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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-20

Nasikagra Drishti to enhance the selective attention on performance of six-letter cancelation task by young adults


1 Department of Yoga, Sant Hirdaram Medical College of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences for Women, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Acupuncture and Energy Medicine, Sant Hirdaram Medical College of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences for Women, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Submission14-Jun-2019
Date of Decision13-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance14-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication16-May-2020

Correspondence Address:
S Madankumar
Sant Hirdaram Medical College of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences for Women, Sant Hirdaram Nagar, Bairagarh, Bhopal - 462 030, Madhya Pradesh
India
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DOI: 10.4103/sjsm.sjsm_7_19

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  Abstract 


Background: Nasikagra Drishti (ND), literally called as nose tip gazing, is one among the several practices in yoga. It comes under the Dharana division. Selective attention (SA) is an important function governed by the right frontoparietal cortex. The cancelation task requires visual selectivity as well as repetitive and coordinated motor responses. Six-letter cancelation task (SLCT) is effective in assessing functions, such as SA, visual scanning, inhibition and activation of rapid responses, and focused attention. Assessing SA among the young adults is highly helpful in evaluating their academic performance.
Objective: The objective of the study is to assess the immediate and later effects of ND on SA in young adults using SLCT.
Subjects and Methods: Thirty young adults of both sexes with 18.9 ± 1 years of mean age volunteered for the study. The SLCT data were collected before (pre), immediately after first session of the intervention (1st post), and after the 3rd-day intervention (2nd post) of ND.
Results: The Student's t-test using STATA 12.0 (College station, Texas, USA) showed a significant increase in SA scores after the ND practice. The pre and immediate post values within the group were statistically significant at P < 0.001. The pre and later post (follow-up results) values within the group are also statistically significant at P < 0.001. However, the magnitude of change was more in the later postassessment than the preassessment and the immediate postassessment. Thus, it was revealed that ND practice can increase SA and thereby improves the academic performance.
Conclusion: The present study suggests that the practice of ND may enhance SA among young adults and thus may prove beneficial for their academic performance. Additional well-designed studies are needed before a strong recommendation can be made on the efficacy of ND for enhancing SA, thereby improving academic performance.

Keywords: Academic performance, Nasikagra Drishti, selective attention, six-letter cancelation task


How to cite this article:
Madankumar S, Kalpanadevi M. Nasikagra Drishti to enhance the selective attention on performance of six-letter cancelation task by young adults. Saudi J Sports Med 2019;19:17-20

How to cite this URL:
Madankumar S, Kalpanadevi M. Nasikagra Drishti to enhance the selective attention on performance of six-letter cancelation task by young adults. Saudi J Sports Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 May 29];19:17-20. Available from: http://www.sjosm.org/text.asp?2019/19/1/17/284310








  Introduction Top


Attention is an important element of cognition characterized in two ways, either as a skill of resource deployment or as a capacity. Selective attention (SA) is the capacity of an individual to attend a task for a given period of time. It is the sustained attention associated with complex of difficult task. The SA is comparatively easier for simple tasks than that of the complex ones. It is always succeeded by the combined efforts of psychology and motor skill, and thus, it is tabled under the psychomotor function.[1],[2]

One of the best examples for SA is the capacity to study a subject or to listen a lecture for an extended length of time. Various brain areas mediate attention based on the particular type of attention seeking. Among the brain areas, the right frontoparietal areas mediate the SA. Any damage to the right prefrontal cortex will lead to poor SA.[3] Imaging studies explain that vigilance tasks require SA and activate a network of neuronal functions in the right frontal and parietal cortices.[4]

Previous research observations and studies reveal that SA reduces anxiety and is improving the performance of an individual on the tasks seeking SA.[5] Yoga plays a vital role in SA, and thereby, it reduces the anxiety and its ill effects.[6]

Several studies have been conducted and published to analyze the effect of different yogic practices such as Asanas (postures), Pranayama (voluntary regulation of breathing), and meditation on SA. Special yogic practices such as Trataka (visual focusing practice) and eye exercises improve the attention span in school-going children.[7],[8],[9] However, the changes in SA that characterize the efficacy of Nasikagra Drishti (ND), literally called as nose tip gazing (in Sanskrit, “nasi” means nose, “kagra” means end or tip and “drishti” means sight or gazing),[10] in young adults have not been reported earlier.

Objective

The present study was designed to assess the immediate and later effects of ND on SA in young adults using six-letter cancelation task (SLCT).


  Materials and Methods Top


Participants

Thirty young adults of both sexes with 18.9 ± 1 years of mean age were taken into the study. Subjects with visual disturbances, with physical handicapped, under medication for any illness, and using any other wellness strategy are excluded from the study. Participants were the students from Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and Hospital, Chennai. Informed consent was obtained from all the participants of the study. The study was approved by the institutional review board of Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and Hospital, Chennai.

