Working Paper Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Mindfulness and Cognitive Control: A Review on their Dual Mode Mechanisms

Version 1 : Received: 15 December 2020 / Approved: 16 December 2020 / Online: 16 December 2020 (13:26:55 CET)

How to cite: Babu Henry Samuel, I.; Costanzo, M. Mindfulness and Cognitive Control: A Review on their Dual Mode Mechanisms. Preprints 2020, 2020120411 Babu Henry Samuel, I.; Costanzo, M. Mindfulness and Cognitive Control: A Review on their Dual Mode Mechanisms. Preprints 2020, 2020120411

Abstract

Recent years have seen a massive increase in research on mindfulness as both a therapeutic practice as well as a protective health factor. While many associations have been made between mindfulness and clinical outcomes, understanding of the underlying mechanistic processes is still in its infancy. In this review, associations between mindfulness and other established frameworks in cognitive control are explored—in particular the dual modes of control framework in cognitive control theory. Studies in mindfulness providing evidence towards a dual-mode mindfulness model are reviewed and compared with the proactive and reactive modes of cognitive control to identify common underlying principles. Studies involving cognitive testing, advanced neuroimaging, and neurotransmitter levels and their associations with proactive and reactive control are reviewed in the context of the dual modes of mindfulness. While evidence supporting relationships between proactive and reactive modes of mindfulness and cognitive control are preliminary, existing literature on mindfulness already supports the notion of two components of mindfulness and is in line with the hypothesis that cognitive control and mindfulness are closely related. Since preliminary evidence suggests that proactive forms of mindfulness are more associated with improvement in clinical outcomes, mindfulness programs could be modified to target proactive mindfulness practices to maximize outcomes. The implications of proactive and reactive mindfulness on therapy, limitations of the framework, and necessity of studies providing direct evidence are further discussed.

Subject Areas

mindfulness; cognitive control; dual mode mechanisms; dual mode control

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