Introducing Mindtoons™

Michigan State University Professor Carrie Heeter founded Mindtoon Lab to explore, understand, and design effective, innovative cyber meditation experiences. 

Together, Carrie and meditation expert Dr. Marcel Allbritton create  cybermeditations for web, smartphone and virtual reality.  Mindtoon™ meditations are tools to help you relax your body, calm your mind, and change the way you feel.

We have also developed a five-week cybermeditation program that combines meditation apps with supportive, informative messaging to support establishment of a personal meditation practice.

Mindtoons™ steps and sequencing are grounded in principles of mind-body therapy 

In a Mindtoon™ meditation you are guided through a series of steps involving breath and gentle movement.

Aligning breath and movement gives the mind something to do

You  move and breath at your own pace, aligning breath and movement. Aligning breath and movement can be an easier and more effective approach to meditation than simply  sitting and trying to focus on the breath.

Closing the eyes activates interoceptive neural pathways

Closing the eyes turns off brain pathways related to seeing and moving around in the outside world and turns on internal neural pathways (interoception) that focus on feelings, internal sensations, and the parasympathetic nervous system.

Breath is a controller and indicator of the state of the system

Long, slow breathing is a sign of being calm and relaxed.  Rapid shallow breath indicates agitation.  By consciously controlling breath, we can change our system.

Controlled breathing activates vagal nerve activity.  Research shows that over time this may help reduce imbalances in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) leading to improved mood, decreased anxiety, lower allostatic load, reduced Heart Rate Variability (HRV), and improved health.

In Mindtoons™ each person’s experience is unique, each time

In Mindtoons™, very few specific details about what the player is visualizing are given, to allow the player’s experience to be their own. In Mindtoons™,  each player has their own experience.

Beneficial effects of meditation for health and well-being are suggested by scientific research

A large and growing number of scientific studies offer support for a wide range of health and well-being outcomes for meditation. A review of research on yogic breathing identified studies showing physiological benefits (such as lower blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability), psychological benefits (included well-being, sleep, mood, and reduced depression, anxiety, fear, fatigue, PTSD, pain, and stress), and neuro-cognitive benefits (such as mental focus).

Science is also discovering the mechanisms of meditation, helping to explain why those benefits may occur.  For a sampling of research findings, see the Meditation Research blog.