Since 2006, the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) has conducted research and offered educational programs and classes to the general public and within UCLA. As of 2023, MARC at the Semel Institute will maintain a focus on research, while UCLA Mindful at UCLA Health will emphasize mindfulness education within the UCLA Health system and worldwide. 

MARC is housed in the UCLA Semel Institute:

Mindfulness Research

Research in mindfulness has identified a wide range of benefits in different areas of psychological health, such as helping to decrease anxiety, depression, rumination, and emotional reactivity. Research has also shown mindfulness helps to increase well-being, positive affect, and concentration.

Practicing mindfulness can also be helpful to foster physical health by improving immune system function, quality of sleep, as well as decreasing blood pressure. Structural and functional brain changes have also been documented in areas associated with attention, emotional regulation, empathy, and bodily awareness.

In addition to health, research has been made on the benefits of mindfulness in business and educational settings. In companies, results showed improved communication and work performance. In educational settings, mindfulness practices improved social-emotional skills, executive functions, and decreased test stress in students, as well as reduced stress and burnout in teachers.

Published Studies

MARC has conducted research on both mindfulness, generally, and the effects of the signature Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs) program in a variety of settings, both in adults and children. Below is a list of past and current research projects, organized into three general categories: research conducted on the MAPs program (including MAPs for insomnia, MAPS-I), the UCLA Mindful app/recorded meditations, and other mindfulness research studies conducted in affiliation with MARC. MARC Research is housed under The Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology