Immediate effect of nostril breathing on memory performance in adolescent
population by using visual digit span test

Thenmozhi S¹,
Neelambikai N²,
Shanmughavadivu R³,
Anbuselvi Mattuvar Kuzhali S4

1,4Institute of Physiology and Experimental Medicine, Madras Medical College, Chennai,
²Department of Physiology, Meenakshi Medical College, Kanchipuram, ³Department of Physiology, Coimbatore Medical College, Coimbatore, All affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr.MGR Medical University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

  • Background: The nasal cycle is a physiological phenomenon, in which alternating congestion and decongestion of nasal pathway which affects the central nervous system. This alternate cycle lead to several physiological and cognitive changes such as lateralization of cerebral hemispheres. Practicing yogic breathing exercises such as right nostril breathing (RNB), left nostril breathing (LNB) and alternate nostril breathing (ANB) increases the memory performance.
  • Aim: To study the immediate effect of right nostril breathing (RNB), alternate nostril breathing (ANB) and left nostril breathing (LNB) on the memory performance by using digit span test.
  • Materials and Methods: Study Group: 30 clinically healthy individuals of age 18 to 25 years of both the sexes. Initially the memory performance was assessed by using digit span test. Different types of nostril breathing techniques were demonstrated to the participants, it was then practiced for 2 week. Then the tests were repeated to check for the improvement in memory performance. The scores of digit span test for each nostril breathing were tabulated and they are statistically analyzed by repeated measure ANOVA.
  • Results: In the present study, the analysis of data shows that the memory performance was increased after right nostril breathing, with the mean and standard for easy task, difficult task and total score was 6.00±0.00, 3.63±0.49 and 9.63±0.49 with the statistically significant t value of 0.000.
  • Conclusion: The present study shows that among the three different types of nostril breathing, right nostril breathing increases the activation of left cerebral hemisphere and thereby increases the spatial memory performance.

Keywords: alternate nostril breathing, left nostril breathing, memory performance, right nostril breathing