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Scientific Research on Yoga > Basic Research > Cognitive and Emotional Functioning

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Cognitive and Emotional Functioning Cognitive Performance, Awareness/Mindfulness/Interoception, Emotion and Stress Regulation, Metacognition

Video Spotlight: Stress Regulation

Watch this video to learn more about the research conducted on yoga and stress regulation.

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These citations were curated by Yoga Alliance's Director of Yoga Research, Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa.

Review Papers

Review Papers (What's this?)

Modern postural yoga as a mental health promoting tool: A systematic review.
Domingues RB.
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 May;31:248-255.
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Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory: The Convergence of Traditional Wisdom and Contemporary Neuroscience for Self-Regulation and Resilience.
Sullivan MB, Erb M, Schmalzl L, Moonaz S, Noggle Taylor J, Porges SW.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Feb 27;12:67.
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The Effects of Yoga on Positive Mental Health Among Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Hendriks T, de Jong J, Cramer H.
J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Jul;23(7):505-517.
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Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and stress-related physiological measures: A meta-analysis.
Pascoe MC, Thompson DR, Ski CF.
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017 Dec;86:152-168.
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The effect of meditative movement on sleep quality: A systematic review.
Wang F, Eun-Kyoung Lee O, Feng F, Vitiello MV, Wang W, Benson H, Fricchione GL, Denninger JW.
Sleep Med Rev. 2016 Dec;30:43-52.
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Yoga and mental health: A dialogue between ancient wisdom and modern psychology.
Vorkapic CF.
Int J Yoga. 2016 Jan-Jun;9(1):67-71.
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How Do Theories of Cognition and Consciousness in Ancient Indian Thought Systems Relate to Current Western Theorizing and Research?
Sedlmeier P, Srinivas K.
Front Psychol. 2016 Mar 15;7:343.
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Hatha Yoga and Executive Function: A Systematic Review.
Luu K, Hall PA.
J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Feb;22(2):125-33.
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A systematic review of randomised control trials on the effects of yoga on stress measures and mood.
Pascoe MC, Bauer IE.
J Psychiatr Res. 2015 Sep;68:270-82.
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Yoga and Cognition: A Meta-Analysis of Chronic and Acute Effects.
Gothe NP, McAuley E.
Psychosom Med. 2015 Sep;77(7):784-97.
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Mindful movement and skilled attention.
Clark D, Schumann F, Mostofsky SH.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Jun 29;9:297.
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Interoception, contemplative practice, and health.
Farb N, Daubenmier J, Price CJ, Gard T, Kerr C, Dunn BD, Klein AC, Paulus MP, Mehling WE.
Front Psychol. 2015 Jun 9;6:763.
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Effects of yoga on brain waves and structural activation: A review.
Desai R, Tailor A, Bhatt T.
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015 May;21(2):112-8.
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Neurophysiological and neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the effects of yoga-based practices: towards a comprehensive theoretical framework.
Schmalzl L, Powers C, Henje Blom E.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 May 8;9:235.
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Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga for psychological health.
Gard T, Noggle JJ, Park CL, Vago DR, Wilson A.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Sep 30;8:770.
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Movement-based embodied contemplative practices: definitions and paradigms.
Schmalzl L, Crane-Godreau MA, Payne P.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Apr 14;8:205.
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Yoga as an alternative and complementary approach for stress management: a systematic review.
Sharma M.
J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2014 Jan;19(1):59-67.
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Stress and its Expression According to Contemporary Science and Ancient Indian Wisdom: Perseverative Cognition and the Pañca kośas.
Rajesh SK, Ilavarasu JV, Srinivasan TM, Nagendra HR.
Mens Sana Monogr. 2014 Jan;12(1):139-52.
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Yoga lessons for consciousness research: a paralimbic network balancing brain resource allocation.
Lou HC, Joensson M, Kringelbach ML.
Front Psychol. 2011 Dec 16;2:366.
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Notable Publications

Notable Publications (What's this?)

Greater Anteroposterior Default Mode Network Functional Connectivity in Long-Term Elderly Yoga Practitioners.
Santaella DF, Balardin JB, Afonso RF, Giorjiani GM, Sato JR, Lacerda SS, Amaro E Jr, Lazar S, Kozasa EH.
Front Aging Neurosci. 2019 Jul 2;11:158.
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The effect of movement-focused and breath-focused yoga practice on stress parameters and sustained attention: A randomized controlled pilot study.
Schmalzl L, Powers C, Zanesco AP, Yetz N, Groessl EJ, Saron CD.
Conscious Cogn. 2018 Aug 9;65:109-125.
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A yoga program for cognitive enhancement.
Brunner D, Abramovitch A, Etherton J.
PLoS One. 2017 Aug 4;12(8):e0182366.
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The relationship between yoga involvement, mindfulness and psychological well-being.
Gaiswinkler L, Unterrainer HF.
Complement Ther Med. 2016 Jun;26:123-7.
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Yoga and the Interplay Between Attentional Load and Emotion Interference.
Menezes CB, Dalpiaz NR, Rossi NT, De Oliveira AA.
Psychol Rep. 2015 Aug;117(1):271-89.
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Reasons, Years and Frequency of Yoga Practice: Effect on Emotion Response Reactivity.
Mocanu E, Mohr C, Pouyan N, Thuillard S, Dan-Glauser ES.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Jul 4;12:264.A yoga program for cognitive enhancement.
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Five-week yin yoga-based interventions decreased plasma adrenomedullin and increased psychological health in stressed adults: A randomized controlled trial.
Daukantaitė D, Tellhed U, Maddux RE, Svensson T, Melander O.
PLoS One. 2018 Jul 18;13(7):e0200518.
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Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners.
Gard T, Taquet M, Dixit R, Hölzel BK, de Montjoye YA, Brach N, Salat DH, Dickerson BC, Gray JR, Lazar SW.
Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Apr 22;6:76.
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Effect of fast and slow pranayama practice on cognitive functions in healthy volunteers.
Sharma VK, M R, S V, Subramanian SK, Bhavanani AB, Madanmohan, Sahai A, Thangavel D.
J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Jan;8(1):10-3.
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The acute effects of yoga on executive function.
Gothe N, Pontifex MB, Hillman C, McAuley E.
J Phys Act Health. 2013 May;10(4):488-95.
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Neurocognitive correlates of the effects of yoga meditation practice on emotion and cognition: a pilot study.
Froeliger BE, Garland EL, Modlin LA, McClernon FJ.
Front Integr Neurosci. 2012 Jul 26;6:48.
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Profile of mood states and stress-related biochemical indices in long-term yoga practitioners.
Yoshihara K, Hiramoto T, Sudo N, Kubo C.
Biopsychosoc Med. 2011 Jun 3;5(1):6.
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Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala.
Hölzel BK, Carmody J, Evans KC, Hoge EA, Dusek JA, Morgan L, Pitman RK, Lazar SW.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2010 Mar;5(1):11-7
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Wellness through a comprehensive yogic breathing program - a controlled pilot trial.
Kjellgren A, Bood SA, Axelsson K, Norlander T, Saatcioglu F.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Dec 19;7:43.
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Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.
Carmody J, Baer RA.
J Behav Med. 2008 Feb;31(1):23-33.
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