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Brain Functional Specialization Is Enhanced Among Tai Chi Chuan Practitioners

Published:February 25, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2020.02.005

      Abstract

      Objective

      To investigate the effect of long-term Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practice on practitioners’ brain functional specialization compare with the TCC novices.

      Design

      A cross-sectional study.

      Setting

      A psychology Institute.

      Participants

      TCC practitioners (N=22) (52.4±6.8y; 7 men; educated years: 12.18±3.03y) and 18 healthy adults (54.8±6.8y; 8 men; education years: 11.78±2.90y) matched by age, sex, and education were enrolled.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning and cognitive test to measure the differences in functional specialization and cognitive function. Functional specialization was evaluated by voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method.

      Results

      Lower middle frontal gyrus VMHC in TCC practitioners compared to controls. For TCC practitioners, the longer they practice, the lower their VMHC in precentral and precuneus. TCC practitioners showed better cognition performance.

      Conclusions

      Changed VMHC indicated that TCC practice could enhance functional specialization in the middle frontal cortex of practitioners, which may be associated with higher-order cognitive ability.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      ANT (attention network test), DPARSF (Data Processing Assistant for Resting-State fMRI), FC (functional connectivity), fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), MFG (middle frontal gyrus), MNI (Montreal Neurological Institute), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), NCT (number cancellation test), TCC (Tai Chi Chuan), VMHC (voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity)
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