Long-Term Tai Chi Experience Promotes Emotional Stability and Slows Gray Matter Atrophy for Elders

Frontiers in Psychology. 2019;10 DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00091

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Frontiers in Psychology

ISSN: 1664-1078 (Online)

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.

LCC Subject Category: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Psychology

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML

 

AUTHORS

Sijia Liu (School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Lin Li (School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Lin Li (National Demonstration Center for Experimental Psychology Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Zhiyuan Liu (Shanghai Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance, School of Physics and Materials Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Zhiyuan Liu (School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, China)
Xiuyan Guo (School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Xiuyan Guo (National Demonstration Center for Experimental Psychology Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Xiuyan Guo (Shanghai Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance, School of Physics and Materials Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Xiuyan Guo (Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Brain adverse structural changes, especially the atrophy of gray matter, are inevitable in aging. Fortunately, the human brain is plastic throughout its entire life. The current cross-section study aimed to investigate whether long-term Tai Chi exercise could slow gray matter atrophy and explore the possible links among gray matter volume (GMV), long-term Tai Chi experience and emotional stability in a sequential risk-taking task by using voxel-based morphometry. Elders with long-term Tai Chi experience and controls, who were matched to Tai Chi group in age, gender, physical activity level, participated in the study. A T1-weighted multiplanar reconstruction sequence was acquired for each participant. Behaviorally, the Tai Chi group showed higher meditation level, stronger emotional stability and less risk-taking tendency in the sequential risk-taking compared to the control group. Moreover, the results revealed that the GMV of the thalamus and hippocampus were larger in the Tai Chi group compared with the control group. Notably, the GMV of the thalamus was positively correlated with both meditation level and emotional stability. The current study suggested the protective role of long-term Tai Chi exercise at slowing gray matter atrophy, improving the emotional stability and achieving successful aging for elders.