Tai Chi Optimizes the Organization of the Brain Architecture
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June 15, 2014 -
Whether Tai Chi can influence
the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain remains unclear.
Researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences examined Tai Chi-associated changes
in functional connectcome and published their study in this subject in the April
2014 issue of Frontiers in aging
Resting-state functional magnetic
resonance images were acquired from 40 older individuals including 22
experienced TCC practitioners (experts) and 18 demographically matched TCC-naive
healthy controls, and their local functional homogeneities across the cortical
mantle were compared.
Compared to the controls, the TCC
experts had significantly greater and more experience-dependent functional
homogeneity in the right post-central gyrus (PosCG) and less functional
homogeneity in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the right dorsal
lateral prefrontal cortex. Increased functional homogeneity in the PosCG was
correlated with TCC experience. Intriguingly, decreases in functional
homogeneity (improved functional specialization) in the left ACC and increases
in functional homogeneity (improved functional integration) in the right PosCG
both predicted performance gains on attention network behavior tests.
These findings provide evidence for the functional plasticity of
the brain's intrinsic architecture toward optimizing locally functional
organization, with great implications for understanding the effects of TCC on
cognition, behavior and health in aging population.