New York: Do you want to stay attentive in your old age? If yes, then start doing meditation. A new study has found that regular and intensive sessions of meditation may help you stay focused and attentive even in advanced years.
Anthony Zanesco of the University of Miami and lead author of the study said, "This study is the first to offer evidence that intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition."
He added that meditation has the potential to alter longitudinal trajectories of cognitive change across a person's life.
The study evaluates the benefits that people gained after three months of full-time meditation training and whether these benefits are maintained seven years later.
This research was a follows up on the previous work done by the same team of researchers at the University of California in 2011.
The 2011 study assessed the cognitive abilities of a group of people who regularly meditated before and after they went on a three-month-long retreat.
After the first group's initial retreat was over, the second group received similar intensive training.
As part of the study, follow-up assessments were conducted six months, 18 months and seven years after completion of the retreats.
During the last appraisal, participants were asked to estimate how much time over the course of seven years they had spent meditating outside of formal retreat settings, such as through daily or non-intensive practice.
The participants who had remained in the study all reported some form of continued meditation practice -- 85 percent attended at least one meditation retreat and they practiced amounts on average that was comparable to an hour a day for seven years.
The participants again completed assessments designed to measure their reaction time and ability to pay attention to a task.
The study was published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement.
(With IANS inputs)