Using the DRM Paradigm to Understand the Effects of Meditation on False Memories

Olivia Buroker Butler University, Bailey Wendt Butler University, Henry Bell Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Amanda Hall Butler University
Multiple studies have examined meditation and its effects on cognitive processing, with various results. In a previous study, Levy et al. (2012) identified mindfulness meditation improved multitasking abilities under stress. Wilson et al. (2015) denied the positive effects of mindfulness and instead observed impairments in some cognitive processes, including diminished reality monitoring accuracy and increased false recall. In our study, we investigated this phenomenon through exploring the effects of mindfulness, mind-wandering, and breathing-focused meditation on susceptibility to false memories. Using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, participants were directed to study 6 lists of words with a free recall task following each list. Our study is differentiated through the incorporation of a mindfulness meditation condition that focused participants’ attention on their bodies through a guided body scan, a “sham” meditation that instructed participants to focus their attention on their breathing, and a mind-wandering condition where participants were encouraged to let their minds wander freely. After studying the first 6 lists of words, participants were given one of three meditation conditions, each lasting approximately 15 minutes, followed by 6 more DRM lists and recall tasks. All participants returned 24 hours later to complete a recognition test. Using both the immediate recall and delayed recognition tasks, we found that mindfulness meditation reduced correct and false recognition, but not correct or false recall. For the lists that were presented after the mediation intervention, both correct and false recognition decreased, regardless of the participant’s mediation condition--no effect was found on correct or false recall.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:30 AM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 156