Brain Functional Specialization Is Enhanced Among Tai Chi Chuan Practitioners

Li Zhen Chen, Xinru Yuan, Yuanchao Zhang, Shu Zhang, Liye Zou, Lin Yang, Yu Kai Chang, Qixin Xia, Yiqun Wang, Gao Xia Wei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the effect of long-term Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practice on practitioners’ brain functional specialization compare with the TCC novices. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: A psychology Institute. Participants: TCC practitioners (N=22) (52.4±6.8y; 7 men; educated years: 12.18±3.03y) and 18 healthy adults (54.8±6.8y; 8 men; education years: 11.78±2.90y) matched by age, sex, and education were enrolled. Main Outcome Measures: Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning and cognitive test to measure the differences in functional specialization and cognitive function. Functional specialization was evaluated by voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method. Results: Lower middle frontal gyrus VMHC in TCC practitioners compared to controls. For TCC practitioners, the longer they practice, the lower their VMHC in precentral and precuneus. TCC practitioners showed better cognition performance. Conclusions: Changed VMHC indicated that TCC practice could enhance functional specialization in the middle frontal cortex of practitioners, which may be associated with higher-order cognitive ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1182
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul


  • Cognitive function
  • Frontal cortex
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Rehabilitation
  • Tai Chi Chuan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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