A pilot study published in Perceptual and Motor Skills examined whether regular classroom instruction, yoga or proprioceptive training improved working memory in individuals 18-59 years old. The experimental group participated in proprioceptive activities along with one other factor ie locomotion or navigation. Some of the tasks were climbing trees, walking on a balance beam, carrying awkwardly weighted objects, running barefoot, etc. The two control groups were regular classroom lectures and static yoga postures. After two hours, working memory was tested again and the following results were recorded:
the proprioceptive group increased their working memory by 50%
neither control group exhibited increases in working memory
The researchers hypothesized that the increase in working memory may have been related to the fact that the proprioceptively dynamic training for the experimental group required various brain functions (thinking while moving).
Reference: Ross G. Alloway and Tracy Packiam Alloway THE WORKING MEMORY BENEFITS OF PROPRIOCEPTIVELY DEMANDING TRAINING: A PILOT STUDY. Perceptual and Motor Skills 2015 120:3 , 766-775
Bergland, C. Want to Improve Your Cognitive Abilities? Go Climb a Tree! Retreived from Psychology Today on 9/1/2015 at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201507/want-improve-your-cognitive-abilities-go-climb-tree
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