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

Expecting Moms Need to Relax at Holidays

South Korean mothers-to-be whose first trimester occurred during the stressful New Year’s holiday delivered babies a third of an ounce lighter.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.

Add your comment: