Review: Mindfulness Meditation Techniques and Brain Stimulation


  • Ursek Slivsek University of Ljubljana


A mental training combining complex practices such as mindfulness, yoga, Tai Chi, are all certain form of mindfulness meditation (MM). Over the past decades, MM has gained increasing traction in the western world and has gained such mainstream cultural popularity that high- tech companies now employ chief of mindfulness officers. More importantly, MM has spun interest in psychology and neuroscience-related research, chiefly due to asserted stress reduction and other benefits in psychological disorders [1]. Given it’s increasing popularity, numerous mindfulness-based interventions have been developed over the past years. With techniques ranging from sitting meditation to mindful breathing and even mindful eating, the scientific basis for such interventions has frequently been questioned. However, recent results show that MM-based interventions have substantial transdiagnostic potential, with some applications supported by stronger than others [2]. More recently, transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) has shown to be beneficial in behavioural based interventions. Even in relatively infrequent and short interventions, MM with the combination of tDCS was shown to reduce anxiety [3].

The main objective of this study is to provide a critical overview of the current trends in MM techniques, which will aid in designing an experiment in which different

target groups will undergo the combination of MM and electrical stimulation.
The empirical status of current studies will be evaluated by a systematic review of their effect sizes and target populations. The literature search will be carried out on three data-bases (Web of Science, PubMed and Google Scholars), upon selecting the relevant articles, further review will be carried out by using visualisation tools which aid in finding similar relevant works (Connected Papers and ResearchRabbit). Upon completing the theoretical research andreview,anovelexperimentaldesignwill be compiled that will incorporate current findings on the state-of-the-art MM techniques. We will apply transcranial electrical stimulation to the chosen groups and compare the effects between master and novel groups of meditators. The current idea is set to have the experiment carried out at two locations (Ljubljana and Bratislava) simultaneously, which has the potential to yield better generalizability and thus greater validity.


[1] Y.-Y. Tang, “The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation”, Lubbock: Springer, 2017.
[2] S. B. Goldberg, K. M. Riordan, S. Sun, R. J. Davidson, “The Empirical Status of Mindfulness-Based Interventions: A Systematic Review of 44 Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials”, Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1–23, 2021.

[3] K. Nishida, Y. Morishima, R. D. Pascual- Marqui, S. Minami, T. Yamane, M. Michikura, H. Ishikawa, T. Kinoshita, “Mindfulness augmentation for anxiety through concurrent use of transcranial direct current stimulation: a randomized double-blind study,” Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 22734, pp. 1–12, 2021.