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Int J Neurosci. 1991 Apr;57(3-4):239-49.

The effects of unilateral forced nostril breathing on cognition.

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Senior Staff Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, California 92138.


Ultradian rhythms of alternating cerebral dominance have been demonstrated in humans and other mammals during waking and sleep. Human studies have used the methods of psychological testing and electroencephalography (EEG) as measurements to identify the phase of this natural endogenous rhythm. The periodicity of this rhythm approximates 1.5-3 hours in awake humans. This cerebral rhythm is tightly coupled to another ultradian rhythm known as the nasal cycle, which is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, and is exhibited by greater airflow in one nostril, later switching to the other side. This paper correlates uninostril airflow with varying ratios of verbal/spatial performance in 23 right-handed males. Relatively greater cognitive ability in one hemisphere corresponds to unilateral forced nostril breathing in the contralateral nostril. Cognitive performance ratios can be influenced by forcibly altering the breathing pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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