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Tone the brain

Author: admin

For millennia, yogis have been controlling their breath to strengthen their ability to focus and concentrate. Now, scientists have found a link between mindful breathing, a ‘stress hormone’ and attention span. Minus the saffron robes, these modern-day yogis, at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin, Ireland, have discovered that controlled or mindful breathing can keep the brain young and healthy and halt age-related cognitive decline. They have discovered that breathing techniques affect levels of a neurotransmitter called ‘noradrenaline’, which is also responsible for creating new connections between brain cells. As part of the research study, scientists measured breathing patterns, the attention span of participants and activity in a brain area called locus coeruleus. They found that those who are focused on a demanding task had better synchronisation between breathing patterns and attention. The researchers say that the reverse is also true: by regulating breathing, you can optimise your attention levels. These findings can help people with attention-deficit disorders and traumatic brain injury and can also keep the mind agile well into one’s silver years. The findings were published in journal Psychophysiology.

Photo: iStock
Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
September 2018