SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Jan. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sovereign Health, a national behavioral health system, announces a new study from internationally renowned researcher, Veena Kumari, Ph.D., C. Psychol., AFBPsS, Chief Scientific Officer for Sovereign Health. The study, titled "The mindful eye: Smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements in meditators and non-meditators," reveals how mindfulness improves brain function. Mindfulness is defined as an awareness of the present on a moment-to-moment basis using nonjudgmental observation. Mindfulness meditation involves specific practices that are cultivated over time. This fascinating new study examined the effects of both trait mindfulness and mindfulness meditation on cognition. Led by a team of researchers at Kings College in London, a group of scientists used infrared oculography to record different types of eye movements that correspond to cognitive function. To read the full study, click here.
"This study is exciting. It's the first study using this eye movement technology, which for the first time shows that mindfulness induces positive changes," said the study's lead author, Dr. Kumari. "This is something that we can use to enhance the cognitive function of the clinical population that we serve."
The study's participants included men between 18 to 60 years old with IQs over 80 and normal vision. They were separated into two groups of 30: experienced mindfulness practitioners versus participants who were mindful meditation-naïve. Questionnaire responses were used to determine how much a person is naturally mindful. The experienced mindfulness practitioners had significantly higher scores, specifically in the facets of observation, nonjudgment and nonreactivity. The study also showed that the established meditators' eye movements indicated that mindfulness meditation improved cognition in terms of attention and control over eye-hand coordination in men.
While no significant relationship was found between mindfulness scores and eye movements, there was a significant difference between the groups. Those who cultivated their mindfulness practice were sharper than the ones who were just naturally mindful and the mediation-naïve.
Dr. Kumari applies scientific and technical advances to improve behavioral health treatment for Sovereign's patients. She is a leader in the psychiatric and neuroscience research fields. She obtained her Ph.D. in psychology from Banaras Hindu University, India, in 1993 before moving to the Institute of Psychiatry in London to continue her research. To read Dr. Kumari's full bio, click here.
About Sovereign Health
One factor that differentiates Sovereign from other treatment providers has been its ability to offer separate mental health and addiction or dual diagnosis treatment programs at its facilities. Patients seek its services to receive treatment for mental health issues, including trauma, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Sovereign also offers treatment for cognitive deficits and eating disorders. For more information, visit www.sovhealth.com.
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SOURCE Sovereign Health