Author(s): Porretta DL, Surburg PR
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of imagery practice in conjunction with physical practice on the performance of anticipating a coincidence (striking) by adolescents with mild mental retardation. 32 adolescents were randomly assigned to either a physical practice plus imagery practice group or a physical practice only group. Subjects in the physical practice plus imagery practice group were asked to image the task before physically performing it, while subjects in the physical practice only group did not image the task. Subjects performed 20 trials per day for five consecutive sessions (days). The physical practice plus imagery group performed with significantly greater accuracy and less variability than subjects in the physical practice only group, and subjects regardless of group affiliation were able to reduce error and variability over the study. These results support the use of imagery practice in conjunction with physical practice when performing a relevant anticipation of coincidence (striking) task as well as an aid in reducing performance variability. Based on the increased amount of cognitive-symbolic element in the striking task as opposed to tasks used in previous studies, evidence is presented for support of the notion that imagery facilitates motor performance to the extent that cognitive-symbolic elements are present.
This article was published in Percept Mot Skills
and referenced in Journal of Spine