meditators showed improvements in holding sustained attention— the ability to stay focused on a task or object—a key measure of cognitive function. Seven years later, researchers found that those significant gains were partly maintained, and that older participants that diligently practiced meditation didn’t show typical patterns of age-related attention declines.


This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Fight Back Naturally When Allergies Put the Bite on Pets

Because they’re built lower to the ground, our dogs and cats can pick up seasonal allergens on fur from grass, weeds, pollen, lawn chemicals and fleas.

Saving a Drop to Drink

Fresh water supplies are dwindling globally, including in the U.S., yet we can do things on a personal level to help hold onto this finite resource.

Air Care for Kids

Kids are especially sensitive to the pollen, chemicals, dust mites, mold and pet dander that cause allergies, but simple strategies can keep these culprits in check.

Meditation and Music Slow Cellular Aging

Doing a chanting meditation or listening to classical music 12 minutes a day for three months altered biomarkers associated with cellular aging and Alzheimer’s disease in adults with early memory loss.

Vegetables and Orange Juice Protect Memory

A Harvard study of 27,842 older male health professionals found those that ate the most vegetables and drank the most orange juice suffered less memory loss over a span of two decades.

Add your comment: