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Acupuncture for Working Memory

February 26, 2019

 

Anxiety has been shown to have an effect on ones working memory. This can show up in academic, professional and personal settings. This is a common problem seen amongst students. Up to 38% of university students have anxiety that impairs their performance academically (Buswell, 2013). Working memory is a combination of short-term memory and attention control and it is a key component in studying and retaining information. It is measured through the assessment of a variety of capabilities such as language comprehension and reasoning ability.

 

In this peer reviewed, randomized, single blind study it was determined that acupuncture improves working memory in students with low to high anxiety. In this study 90 undergraduate students participated. They filled out a State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and an Automated Operation Span Task assessment (AOSPAN). They then either laid on a table for 20 minutes with no acupuncture or laid on the table for 20 minutes and received acupuncture. They were then retested after. The researchers found a 9.5% improvement in their AOSPAN score and 36% fewer math errors (Buswell, 2013). The researchers concluded that acupuncture is a useful tool in improving working memory and performance in students with anxiety. 

 

*all information from this blog was cited from the following article: 

Bussell, Jason. (2013). The Effect of Acupuncture on Working Memory and Anxiety. Science Direct, 6, (241-246). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jams.2012.12.006

 

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