About Brain Gym Research Studies

Edu-Kinesthetics translates the best research into practical application. From our beginnings in the early 1980s, we’ve informed our work with the latest research in the fields of education, cognition, and sensorimotor integration. Research quantifies a hypothesis—a theory already presupposed. It delimits experience and puts it into measurable terms, making it reproducible. And for our “nuggets” we seek out well-conceived studies that validate the educational principles that we in Edu-K have observed, through years of cross-cultural application, to be sound.

The fruits of such studies are only of value when put to use by parents and educators. All the following nuggets, drawn from a range of important recent studies, confirm our thinking of 30-plus years on movement’s importance to learning. Parents, teachers, and children will find the ideas in these nuggets to be useful in their everyday lives.

Click to download a Research Study Chronology on the effects of Brain Gym activities on a variety of skills; read a summary of additional research on the FAQs.

One of the greatest challenges of qualitative research is in controlling for the many potentially confounding factors. To maintain control, researchers must ensure that each child receives the same kind and amount of stimulation in the way of behavioral interventions to guarantee that any changes were limited to the use of the specific Brain Gym activities. Each of the Brain Gym 26 is intended to support the development of a slightly different pre-academic skill.

There’s considerable research affirming the dominance of eye, ear, hand…(just not brain). We’re continuing to hone the educational, process-oriented model, which understands dominance as a one-sided response, learned through years of static, sedentary, and fight/flight behavior.

W. Neil Charman (2011). Myopia, posture and the visual environment DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2011.00825.x   EDIT: It would be predicted that those children who habitually adopt short working distances and asymmetric postures with substantial head tilt for writing, reading or playing computer games might be at greater risk of developing myopia. The implication is that children should be encouraged to sit back from their work and avoid such asymmetric postures. This would to some extent represent a return to the ‘visual hygiene’ recommendations of Donders1 and other early workers, although their recommendations were primarily based on the desire to avoid substantial accommodation and convergence as well as forward head tilt, which was believed to produce ‘ocular congestion’ and globe distension.

 Zoi Kapoula, Chrystal Gaertner, Eric Matheron (2012). Spherical Lenses and Prisms Lead to Postural Instability in Both Dyslexic and Non Dyslexic Adolescents https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046739

EDIT: Relative to normal viewing, the −1 lenses increased the surface of body sway significantly whereas the −3 diopter lenses only resulted in a significant increase of antero-posterior body sway. Thus, adolescents would appear to cope more effectively with stronger conflicts rather than subtle ones. The prism condition resulted in a significant increase in both the surface and the antero-posterior body sway. Importantly, all of these effects were similar for the two groups. Wavelet analysis (time frequency domain) revealed high spectral power of antero-posterior sway for the prism condition in both groups. In the ACCOM3 condition, the spectral power of antero-posterior sway decreased for non dyslexics but increased for dyslexics suggesting that dyslexics encounter more difficulty with accommodation. The cancelling time for medium range frequency (believed to be controlled by the cerebellum), was shorter in dyslexics, suggesting fewer instances of optimal control. We conclude that dyslexics achieve similar postural performances albeit less efficiently. Prisms and lenses destabilize posture for all teenagers. Thus, contrary to adults, adolescents do not seem to use efferent, proprioceptive ocular motor signals to improve their posture, at least not immediately when confronted to convergence accommodation conflict.

Ionta S1Blanke O. (2009). Differential influence of hands posture on mental rotation of hands and feet in left and right handers.progressive disruption of the mental rotation function depending on the view from which the body parts were seen (i.e. dorsal, thumb/big toe, palm/plantar, little finger/toe). Posture and view effects on body parts representations are discussed with respect to proprioception, handedness, visual familiarity and the influence of anatomical joint constraints on motor imagery.  PMID: 19326106 DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-1770-0


Pradham NSWhite GEMehta NForgione A. (2001). Mandibular deviations in TMD and non-TMD groups related to eye dominance and head posture. Eye dominance and direction of head rotation are strongly associated in both TMJ and control subjects. Further, in TMJ subjects mandibular deviation occurred in greater frequency than in controls and tends to occur in the contra lateral direction of head rotation. J PMID: 11314215
  • Bryden M. P., Singh M., Steenhuis R. E., Clarkson K. L. (1994). A behavioral measure of hand preference as opposed to hand skill. Neuropsychologia 32 991–999 10.1016/0028-3932(94)90048-5[PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Bruyn J., Fletcher P. (2005). Handedness and health: an examination of the association between different handedness classifications and health disorders. Laterality 10 429–440 10.1080/13576500442000193 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Mayer M., Roy E. A. (2011). Influences of task complexity, object location, and object type on hand selection in reaching in left and right-handed children and adults. Dev. Psychobiol. 5347–58 10.1002/dev.20486 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Pryde K. M., Roy E. A. (2000a). A performance measure of the degree of hand preference. Brain Cogn. 44 402–414 10.1006/brcg.1999.1201 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Pryde K. M., Roy E. A. (2000b). A developmental analysis of the relationship between hand preference and performance: II. A performance-based method of measuring hand preference in children. Brain Cogn. 43 60–64 [PubMed]
  • Bryden P. J., Roy E. A. (2005a). Unimanual performance across the age span. Brain Cogn. 57 26–29 10.1016/j.bandc.2004.08.016 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Roy E. A. (2005b). A new method of administering the grooved pegboard test: performance as a function of handedness and sex. Brain Cogn. 58 258–268 10.1016/j.bandc.2004.12.004 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Roy E. A. (2006). Preferential reaching across regions of hemispace in adults and children. Dev. Psychobiol. 48 121–132 10.1002/dev.20120 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Roy E. A., Mamolo C. M. (2003). The effects of skill demands and object characteristics on the distribution of preferred hand reaches in working space. Brain Cogn. 53 111–112 [PubMed]
  • Bryden P. J., Roy E. A., Rohr L. E., Egilo S. (2007a). Task demands affect manual asymmetries in pegboard performance. Laterality 12 364–377 10.1080/13576500701356244 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  • Bryden P. J., Roy E. A., Spence J. (2007b). An observational method of assessing handedness in children and adults. Dev. Neuropsychol. 32 825–846 10.1080/87565640701539667 [PubMed][Cross Ref]
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