Research paper published by Prof. Peter Karl Mayer

Acute Effects Of Tai Chi Chuan, Coordination And Aerobic Exercise On Attention In Elderly Individuals

Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is known to have positive effects on brain functions of elder individuals. In order to explore effects of Tai Chi Chuan practice on cognition we compared the effects of 3 different acute exercise modes on sustained attention in elderly adults. Twelve experienced male Tai Chi Chuan practitioners were assigned to: TCC, coordination program and ergometer cycling. Each exercise session lasted for 30 minutes. Before and after the exercise a 14 min Continues Performance Test (CPT) was conducted to evaluate sustained attention. Results: After TCC a value for attentiveness (Detectability) improved significantly with p=0.01. Decreasing commission mistakes (p=0.06) and hit reaction time (p=0.09) showed a tendency for higher attention levels. Hit reaction time value (p=0.026) and hit reaction time standard deviation (p=0.002) reduced significantly after the coordination session. Commission mistakes decreased significantly (p=0.031) after ergometer cycling. These results demonstrate that each exercise mode influences attention markers differently; Coordinative challenging exercises are more beneficial for attention; TCC in specific for attentiveness and inhibition; and aerobic training for inhibition.