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Mindfulness and Attention Deficit Disorder


Steve Paulson, Richard Davidson, Jon Kabat-Zinn & Amishi Jha.




Neuroscientist Amishi Jha describes some of research that has been done on the effects of mindfulness training on ADD.


A couple of published studies have recently explored the impact of mindfulness training on attention. I can discuss one study conducted in my own laboratory. We recruited adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and advised them to continue their usual clinical treatment without any changes. What made this study unique was the structure and delivery of the mindfulness course, which differed significantly from standard manualized versions like mindfulness-based stress reduction.

My collaborator, Michael Bain from the University of Pennsylvania, designed the course. On the first day of class, participants were given a simple 1-minute mindfulness exercise as homework for the week. The exercise involved listening to a recording with a minute of silence interrupted by a ding every ten seconds. The instruction was to bring their attention back to the present moment whenever they heard the ding.

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