Changes in Electroencephalography and Cardiac Autonomic Function During Craft Activities: Experimental Evidence for the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14 (2020)
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Occupational therapy often uses craft activities as therapeutic tools, but their therapeutic effectiveness has not yet been adequately demonstrated. The aim of this study was to examine changes in frontal midline theta rhythm and autonomic nervous responses during craft activities, and to explore the physiological mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effectiveness of occupational therapy. To achieve this, we employed a simple craft activity as a task to induce Fmθ and performed simultaneous EEG and ECG recordings. For participants in which Fmθ activities were provoked, parasympathetic and sympathetic activities were evaluated during the appearance of Fmθ and rest periods using the Lorenz plot analysis. Both parasympathetic and sympathetic indices increased with the appearance of Fmθ compared to during resting periods. This suggests that a relaxed-concentration state is achieved by concentrating on craft activities. Furthermore, the appearance of Fmθ positively correlated with parasympathetic activity, and theta band activity in the frontal area were associated with sympathetic activity. This suggests that there is a close relationship between cardiac autonomic function and Fmθ activity.



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