This Center consists of three highly coordinated projects, conducted on the identical participants (Ps) and supported by a Recruitment and Phenotyping Core. Pis have substantial neuroscientific expertise, enjoy historical and current research collaborations, and direct major laboratories with substantial infrastructure. These will be harnessed to make significant progress on a neuroscientific understanding of meditation by collecting measures allowing the synthesis of neuroimaging, behavioral (emotion regulation, stroop, breath counting, working memory, affective Go/No-go, attentional blink), immune (white blood cell counts and inflammatory cell differentials), autonomic nervous system functioning, sleep (PSG with high-density EEG, EMG, EOG, leg EMG, EKG, pulse oximetry, airflow, respiratory effort, position and video, dream reports, and Mismatch Negativity paradigm given during non-REM sleep), questionnaire (including mental health symptoms, compassion, mindfulness, medical symptoms, sustainable well-being, and ecological footprint), and interview data (interviews with study Ps'significant others will provide third-person reports on compassion and mindfulness). The Core will recruit, screen and schedule Ps for all three projects, including: (1) Long-term meditators (LTM;n=40);(2) Meditation naive Ps (MNP) diagnosed with asthma (MNP-A; n=80), a clinical sample with relevance for inflammatory processes as well as mental health risks;and (3) Meditation naive Ps without asthma (MNP-NA;n=120). After completion of T l measures, all MNPs will be randomized to either MBSR, HEP (an active comparison group that we pioneered), or a wait-list control group (WL). The WL group will serve as a control for MNPs in HEP and MBSR as well as LTMs. MNP-As will be randomized to either MBSR or WL. All Ps will be assessed on measures for all three projects at two time points, pre- (Tl) and post-intervention (T2) for MNPs with a third time point (T3) for LTMs and WL. Instead of being assigned an intervention, LTMs will be randomized to 3 days (23 hours total) of either mindfulness or loving-kindness-compassion practice at T2 (with the alternate practice type at T3).
The Research Participation and Phenotyping Core will coordinate the scheduling and recruiting of participants for all three projects and synthesizes and disseminates data so that cross-project analyses can be conducted. In addition, measures of use in identifying individual differences applicable across all three projects are collected.
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