Abstract Researches and studies have shown that Yogasanas, Pranayama and Meditation help in enhancing memory and improving attention, but no study is available on the effect of traditional Vedic chanting on memory and sustained attention, which is one of the important features of cognitive abilities. The present study compared the effect of chanting group, who had minimum two-years experience on memory and sustained attention with that of non-chanting group who had no exposure to such type of chanting. 35 subjects were chosen in both pre-selected groups and their age ranged from 13 to 15 years (mean age + 14). Two groups were matched for age and only males were selected. Matching of age, ambiance, daily routine and socio-economic background for both the groups assured that the results could be attributed to chanting. Base line scores of memory and sustained attention were assessed by means of delayed recall tests and cancellation tests respectively. Data was analyzed using non-parametric Mann Whitney U test. Chanting group showed significant increased scorings in both the memory tests (VMS, p=0.001; SMS, p=0.002) and considerable reduction in total error and total time taken for cancellation tests. (TTT, p=0.017; TE, p=0.013) compared to non-chanting practitioners.
Summary & Conclusion : 35 healthy male volunteers in both chanting (chanting group subjects having minimum two year chanting experience) and non-chanting groups, whose ages ranged between 14 to 16 years, were considered. Memory was tested using Delayed recall tests (verbal memory and spatial memory).
Sustained attention was measured by cancellation tests (letter and character cancellation). There was a significant difference between chanting and non-chanting subjects in memory scores and better performance in cancellation tests. Present study suggests that chanting influences both the hemispheres of the brain resulting in good memory and attention. Hence, the practicing of Vedic chanting in a traditional way can also be used as one of the powerful means as any other yogic practices like asanas, pranayama, or meditation in calming down the mind, enhancing memory and in effective improvement of attention.