The research, published in Brain Sciences, involved more than 200 participants who were taught a meditation and then tested to determine how they detect and respond to errors. The participants, who had never meditated before, were taken through a 20-minute meditation exercise while the researchers measured brain activity through electroencephalography, or EEG. Then, they completed a computerized distraction test.
"The EEG can measure brain activity at the millisecond level, so we got precise measures of neural activity right after mistakes compared to correct responses," said "Jeff Lin, MSU psychology doctoral candidate and study co-author. "A certain neural signal occurs about half a second after an error called the error positivity, which is linked to conscious error recognition. We found that the strength of this signal is increased in the meditators."