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An empirical examination of the factor structure of compassion

An empirical examination of the factor structure of compassion | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Compassion has long been regarded as a core part of our humanity by contemplative traditions, and in recent years, it has received growing research interest. Following a recent review of existing conceptualisations, compassion has been defined as consisting of the following five elements: 1) recognising suffering, 2) understanding the universality of suffering in human experience, 3) feeling moved by the person suffering and emotionally connecting with their distress, 4) tolerating uncomfortable feelings aroused (e.g., fear, distress) so that we remain open to and accepting of the person suffering, and 5) acting or being motivated to act to alleviate suffering. As a prerequisite to developing a high quality compassion measure and furthering research in this field, the current study empirically investigated the factor structure of the five-element definition using a combination of existing and newly generated self-report items. This study consisted of three stages: a systematic consultation with experts to review items from existing self-report measures of compassion and generate additional items (Stage 1), exploratory factor analysis of items gathered from Stage 1 to identify the underlying structure of compassion (Stage 2), and confirmatory factor analysis to validate the identified factor structure (Stage 3). Findings showed preliminary empirical support for a five-factor structure of compassion consistent with the five-element definition. However, findings indicated that the ‘tolerating’ factor may be problematic and not a core aspect of compassion. This possibility requires further empirical testing. Limitations with items from included measures lead us to recommend against using these items collectively to assess compassion. Instead, we call for the development of a new self-report measure of compassion, using the five-element definition to guide item generation. We recommend including newly generated ‘tolerating’ items in the initial item pool, to determine whether or not factor-level issues are resolved once item-level issues are addressed.
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Contemplative Neuroscience
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Carnegie Mellon Study Shows Mindfulness Meditation App Works—But Acceptance Training Component Is Crucial - Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Study Shows Mindfulness Meditation App Works—But Acceptance Training Component Is Crucial - Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
For the millions of mindfulness meditation mobile app users, there is good news: New research shows that they can reduce the body’s response to biological stress.
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Mind the Hype: A Critical Evaluation and Prescriptive Agenda for Research on Mindfulness and MeditationPerspectives on Psychological Science - Nicholas T. Van Dam, Marieke K. van Vugt, David R. Vag...

Mind the Hype: A Critical Evaluation and Prescriptive Agenda for Research on Mindfulness and MeditationPerspectives on Psychological Science - Nicholas T. Van Dam, Marieke K. van Vugt, David R. Vag... | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
During the past two decades, mindfulness meditation has gone from being a fringe topic of scientific investigation to being an occasional replacement fo
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Acute fall and long‐term rise in oxygen saturation in response to meditation

Acute fall and long‐term rise in oxygen saturation in response to meditation | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
The effects of meditation on arterial and tissue oxygenation are unknown and difficult to assess because respiration is often altered, directly or indirectly, during meditation practice. Thus
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I can feel my heartbeat: Dancers have increased interoceptive accuracy. - PubMed - NCBI

I can feel my heartbeat: Dancers have increased interoceptive accuracy. - PubMed - NCBI | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Psychophysiology. 2017 Sep 21. doi: 10.1111/psyp.13008. [Epub ahead of print]
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Publication date: October 2017
Source:Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 55
Author(s): George A. Michael, Isabelle Tapiero, Germán Gálvez-García, Laurence Jacquot
Sensations and thoughts have been described as potentially related to self-awareness. We therefore asked whether sensations that arise in the absence of external triggers, i.e., spontaneous sensations (SPS), which were shown to relate to interoception and perception of the self, vary as a function of the individual propensity to generate spontaneous thoughts, i.e., mind-wandering. The Mind Wandering Questionnaire (MWQ) was used as a specific tool to assess the frequency and propensity to mind-wander several weeks before completing an SPS task. Correlational analyses between the MWQ score and SPS showed that greater propensity to mind-wander coincided with widespread perception of SPS, while lesser propensity to mind-wander coincided with more spatially restricted perception of SPS. The results are interpreted in light of the role of spontaneous thoughts and sensations in self-awareness. The potential psychological processes and the way they might regulate the relation between mind-wandering and the perception of SPS are discussed.
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Brain response patterns to economic inequity predict present and future depression indices

Brain response patterns to economic inequity predict present and future depression indices | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
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Conscious Perception as Integrated Information Patterns in Human Electrocorticography

