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Transcendental Meditation helps improve verbal fluency, ADHD study shows
by Global Good News staff writer
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23 June 2011
Cognitive assessments of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) showed that the Transcendental Meditation Programme helped improve word fluency, language-based concept fluency, and students' ability to shift from one concept to another.
These were statistically significant improvements, said Dr Sarina Grosswald, who directs the David Lynch Foundation's Office of ADHD, discussing a new study.
Measures of verbal fluency included a test in which students were asked to say all the words they could think of starting with a specific letter, such as 'B'.
'It doesn't sound very difficult, but it actually is higher order learning,' Dr Grosswald explained, 'because it requires that they pull out of their working memory [a] word that start[s] with a certain letter, and they have to be able to process it and make sure it's not just something that sounds like it; and there are certain rules about what forms of the words they can use—so it actually requires higher order learning or problem solving.'
A more challenging part of the test asked students to alternate between the name of a person and the name of a vegetable, or the name of a musical instrument and the name of a piece of furniture.
'That aspect of switching is difficult for children with ADHD. They don't have that mental flexibility, so the ability to switch back and forth is important,' Dr Grosswald said.
The study showed diverse practical benefits including improvements in ability to focus on schoolwork, organizational skills, efficiency, ability to work independently, better sleep, and greater happiness.
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