| GEO Health|
| Meditation may help in focusing|
| Updated at: 1321 PST, Sunday, July 18, 2010|
DAVIS: U.S. researchers say meditation training may help people get better at focusing.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, asked study participants to periodically take a demanding 30-minute computer test of how well they could make fine visual distinctions and sustain visual attention in which they intently watched a screen of lines to find and respond with a mouse click to the occasional shorter line.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, finds the participants got better at discriminating short lines as the meditation training progressed.
This improvement persisted five months after the retreat, particularly for people who continued to meditate every day.
"Because this task is so boring and yet is also very neutral, it's a kind of a perfect index of meditation training," study co-author Katherine MacLean, who worked on the study as a graduate student, said in a statement.
MacLean and colleagues selected 60 out of 140 people wanting to participate in a meditation retreat. A group of 30 people went on a meditation retreat while the second group waited their turn and served as a control group.