A significant problem in neuroscience concerns the distinction between neural processing that is correlated with conscious percepts from processing that is not. Here, we tested if a hierarchical structure of causal interactions between neuronal populations correlates with conscious perception. We derived the hierarchical causal structure as a pattern of integrated information, inspired by the integrated information theory of consciousness. We computed integrated information patterns from intracranial electrocorticography from 6 human neurosurgical patients with electrodes implanted over lateral and ventral cortices. During recording, subjects viewed continuous flash suppression and backward masking stimuli intended to dissociate conscious percept from stimulus, and unmasked suprathreshold stimuli. Object-sensitive areas revealed correspondence between conscious percepts and integrated information patterns. We quantified this correspondence using unsupervised classification methods that revealed clustering of visual experiences with integrated information, but not with broader information measures including mutual information and entropy. Our findings point to a significant role of locally integrated information for understanding the neural substrate of conscious object perception.

Significance Statement What is the link between neural activity and conscious experience? It is clear that experience is generated in the brain, as conscious experience occurs even without sensory inputs, but it is also clear that not everything that occurs in the brain is correlated with consciousness. There must be some phenomenon occurring in brains that is critical for consciousness. In this paper we tackle this issue from a new direction: starting from conscious phenomenology, we derive a novel measure of distributed population neural activity – the integrated information pattern – and find that, when applied to intracranial field potential recordings (ECoG), this measure can be used to classify the conscious perceptual experiences of human subjects.
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Mindfulness mediates the physiological markers of stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis. - PubMed - NCBI

Mindfulness mediates the physiological markers of stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis. - PubMed - NCBI | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Aug 23;95:156-178. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.08.004. [Epub ahead of print]
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The Science and Practice of Self-ControlPerspectives on Psychological Science - Angela L. Duckworth, Martin E. P. Seligman, 2017

In 2002, we discovered that self-control “outdoes” talent in predicting academic success during adolescence. Since then, a surfeit of longitudinal evidence ha
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Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds

Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
A new study provides compelling evidence that different forms of meditation can change the brain in measurable ways.
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Be 'Mindful' of the Hype

Be 'Mindful' of the Hype | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Scientists call for rigorous research to back up mindfulness marketing claims - Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter, Philadelphia HealthDay
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Complementary and Integrative Health Practices for Depression. - PubMed - NCBI

Complementary and Integrative Health Practices for Depression. - PubMed - NCBI | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2017 Sep 11:1-12. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20170905-02. [Epub ahead of print]
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Our (Mother's) Mitochondria and Our Mind. - PubMed - NCBI

Our (Mother's) Mitochondria and Our Mind. - PubMed - NCBI | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Perspect Psychol Sci. 2017 Sep 1:1745691617718356. doi: 10.1177/1745691617718356. [Epub ahead of print]
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Publication date: October 2017
Source:Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 55
Author(s): Jan Rummel, Laura Nied
Physiological needs that are currently unfulfilled are known to affect human cognition and behavior. The present study investigates whether and how the temporary activation of two primary physiological needs, namely hunger and sexual arousal, influence both the frequency and the contents of mind-wandering episodes. To induce hunger, one group of participants fasted for a minimum of five hours whereas another group of participants was exposed to audio material with explicit sexual content to provoke sexual arousal. Both groups as well as an additional control group, which had not received hunger instructions and had not been exposed to arousing material of any kind beforehand, performed a reading task during which mind wandering was assessed using a standard experience-sampling method. Results showed that acute hunger but not elevated sexual arousal renders the occurrence of mind-wandering episodes more likely. Induction of both hunger and sexual arousal rendered the occurrence of need-related off-task thoughts more likely and changed time orientations of mind wandering. The present findings are well in line with the assumption that unfulfilled needs regularly achieve cognitive priority and extend the cognitive-priority idea to self-generated thoughts.
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Brain patterns hold key to stress-related cardiovascular risk

Brain patterns hold key to stress-related cardiovascular risk | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
Stress is known to affect heart health. New research inspects brain activity and spots patterns that predict individuals most at risk.
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Differential effects of antidepressant treatment on long-range and short-range functional connectivity strength in patients with major depressive disorder

Differential effects of antidepressant treatment on long-range and short-range functional connectivity strength in patients with major depressive disorder | Contemplative Neuroscience | Scoop.it
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