Our own ongoing motor actions are perceived through sensory feedback pathways, and are integrated with neural processes to modulate further actions. This sensory feedback mechanism is known to contribute to the rehabilitation of impaired motor functions. Recent evidence also suggests that mindfulness meditation improves our awareness to sensation; therefore, enhancement of awareness to sensory feedback through mindfulness meditation training may have potential clinical applications. This study investigated an effect of eight-week practice of mindfulness meditation on speech perception/production processes. Among the thirty healthy participants, half of them engaged in regular meditation practice of 10 min per day for eight weeks, and the other half were not given any instructions for their daily life. The change of speech performance in sentence reading under 200 ms delayed auditory feedback (DAF) condition were assessed compared to without delay condition. Also, event-related potential response to the short sound of /a/, were measured. The result showed that, after the eight-week practice, the meditation group showed significantly improved speech fluency in the DAF condition, when 16-min meditation was introduced before the experiments. Furthermore, significantly increased auditory evoked potentials were observed in the central-parietal region when the participants listened to the delayed auditory feedback sound of their own voice. These findings provide the first glimpses into the possible relationship between mindfulness meditation and auditory feedback. Different instructions for daily activity between the meditation and control groups should be considered in further studies.
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