Effect of mindful meditation on attention, short term memory and reaction time

Do you ever find yourself going through the motions of the day but finding it hard to truly pay attention – to stay on task and to absorb what you are doing, reading or hearing?

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A 2014 study looked at the effectiveness of mindful meditation on attention, short term memory and visual reaction time and is particularly encouraging for young adults. This experimental study included 230 participants between the ages of 15-25 and tested them before and after the intervention for attention (trail making test), short term memory (digit span test) and visual reaction time (Benchmark test).

The participants completed 15 minutes of daily mindful meditation for two weeks. The findings were that there was a significant improvement in all three areas after the two weeks of meditation. This is one of several studies which have provided encouraging support for mindful meditation to improve and optimize our attention, short term memory and visual reaction time. Particularly encouraging is that these results were found with early meditation practice.


Butola, R., & Chauhan, R. (2014). Effectiveness of Mindful Meditation on Attention, Short Term Memory and Visual Reaction Time on Normal Individual. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy8(1), 149–153.

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