Mindfulness Research at LJMU

Mindfulness Research at LJMU

Mindfulness may be described as the ability to pay deliberate attention to our experience from moment to moment, to what is going on in our mind, body and day to day life and doing this without immediate judgment. Mindfulness may be inherent or trained by various techniques including meditation. It is increasingly being recognised that mindfulness has numerous everyday benefits.

Researchers at the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology are currently conducting a number of research projects that aim to develop an understanding of the underlying processes of mindfulness and are looking for potential participants for these projects.

Please click on the links below if you are interested in learning more about mindfulness, our work or taking part in a mindfulness study.


Dr Peter Malinowski: Mindfulness and Science

In his meditation research blog Peter tracks and comments on the latest developments in meditation and mindfulness research. Dr Peter Malinowski recently discussed mindfulness, its applications and some of the research he is currently involved in for LJMUTV.

Course related video
Dr Peter Malinowski discusses the
practice of mindfulness

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Current Studies

Mindfulness Ageing Project

We started recruiting for a new project investigating the effects of mindfulness training on psychological functioning and most importantly for this study on our immune system. We will be looking for participants in the age range from 55 – 75 years who are willing to commit to 7 weeks of brief regular mindfulness practice, are able to come into the university for 4 training sessions and are happy for their blood to be taken at the beginning and the end of the study.

This is a collaborative project between Dr Peter Malinowski and Dr Paul Lattimore from LJMU and Dr Liliana Shalamanova from Manchester Metropolitan University.

The study is scheduled to run between January and April 2013. If you are interested in participating, click here for further information >>

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Ongoing Studies

The studies listed here are also related to mindfulness. These studies are currently running and are not recruiting new participants, but you can read more about them below.

Facilitating Healthy Ageing: Neuroprotective Effects of Cognitive Training

In this study we have tested around 70 older participants, who either took part in a mindful training programme, a cognitive training programme or were allocated to a control group. All participants underwent intensive testing in different cognitive tasks before and after the training period in the 7-week training programme. Concurrently we were recording their brain activity with state-of-the art electrophysiological (EEG) methods.

We are now starting to analyse the extensive data sets that were accumulated and hope to present first results soon. As a first impression, it was a delight to see with how much enthusiasm the participants engaged with the project and we are thrilled about the positive feedback we received.

This project is directed by Dr Peter Malinowski. Ms Bethan Mead (MSc) worked as research assistant on the project, funded by generous support from the BIAL Foundation. She now moved on to study for her PhD at Liverpool University. Mr Adam Moore (BSc) is engaged as PhD student on this project, funded by an IHR student bursary awarded to Dr Malinowski.

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Previous Studies

This section contains details of our previous studies. Results of these studies and details of associated publications will be posted here when they become available. Our thanks go to everyone who took part in these studies.

Mindfulness, Positivity and Work Engagement

This online study investigated the question whether more mindful employees are more engaged in their work. The study is now completed. Around 300 participants completed the online survey and the general picture that emerges is that mindfulness is positively related to work-engagement and wellbeing in fulltime employees and that higher mindfulness leads to more work-engagement through raised positive emotions and a general increase in psychological functioning.

The study was carried out by Ms Lim Hui Jia as her research project on the MSc Course Occupational Psychology and was supervised by Dr Malinowski. The results of the study are currently being prepared for publication.

The five participants who won an Amazon voucher have been informed and will receive their ‘electronic voucher’ soon.

Mindful Eating Programme

Tis study piloted a 7-week mindful eating programme developed here at LJMU by Dr Malinowski and Ms Naomi Fisher (MSc). The programme aims at improving our relationship to food and eating. Almost 20 participants completed the pilot and gave overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding content and delivery of the programme. Outcome data are currently being analysed.

The project is carried out by Ms Naomi Fisher, who is supported by PhD student bursary from LJMU’s School of Natural Sciences and Psychology. Dr Paul Lattimore, expert on eating behaviour research, is the Director of Studies for this project and, as second supervisor, Dr Malinowski contributes his expertise in mindfulness research and practice.

Healthy Ageing: Neuroprotective Effects of Being Mindful

In this study we investigated the relationship between mindfulness and cognitive abilities that tend to weaken as we get older. This study ran in Autumn 2011 and is now complete.

Mindfulness and Meta-Cognition

This collaborative project between Liverpool John Moores University (Dr Malinowski) and the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group at the University of Granada (Prof Rueda) investigates the relationship between mindfulness and meta-cognitive functions, in particular the ability to monitor one’s own cognitive states and the errors one makes while performing cognitive tasks.

The project has been running since September 2010 and first results have been presented at the XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience in 2011:

  • Malinowski P, Mead B and Pozuelos-López J (2011). Individual levels of mindfulness predict brain activity related to inhibitory control and response monitoring. Front. Hum. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI). doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2011.207.00050
  • Pozuelos-López J, Mead B, Rueda M and Malinowski P (2011). Mindfulness and cognitive control: are they really related? Front. Hum. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI). doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2011.207.00260

Meditation Practice and Attention Network Dynamics

This study investigated whether mindfulness meditation training improves attention and the related brain functions. 40 participants took part in this study either in the training group or the control group. The training consisted of 16 weeks of regular, brief (10 minute) mindfulness practice. Participants completed intensive cognitive testing before, half-way through and at the end of the training programme. Some of the extensive datasets are still being analysed and first results have recently been published, showing that the mindfulness practice improved neural markers of attentional function. You can read about these results in Dr Malinowski’s meditation research blog: http://meditation-research.org.uk/2012/02/mindfulness-and-cognitive-control/

This is a collaborative project between LJMU (Peter Malinowski) and the Professor Thomas Gruber  at the University of Osnabrück, Germany. The project has been funded by a grant from the BIAL Foundation to Dr Malinowski. Mr Moore worked as research assistant on this project.

  • Moore, A.W., Gruber T., Derose, J. and Malinowski, P. (2012). Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 18. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00018

Emotions, Mindfulness and Eating

The online survey has now closed. The results of this study will be posted here when they become available.

Thank you for your interest in our research.

Please keep checking this page for more research opportunities and to read about what we have learnt from previous studies.

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Page last modified 09 January 2013.

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