The effects of unilateral forced nostril breathing on cognitive performance
International Journal of Neuroscience.
Jella SA, Shannahoff-Khalsa DS.
Department of Psychiatry University of California, Davis 95817.
This study describes the effects of 30 minutes of unilateral forced nostril breathing on cognitive performance in 51 right-handed undergraduate psychology students (25 males and 26 females). A verbal analogies task modeled after the Miller Analogies and SAT Tests was used as a test of left-hemispheric performance and mental rotation tasks based on the Vandenburg and Kuse adaptation of Shepard and Metzler’s tests were used as spatial tasks for testing right-hemispheric performance. Spatial task performance was significantly enhanced during left nostril breathing in both males and females, p = .028. Verbal task performance was greater during right nostril breathing, but not significantly p = .14. These results are discussed in comparison to other cognitive and physiological studies using unilateral forced nostril breathing. This yogic breathing technique may have useful application in treating psychophysiological disorders with hemispheric imbalances and disorders with autonomic abnormalities.