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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121280

Conscious, Pre-Conscious and Unconscious Mechanisms in Emotional Behaviour. Some Applications to the Mindfulness Approach with Wearable Devices

1
Research Unit in Affective and Social Neuroscience, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart—Largo Gemelli 1, 20123 Milano, Italy
2
Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart—Largo Gemelli 1, 20123 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sub- and Unconscious Information Processing in the Human Brain)
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Abstract

Conscious, pre-conscious, and unconscious mechanisms are implicated in modulating affective processing in daily activities. Specifically, mental practice fostering awareness and control of affective reactions to external stimuli and stressful events (such as mindfulness and neurofeedback protocols) can be used to improve our ability to manage unconscious negative emotions. Indeed, it is possible to empower self-monitoring and regulation skills, as well as our ability to manage stress and negative emotions coming from everyday events and activities. This can be accomplished, on the one hand, by regularly practicing self-observation and by promoting bodily awareness and an awareness of automatic responses (e.g., uncontrolled affective reactions); on the other hand, by undergoing implicit training protocols that take advantage of brain responses. The present paper elucidates the contribution of both conscious and unconscious levels in emotion regulation and stress management, with a focus on their neural correlates and their role in mindfulness practice and on the potential of body-sensing devices for supporting meditation sessions, for fostering motivation to practice, and for making meditation more appealing and sustainable. We will finally present preliminary evidence on the effect of an intensive technology-mediated meditation protocol based on mindfulness practices and supported by a brain-sensing wearable device. The experimental procedure included three levels of outcome indices: psychometric measures related to perceived stress; neuropsychological and behavioural measures related to cognitive performance; and instrumental measures (resting-state and task-related electroencephalographic markers—EEG-ERPs). View Full-Text
Keywords: conscious; unconscious; emotions; wearable devices; neurofeedback; mindfulness; automatic processing; stress management conscious; unconscious; emotions; wearable devices; neurofeedback; mindfulness; automatic processing; stress management
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Balconi, M.; Fronda, G.; Venturella, I.; Crivelli, D. Conscious, Pre-Conscious and Unconscious Mechanisms in Emotional Behaviour. Some Applications to the Mindfulness Approach with Wearable Devices. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 1280.

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