Development and validation of humming process to increase heart rate variability & attention for college students

Following is the abstract of this research conducted by Fariburz Irani (Psychology, PDEU, Gandhinagar) with Society for Energy & Emotions, Wellness Space and PDEU faculty member Dr Neeta Sinha.  The findings indicate an enhanced SDMT (Symbols Digit Modalities Test) for college students after one week daily 10 mins practice of humming (simple bhramari).

This was an interesting study and demonstrated that increasing heart rate variability (heart brain coherence) influence emotional regulation and enhances elements of the cognitive function.  Our study adds to a list of studies what demonstrate the linkage between Heart Rate Variability and cognition[1].  The study [1] had indicated that both increased sympathetic activity and decreased parasympathetic activity seem to be associated with a worse performance in the cognitive domains, in the absence of dementia and severe cardiovascular diseases or other medical and psychiatric diseases.  Our study adds to this understand and demonstrates that enhancing the HRV in a structured manner can influence the attention in college students.

Further details:

Aim:

The objective of the study was to compare the impact of daily 10 min humming practice for one week on heart-brain coherence and attention on college students.

Methodology:

The evidence indicates that increased heart-brain coherence facilitates better emotional regulation and thereby increases attention. Simple humming practice was identified as a method to increase the heart-brain coherence. Each student was assigned randomly to an experimental group or control group. The experimental group (n= 15) performed 10-minutes humming daily for 7 days and the control group (n=15) was not asked to do anything. 10-minute humming was simplified Bhramari practice with total breath duration of 13 seconds based on short training. SDMT (Symbol Digit Modalities Test) and Heart Brain Coherence (using Emwave Pro Device by HeartMath Inc.) was conducted for both the groups on Day 1 and Day 7.  Statistical analysis was conducted using student-t test to understand the results.

Results:

For the experimental group, there was statistically significant improvement in both “Coherence” and “SDMT” score on Day 7 (compared to Day 1, p<.05). For control group, the change in both parameters was not statistically significant.

Conclusions:

The results confirm that a short duration humming practice just for one week can increase the heart-brain coherence and Heart Rate Variability and has a significant impact on increasing attention amongst the college students.  These findings can be leveraged to facilitate better concentration and potentially increased performance for college students.

Fariburz Irani worked with Society for Energy & Emotions

Further details:

Irani F. Z., Trivedi G. Y. & Sinha N. (2021). Development and validation of humming process to increase heart rate variability & attention for college students. International Journal of Indian Psychology9(1), 243-251. DIP:18.01.028/20210901, DOI:10.25215/0901.028

Additional insights:

How chanting impacts the mind and the body – a demo.

Additional insights about the work done in this area at the Society for Energy & Emotions at Wellness Space.

Sample output of Coherent and Incoherent pattern of heart’s signals

Heart Brain Coherence Pattern using Bhramari

References:

[11] Forte, G., Favieri, F., & Casagrande, M. (2019). Heart rate variability and cognitive function: a systematic review. Frontiers in neuroscience13, 710.