Research  Improving executive function

Mind in Focus

Problem: Low income adults are more likely to experience stress, which can interfere with cognitive function.  Does a relaxation exercise improve cognitive function?

Intervention:

Participants include 118 low income and 115 higher income adults.

Several treatment arms to test combinations of non-financial stressors and relaxation exercises.

Stress measured by heart rate variability.

Results:

No difference in physiological or perceived stress between low and higher income participants.

Relaxation exercises increases executive function of poor but not non-poor participants and reduced their perceived stress.

Perceived stress was a better predictor than physiological stress of executive function.

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Mind in Focus Overview