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Yucel, Hulya Gunes
The effects of the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique and exercise on cognitive and psychophysiological measures in the elderly

Order No. 3013167

Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of interventions-the Transcendental Meditation™ technique and exercise (EX)-on a set of cognitive and psychophysiological measures in elderly people.

In Experiment 1, 25 healthy elderly people aged 65 to 90 years (8 males) were assigned one of three conditions: usual care, TM or EX. Cognitive performance was assessed using the following measures: the Mini-Mental State Examination, Digitspan (forward and backward), Verbal-Paired Associate (immediate and delayed), the Logical Memory (immediate and delayed), Benton Visual Retention, Block Design, Digit Symbol, Stroop Color-Word, the Group Embedded Figures, Vocabulary, and the Inference tests. Mental speed of processing (P300 latency and reaction time) were measured from three visual tasks [two two-button-pressing both the target (20%) and the standards and counting the target (20%)]. There were no significant differences among groups on pretest measures. No differences were found among the groups on any of the variables after 12 months.

In Experiment 2, 14 long-term meditating subjects (TM years = 26.4, age = 75.3), matched (age, gender (7 males), the Mini- Mental State Examination) with 14 subjects from Experiment 1, were tested on the battery of tests described in Experiment 1. Significant between-group differences were found on six cognitive variables: Verbal-Paired Associate (immediate), Logical Memory (immediate, delayed), Benton Visual Retention, Block Design, and the Inference tests. It is hypothesized that the practice of the TM technique may contribute to performance on these cognitive variables. However, no significant differences were found in processing speed measured by P300 latencies at frontal and parietal electrode sites as a function of the TM practice. The findings of Experiment 2 suggest that cognitive aging may be preserved as a result of long-term practice of the TM technique and potential mechanism is discussed in terms of Maharishi Vedic Science. Source: DAI, 62, no. 04B (2001): p. 2100 Standard No: ISBN: 0-493-22775-X

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