Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Science




Minda, John Paul


The current study assessed whether pairing mindfulness meditation with consumer-grade neurofeedback (using Muse) would be a feasible and satisfying (i.e., fulfillment and pleasure) intervention for mental health and well-being. This was assessed via a four-day mindfulness program where participants (N=34) were assigned to mindfulness with neurofeedback (n=17) or guided meditation (control; n=17) group. On each day of the program, participants engaged in two mindful sessions (five minutes each) in the morning and afternoon. Participants were administered a series of affective measures before and after the program, as well as throughout. Upon completion, participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their program. A series of factorial repeated measures ANOVAs were performed to assess for differences between groups. Results confirmed the feasibility of this format of intervention. There was no significant difference in satisfaction reports between groups. Further, no significant differences were found between groups in pre- and post-measures of depressive, anxious, and trauma symptoms, as well as mindful traits. There were significant differences in scores of positive and negative moods found between neurofeedback and control groups, suggesting an added benefit to pairing neurofeedback with mindfulness practice. Overall, this initial feasibility study demonstrated that mindfulness with neurofeedback may have some enhanced psychological benefits compared to meditation alone. However, this intervention needs to be carried out on a much larger and more diverse scale, with consideration for electrophysiological changes, to strengthen its efficacy as an intervention for mental health and wellbeing.

Summary for Lay Audience

Separately, mindfulness and neurofeedback practice has demonstrated to be beneficial to physical and mental health. More specifically, mindfulness meditation has risen in popularity in recent years as a tool to help users improve their psychological well-being and enhance attention. However, many may struggle to achieve a restful and mindful state in today’s fast-paced world. This has resulted in the creation of different variations of mindfulness activities to help individuals achieve a calm and restful brain state (i.e., colouring books and smartphone apps). One of these manifestations has been in consumer-grade EEG headsets like Muse by InteraXon which pairs mindfulness with neurofeedback. However, it is important to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of pairing mindfulness with neurofeedback. The current study assessed whether pairing mindfulness meditation with consumer-grade neurofeedback (using Muse by InteraXon) would be a feasible and satisfying intervention for mental health and well-being. Participants engaged in a four-day mindfulness program where one group practiced traditional guided meditation and the other practiced mindfulness meditation with neurofeedback. Participant mood was assessed throughout the program, and upon completion, participants were asked how satisfying they found the program. Researchers hypothesized that this format of intervention would be feasible and that participants in the meditation with neurofeedback group would find the intervention more satisfying than in non-neurofeedback groups. Results confirmed that pairing mindfulness with neurofeedback in an at-home intervention format was feasible. Similar satisfaction ratings were provided for both neurofeedback and non-neurofeedback groups. In the mindfulness with neurofeedback group, significantly higher scores of positive mood and lower scores of negative mood were reported compared to the non-neurofeedback group. This information suggests that the addition of neurofeedback to mindfulness may hold some benefit to emotion. Further exploration of this format of intervention should consider carrying out studies on a larger and more diverse scale, incorporating suggestions of fake feedback conditions and changes in the brain.