Survey of Studies on the Benefits of Meditation
Decreased Stroop interference, superior visual perspective switching, superior verbal fluency, improved category production tasking, and reduced rumination.
...there has been a growing body of research over the last years examining various cognitive abilities related to mindfulness, most of which focusing on various measures of attention and memory... Although some studies did not find differences between meditators and non-meditators in rigidity related tasks (e.g , ), others have found that meditators exhibit decreased Stroop interference , (in a Zen meditation sample). The Stroop task requires participants to name the ink color in which color words are written. The interference reflects automaticity with regards to the fact that participants cannot avoid reading the words. This inability to flexibly adapt to novel and non-habitual task requirements may be taken as evidence for inflexibility. Along the same line, other studies found that meditators exhibit superior visual perspective switching on a multiple perspective images task , exhibit superior verbal fluency , , and perform better than controls on a category production task  and the Hayling task, requiring participants to complete sentences with unrelated and nonsensical words . Mindfulness meditators have also been shown to exhibit reduced rumination compared to controls –, which may also be related to reduced rigidity as reflected in the adoption of repetitive thought patterns concerning distressing symptoms, their causes and implications .