Tai Chi Reduces Inattention in Healthy Young Adults
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February 12, 2014 -
It is important to identify effective
non-pharmacological alternatives to stimulant medications that reduce symptoms
of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In this study of healthy
young adults, researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison
effects of training in Tai Chi, which involves mindful attention to the body
Using a non-randomized, controlled, parallel design, 28
students in a 15-week introductory tai chi course and 44 control participants
were tested for ADHD indicators and cognitive function at three points over the
course of the 15-weeks. The Tai Chi students' self-report of attention, but not
hyperactivity-impulsivity, improved compared to controls. At baseline,
inattention correlated positively with reaction time variability in an affective
go/no-go task across all participants, and improvements in attention correlated
with reductions in reaction time variability across the tai chi students.
Affective bias changed in the tai chi students, as reaction times to positive-
and negative-valenced words equalized over time.
These results converge to suggest
that Tai Chi training may help improve attention in healthy young adults.
Further studies are needed to confirm these results and to evaluate Tai Chi as
therapy for individuals with ADHD.