News, Science and Technology

Professor studies minds

Amishi Jha, a psychology professor at UM who specializes in mindfulness research, received a federal grant to study short-term mindfulness training (MT) in high-stress groups. Naturally, she turned to college students.

Freshmen studying introductory psychology visited Jha to participate in sessions. The goal was to track students’ mind-wandering patterns throughout the semester.

“We hypothesized that mind-wandering would change over the course of the semester,” she said.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, split the 58 student participants into control and experimental groups.

“We know that around finals, psychological health goes down, and mind-wandering increases over the course of the semester,” Jha said.

While this was evident in the control group, the students who practiced mindful breathing, body scans, walking meditation and other exercises actually improved.

“This is the first step in being able to say stress over the semester can really be significant, and what this study suggests is that even a short-form mindfulness course may help us keep this at bay,” Jha said.

Jha’s mindfulness research on undergraduates is unique to UM, as is her use of brain-imaging equipment in the Brain Connectivity and Cognition Laboratory on San Amaro Drive.

She plans to expand the study by looking at the benefits of MT on student leaders, as well as its correlation to issues such as binge drinking and the freshman 15. Jha would also like to study students involved in Greek life and resident assistants.

And she hopes to see it all come to fruition within the next three years.

“The university’s willingness to embrace mindfulness and the mindfulness initiative is a really good sign of their care and concern for their students,” Jha said.

January 27, 2014

Reporters

Lyssa Goldberg

Lyssa Goldberg is online editor of The Miami Hurricane. She is a senior majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in math. She has interned at Mashable and the Miami New Times, and her work has also been featured in The Huffington Post.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Even after snagging Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, UM has remained highly aggressive in its pursu ...

As the NFL’s conference finals were unfolding Sunday, Manny Diaz – the UM coach who doubles as a soc ...

The University of Miami womens’ basketball team made sure North Carolina fans didn’t get to celebrat ...

Throughout the four years he spent as a tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, Tyree St. Louis never consi ...

Finally, a marquee home game for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a game big enough th ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

The Miami women's basketball team will play its highest-ranked opponent of the season thus far ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Monday that it will host its fifth annual Celebration of Wom ...

Beatrice Mompremier of the Miami women's basketball team was named the ACC Player of the Week, ...

Bennie Blades will serve as host of the UMSHoF's Eighth Annual Celebrity Bowling Tournament, on ...

The Miami women's basketball team defeated North Carolina for the fourth consecutive year with ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.