Intervention

The subjects were informed to perform ND, i.e., gazing at the tip of the nose for 1 min, and it was repeated five times with a rest for 30 s. During the resting period in between each repetition, the subjects were advised to perform palming, i.e., rubbing the palms till getting warm and placing it on the eyes without giving any pressure to the eyes. The practice was repeated for 3 days consecutively.

Assessment

The SLCT[8],[11] data were collected before (pre), immediately after first session of the intervention (1st post), and after the 3rd-day intervention (2nd post) of ND. The SLCT consisted of a “test worksheet” specified with six letters to be canceled at the top of the sheet and a “working section” consisting of letter of the alphabet arranged randomly in 14 rows and 22 columns.

The subjects were asked to cancel as many six target letters as possible in the specified 90 s duration. The subjects were instructed to follow their own idea in canceling such as horizontal or vertical or random pathway to cancel the letters. They were also instructed to follow any strategy such as canceling all the six letters at a time or canceling any one target letter out of the six.

Data collection

The total number of letter cancelations and wrong cancelations were scored and the net score was calculated by subtracting the wrong cancelation from the total cancelations attempted. As this test was administered repeatedly in very short duration, the work sheets were prepared by changing the sequence of the letters randomly in the working section. The SLCT was used in similar study design among the Indian population, indicating the validity of the assessing tool.[8],[11]

Data scoring

The scoring was completed by a person who was unaware of the intervention administered, whom it was administered, when the assessment was done, and whether the assessment was of pre- or post-interventional.[12]

Statistical analysis

The analysis is done by STATA 12.0 (College station, Texas, USA). The Student's t-test comparing the pre–post values within the group were significant at P < 0.001. The result was statistically significant for both immediate and follow-up test done after 3 days. The group mean value and standard deviation are given in [Table 1].
Table 1: Data analysis

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  Results Top


The cancelation task requires visual selectivity as well as repetitive and coordinated motor responses.[13] They not only require SA but also require visual scanning and activation and inhibition of rapid responses. The present study found a significant increase in SA scores after the ND practice. The pre and immediate post values within the group were statistically significant at P < 0.001. The pre and later post (follow-up results) values within the group were also statistically significant at P < 0.001.


  Discussion Top


The performance of SLCT was improved in both the immediate postassessment and later (follow-up) postassessment. However, the magnitude of change was more in the later postassessment than the preassessment and the immediate postassessment. In the present study, the improvement in the SLCT had a similar inclination as reported in several yoga-based studies to enhance the SA through performance task.[14]

In an early study, the practice of focusing on the symbol OM improved the SA, concentration, visual scanning abilities, and repetitive motor response, when comparing to the control group. The difference of change noted could be due to the fact that the participants of the study were senior-level meditators, while in the present study, the subjects undergone only 3 days of practice.[15]

Recent research on relationship between personality trait and academic performance showed positive results. In another study, it proved that yoga improves the academic performance. Thus, the ND practice holds a great promise in enhancing SA in healthy adults. Sharp memory and SA are highly essential skills for academic performance. The practices to improve the academic performance are not taught either in working place or in the education level. Anything that can improve these skills systematically is of high value in educational field and workplaces.[16] The present study with its research findings indicating that the practice of ND may result in better academic performance through improving SA as assessed through SLCT in young adults.


  Conclusion Top


The present study suggests that practicing ND can result in improvement of SA among young adults, thus paving way for their academic performance. Although this preliminary study is promising, further well-designed studies with huge sample are needed to give a strong recommendation.

Acknowledgment

We acknowledge Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, for granting permission to carry out this work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Sarang SP, Telles S. Immediate effect of two yoga-based relaxation techniques on performance in a letter-cancellation task. Percept Mot Skills 2007;105:379-85.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Telles S, Raghuraj P, Maharana S, Nagendra HR. Immediate effect of three yoga breathing techniques on performance on a letter-cancellation task. Percept Mot Skills 2007;104:1289-96.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Arun K, Prithvi A, Ganpat TS, Deshpande S, Pailoor S, Ramarao NH. Suryanamaskara exercise enhances sustained attention. Saudi J Sports Med 2014;14:31-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
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Kelland DZ, Lewis RF. The digit vigilance test: Reliability, validity, and sensitivity to diazepam. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 1996;11:339-44.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Lezak MD. Neuropsychological Assessment. 3rd ed.. New York, USA: Oxford University Press; 1995.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Devi TM, Ganpat TS, Kumar S, Ramarao NH. Surya namaskara training for enhancing selective attention in orphan boys: A randomized control study. Saudi J Sports Med 2015;15:37-40.  Back to cited text no. 14
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Kumar S, Telles S. Meditative states based on yoga texts and their effects on performance of a letter-cancellation task. Percept Mot Skills 2009;109:679-89.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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Pradhan B, Nagendra HR. Effect of yoga relaxation techniques on performance of digit-letter substitution task by teenagers. Int J Yoga 2009;2:30-4.  Back to cited text no. 16
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  



 
 
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