Although there has been recent interest in how mindfulness meditation can affect episodic memory as well as brain structure and function, no study has examined the behavioral and neural effects of mindfulness meditation on episodic memory. Here we present a protocol that combines mindfulness meditation training, an episodic memory task, and EEG to examine how mindfulness meditation changes behavioral performance and the neural correlates of episodic memory. Subjects in a mindfulness meditation experimental group were compared to a waitlist control group. Subjects in the mindfulness meditation experimental group spent four weeks training and practicing mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness was measured before and after training using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Episodic memory was measured before and after training using a source recognition task. During the retrieval phase of the source recognition task, EEG was recorded. The results showed that mindfulness, source recognition behavioral performance, and EEG theta power in right frontal and left parietal channels increased following mindfulness meditation training. In addition, increases in mindfulness correlated with increases in theta power in right frontal channels. Therefore, results obtained from combining mindfulness meditation training, an episodic memory task, and EEG reveal the behavioral and neural effects of mindfulness meditation on episodic memory.
Nyhus, Erika; Engel, William A.; Pitfield, Tomas Donatelli; and Vakkur, Isabella M.W., "Combining behavior and EEG to study the effects of mindfulness meditation on episodic memory" (2020). Neuroscience Faculty Publications. 29.