Does Meditative Movement Help to Improve Working Memory in Teens?

Will meditation training help teenagers improve their learning skills? The answer to this question is yes, according to a study. The Korea Institute of Brain Science and the International Graduate School of Brain Education’s research team (Professor Yang Hyun-jung) found that the working memory of experimental group students who meditated brain education for nine minutes twice a day for three weeks increased significantly compared to the control group.

The study also confirmed that additional brain functions that process information in the outer frontal lobe, known as the backbone of working memory and high-order cognitive functions, operate after brain education meditation exercise training.

Task memory consists of the brain processing and preserving information that enters temporary memory stores in real time. This is an important component of the brain’s enforcement function and is reported to be closely related to academic performance. Work memory is known to mature into late periods. Meditation movement positively affects the execution function of adolescents in their growth period and the activities of the central brain region. The team observed that during brain training, nerves in the high-£ band related to information processing, which were previously invisible, were additionally active, and that the activity of the nerves increased the work memory.

Existing studies have studied the mitigation and recovery effects of cognitive aging of meditation exercise in middle-aged adults. However, there was a lack of research on the contribution of cognitive function of meditation exercise to adolescents whose brains are still developing. This paper identified the effects of meditation exercise on cognitive function and its association with brain activity in adolescents.

The findings suggest that meditation training with relatively short periods of high concentrations of slow movement, as well as previously known dynamic exercise, can be a good tool for improving cognitive function-critical task memory.

Reference: Kang, Hojung et al. “Meditative Movement Affects Working Memory Related to Neural Activity in Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 11 931. 12 May. 2020, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00931

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