The Underlying Neural Mechanisms for Tai Chi
ATCQA members and certified instructors/practitioners can access the full content of this article on ATCQA website.
Sign in your ATCQA account and then click the link for "Study Materials".
June 27, 2016 -
Movement-based practices have been found to be
effective for relieving the symptoms of clinical conditions as diverse as
cancer, Parkinson's disease (PD), chronic pain, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
depression, and anxiety-related disorders. In addition, they have been shown to
elicit measurable changes in physiological stress parameters, cognitive, and
physical functioning as well experienced emotional states in healthy
An important challenge for contemplative science is
therefore to advance our understanding of the neurophysiological and
neurocognitive mechanisms underlying these observed effects.
A new research by University of California San Diego and
Brown University aims to make a contribution in this regard by outlining the
state of the art of research on movement-based practices including Tai Chi,
Yoga, the Feldenkrais Method, as well as dance.
The featured original research articles report data probing the influence of
movement-based contemplative practices on age related GMV decline, functional
brain connectivity, sensorimotor processing, multisensory integration, gait
parameters, body awareness, and cognitive control.
The featured theory articles propose mechanistic models and hypotheses about (1)
how movement-based contemplative practices may engage both bottom-up
physiological and top-down cognitive processes, and consequently promote
autonomic, emotional and cognitive self-regulation, (2) the relationship between
motor and mental skills, and (3) the clinical implications of mindful movement.
Lastly, the featured perspective articles aim to more clearly define key
concepts such as movement, embodiment, contemplation, intention, and
meta-cognition as they pertain to movement-based contemplative practices. We
trust that the contributions will be of interest to basic scientists, clinical
researchers, and contemplative practitioners alike, and hope it will inspire
further research in the field.