The Sanskrit Effect: How Chanting Boosts Cognitive Functions

“Although the exact cellular underpinnings of grey matter and cortical thickness measures are still under investigation, increases in these metrics consistently correlate with enhanced cognitive function.” Dr James Hartzell

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The results of the study were startling.

The team found out that the brain of the 21 Vedic pundits had denser grey matter as compared to the group of other 21 males.

The so-called grey matter of the brain is actually a region containing neuronal cells and areas responsible for:

  • Sensory perceptions
  • Memory
  • Speech
  •  Muscle control and decision making.

And connected to it is the other part, i.e., the white matter of the brain -nerve cells that carry the signals to the grey matter part of the brain.


Another important constituent in the human brain is Hippocampus:

Hippocampus is a small organ located in the middle region of the brain, responsible for registering and regulating all our emotions associated with memory (especially the long term memory) and has both front and back parts.

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The back part is involved in memory and supports recollection of events.

And then there is another part called the Cortex:

 Which is the outermost layer surrounding the brain, responsible for higher cognitive functions like decision making.

After the study, it was found out that not only the grey matter was higher in brains of Vedic pundits but also their cortex region was thicker and the hippocampus was more prominent than the other set of 21 controls.

It has been proven by Neuroscience also that rigorous memorizing can have positive effects on the brain.

And therefore, it is not surprising to see that memorizing rigorous Sanskrit chants can improve the cognitive functions of memory and better thinking.


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Shweta Advani
An HR consultant by profession, a slam poet and freelance writer.Avid reader,dancer and yoga enthusiast. When I am not reading or writing, I star gaze or take long walks in nature.
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