Due to relatively recent strides made in the field of virtual reality, the technology's potential use in a clinical setting has been the focus of a growing body of research. Multiple studies focus on benefits of its combination with meditation interventions; however, few explore its impact following a short-term period of utilizing both. This investigation aims to explore that gap in the literature by determining whether an improvement on mindfulness and working memory test scores would be seen following a single session of virtual reality meditation. That was done by randomly assigning participants to one of two conditions. One group underwent a guided meditation while immersed in a virtual environment, while the other listened to the same audio within a blank environment. Each participant's working memory was assessed with an N-back task before and after meditation. Additionally, participants were given the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (Walach et al. 2006) to determine if there were any changes in mindfulness. There were no significant differences in mindfulness scores across conditions, conversely, pre and post working memory scores were significantly different in the virtual reality condition. Results suggest that a single session provides tangible benefits to working memory, opening the door for more in-depth investigations.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Leite, Rafael, "The Effects of Virtual Reality-Based Mindfulness Meditation on Cognition" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1376.