Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I wold like to know who are the main authors (and texts) which studied meditation using a scientific method and reported their results in a text that I can use for reference when I'm talking about meditation. Is there a scientific text which has been used for reference on this topic in the last years or there are only spread articles? An historical prospective is however welcome if is a good reference in the topic for the historical part.

share|improve this question

Searching for "meditation" on Google Scholar sorts articles by relevance and provides counts of citations that each has received. From the first page of about 686,000 results, these are the references with over 1000 citations each (I've sorted them by citations, which Google Scholar does not do easily):

  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. Hyperion.
  • Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S. F., ... & Sheridan, J. F. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564–570.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (1982). An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results. General Hospital Psychiatry, 4(1), 33–47.
  • Peterson, L. G., & Pbert, L. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Am J Psychiatry, 149, 936–943.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L., & Burney, R. (1985). The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 8(2), 163–190.

Of course, you can edit the search terms, or set a custom range of publication dates if you want to look for references of more historical relevance. I don't think you should prefer textbooks over articles unless you're really looking to refer your audience to a comprehensive introduction to the topic.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.