Practicing mindfulness, focusing attention on the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment with open and nonjudgement stance, can lead to the development of emotional regulation skills. Yet, the effective connectivity of brain regions during mindfulness has been largely unexplored. Studies have shown that mindfulness practice promotes functional connectivity in practitioners, potentially due to improved emotional regulation abilities and increased connectivity in the lateral prefrontal areas. To examine the changes in effective connectivity due to mindfulness training, we analyzed electroencephalogram (EEG) signals taken before and after mindfulness training, focusing on training-related effective connectivity changes in the frontal area. The mindfulness training group participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program. The control group did not take part. Regardless of the specific mindfulness practice used, low-gamma band effective connectivity increased globally after the mindfulness training. High-beta band effective connectivity increased globally only during Breathing. Moreover, relatively higher outgoing effective connectivity strength was seen during Resting and Breathing and Body-scan. By analyzing the changes in outgoing and incoming connectivity edges, both F7 and F8 exhibited strong parietal connectivity during Resting and Breathing. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the changes in effective connectivity of the right lateral prefrontal area predicted mindfulness and emotional regulation abilities. These results partially support the theory that the lateral prefrontal areas have top-down modulatory control, as these areas have high outflow effective connectivity, implying that mindfulness training cultivates better emotional regulation.
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience Research|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2023|
- direct directed transfer function
- effective connectivity
- emotional regulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience