YOGA PRANAYAMA techniques are clearly confirmed: The Rhythm of our Breathing Seriously Affects Our Memory and Sometimes Aggravates our Fears

Northwestern Medicine (Chicago, USA) scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.

In the study, individuals were able to identify a fearful face more quickly if they encountered the face when breathing in compared to breathing out. Individuals also were more likely to remember an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than the exhaled one. The effect disappeared if breathing was through the mouth.

“One of the major findings in this study is that there is a dramatic difference in brain activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during inhalation compared with exhalation” said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala and hippocampus, all across the limbic system.”
In other words, accelerated breathing can become an advantage when somebody is in a dangerous situation. When we panic, we always breathe heavily, accelerated. The innate response of our body to fear trough an accelerated rythm of breathing could have a positive impact over the cerebral function and, as a result, a faster way to response to dangerous stimuli in the environment. 

The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

March 19, 2017

Also available in: Română

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