Can Tai Chi Reshape the Brain?
April 27, 2013 - Although research has provided abundant evidence for Tai
Chi-induced improvements in psychological and physiological well-being, little
is known about possible links to brain structure of Tai Chi practice. A new
study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences filled in the blank.
high-resolution MRI of 22 Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practitioners and 18 controls
matched for age, sex and education, the researchers set out to examine the
underlying anatomical correlates of long-term Tai Chi practice at two different
levels of regional specificity. For this purpose, parcel-wise and vertex-wise
analyses were employed to quantify the difference between TCC practitioners and
the controls based on cortical surface reconstruction. The study also adopted
the Attention Network Test (ANT) to explore the effect of TCC on executive
TCC practitioners, compared with controls, showed significantly thicker
cortex in multiple areas of the brain. Moreover, the study found that thicker
cortex in left medial occipito-temporal sulcus and lingual sulcus was associated
with greater intensity of TCC practice.
These findings indicate that long-term
TCC practice could induce regional structural change and also suggest TCC might
share similar patterns of neural correlates with meditation and aerobic