The Influence of Focused Attention and Open Monitoring Mindfulness Meditation States on True and False Memory

Sara Bitton, Alex Chatburn, Maarten A. Immink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Previous investigations into the effect of mindfulness meditation on false memory have reported mixed findings. One potential issue is that mindfulness meditation involves different styles that establish distinct cognitive control states. The present work aimed to address this issue by comparing the effects of single-session focused attention (FAM) and open monitoring (OMM) mindfulness meditation styles on true and false memory recall. Strengthened cognitive control states associated with FAM were predicted to increase true memory recall and decrease false memory recall. Conversely, weakened cognitive control established by OMM was predicted to increase false memory recall. Thirty-four meditation-naïve participants (23 females, mean age = 23.4 years, range = 18–33) first completed pre-meditation learning and recall phases of the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) task. Participants then completed a single session of FAM or OMM prior to a second, post-meditation, round of DRM task learning and recall phases with a novel word list. Finally, participants completed a recognition test with true and false memory, and distractor words. Both FAM and OMM groups demonstrated significant increase in false memory recall between pre- and post-meditation recall tests but these groups did not differ with respect to true and false memory recall and recognition. The present findings are consistent with previous reports of increased false memory arising from mindfulness meditation. Distinct cognitive control states associated with FAM and OMM states do not result in distinct true and false memory formation, at least in meditation-naïve adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-96
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cognitive Enhancement
Issue number1-2
Early online date30 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Attention
  • Cognitive control
  • Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) task
  • Encoding
  • False memory
  • Focused attention meditation
  • Memory
  • Mindfulness
  • Open monitoring meditation
  • Retrieval


Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Focused Attention and Open Monitoring Mindfulness Meditation States on True and False Memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this