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Modulation of Perceptual-motor Awareness and Visuomotor Performance by Mindfulness Meditation

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Abstract Background Attribution of agency involves the ability to distinguish our own actions and their sensory consequences which are self-generated from those generated by external agents. There are several pathological cases in which motor awareness is dramatically impaired. On the other hand, awareness-enhancement practices like tai-chi and yoga are shown to improve perceptual-motor awareness. Meditation [...]


ANOVA: Analysis of variances
CG: Control group of non-meditators
DT: Digitizing tablet
LM: Group of long-term meditators
NM: Group of non-meditators (with no meditation experience)
MBSR: Mindfulness based stress reduction
ME: Motor error
MT: Movement time
PT: Projection tablet
SM: Group of short-term meditators (receiving a MBSR intervention)
SR: Subjective report


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This study was supported by grant 12/06 from the Bial Foundation, Porto, Portugal. Stefan Schmidt was supported by the Samueli Institute, Alexandria, VA, USA. José Raúl Naranjo was also partially supported by the Mind & Life Institute Francisco J. Varela Research Award (Award Number 2010-1-001).

The authors would like to express their gratitude to Manuel Aiple and Frank Aiple for their work on the software Centauro, used for the control of our experiment and the acquisition of reaching movement data. Jana Schmidt and Claudia Orellana are also acknowledged for their assistance during preparation and running of the experiments. We also thank the teachers Barbara Dietz-Waschkowski and Uli Kesper-Grossman for conducting the MBSR courses and also all participants for their valuable efforts and patience in supporting this research.

The authors would also like to express their gratitude to two anonymous referees, whose invaluable inputs lead to significant improvement of this paper.

Additional information

Authors’ contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: JRN and SS. Performed all subjects’ recruitment and psychometric assessments, as well as management of the MBSR intervention: SS. Performed the experiments: JRN. Analyzed the data: JRN. Statistical evaluation of the results: SS. Wrote the paper: JRN and SS. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Naranjo, J.R., Schmidt, S. Is it me or not me? Modulation of perceptual-motor awareness and visuomotor performance by mindfulness meditation. BMC Neurosci 13, 88 (2012).

  • Received: 19 April 2011
  • Accepted: 10 July 2012
  • Published: 30 July 2012
  • DOI:

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