Mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which is thought to reflect improvements in shifting attention to the present moment. However, prior research in long-term meditation practitioners lacked quantitative measures of attention that would provide a more direct behavioral correlate and interpretational anchor for PCC–DLPFC connectivity and was inherently limited by small sample sizes. Moreover, whether mindfulness meditation primarily impacts brain function locally, or impacts the dynamics of large-scale brain networks, remained unclear. Here, we sought to replicate and extend prior findings of increased PCC–DLPFC rsFC in a sample of 40 long-term meditators (average practice = 3759 hr) who also completed a behavioral assay of attention. In addition, we tested a network-based framework of changes in interregional connectivity by examining network-level connectivity. We found that meditators had stronger PCC-rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) rsFC, lower connector hub strength across the default mode network, and better subjective attention, compared with 124 meditation-naive controls. Orienting attention positively correlated with PCC–RLPFC connectivity and negatively correlated with default mode network connector hub strength. These findings provide novel evidence that PCC–RLPFC rsFC may support attention orienting, consistent with a role for RLPFC in the attention shifting component of metacognitive awareness that is a core component of mindfulness meditation training. Our results further demonstrate that long-term mindfulness meditation may improve attention and strengthen the underlying brain networks.

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