Embodied cognitive flexibility and neuroplasticity following Quadrato Motor Training

Tal D. Ben-Soussan, Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, Claudia Piervincenzi, Joseph Glicksohn, Filippo Carducci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Quadrato Motor Training (QMT) is a whole-body movement contemplative practice aimed at increasing health and well-being. Previous research studying the effect of one QMT session suggested that one of its means for promoting health is by enhancing cognitive flexibility, an important dimension of creativity. Yet, little is known about the effect of a longer QMT practice on creativity, or the relative contribution of the cognitive and motor aspects of the training. Here, we continue this line of research in two inter-related studies, examining the effects of prolonged QMT. In the first, we investigated the effect of 4-weeks of daily QMT on creativity using the Alternate Uses (AUs) Task. In order to determine whether changes in creativity were driven by the cognitive or the motor aspects of the training, we used two control groups: Verbal Training (VT, identical cognitive training with verbal response) and Simple Motor Training (SMT, similar motor training with reduced choice requirements). Twenty-seven participants were randomly assigned to one of the groups. Following training, cognitive flexibility significantly increased in the QMT group, which was not the case for either the SMT or VT groups. In contrast to one QMT session, ideational fluency was also significantly increased. In the second study, we conducted a pilot longitudinal structural magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (4-weeks QMT). We report gray matter volume and fractional anisotropy changes, in several regions, including the cerebellum, previously related to interoceptive accuracy. The anatomical changes were positively correlated with cognitive flexibility scores. Albeit the small sample size and preliminary nature of the findings, these results provide support for the hypothesized creativity-motor connection. The results are compared to other contemplative studies, and discussed in light of theoretical models integrating cognitive flexibility, embodiment and the motor system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1021
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Ben-Soussan, Berkovich-Ohana, Piervincenzi, Glicksohn and Carducci.

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Creativity
  • Embodiment
  • MRI
  • Quadrato Motor Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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