The Mechanism of Tai Chi on Brain Function
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September 26, 2019 - Early studies have shown that Tai Chi contributes to the rehabilitation of cognitive disorders and increases blood oxygen concentration levels in the parietal and occipital brain areas; however, the mechanism of Tai Chi training on brain function remains poorly understood. A recent Chinese study, published by Scientific Reports in September 2019, hypothesizes that Tai Chi has altered brain function and aims to explore the effects of Tai Chi on functional connection and effective connection of the prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, and occipital cortex.
The participants were 23 experienced Chen-style Tai Chi practitioners and 32 demographically matched healthy controls. Functional and effective connections were calculated using wavelet-based coherence analysis and dynamic Bayesian inference method, respectively.
Results showed that beyond the intensity of activity in a particular cortical region induced by Tai Chi, significant differences in brain activity and dynamic configuration of connectivity were observed between the Tai Chi and control groups during resting and movement states.
These findings suggested that Tai Chi training improved the connection of prefrontal cortex, motor cortex and occipital cortex in myogenic activity, sympathetic nervous system, and endothelial cell metabolic activities; enhanced brain functional connections and relayed the ability of Tai Chi to improve cognition and the anti-memory decline potential.