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Examining the equivalence between imagery and execution within the spatial domain – does motor imagery account for signal-dependent noise?

Roberts, JW, Wood, G and Wakefield, CJ Examining the equivalence between imagery and execution within the spatial domain – does motor imagery account for signal-dependent noise? Experimental Brain Research. ISSN 0014-4819 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Motor imagery is suggested to be functionally equivalent to physical execution as they each utilise a common neural representation. The present study examined whether motor imagery correspondingly reflects the spatial characteristics of physically executed movements, including the signal-dependent noise that typically manifests in more variable end locations (as indicated by effective target width; We). Participants executed or imagined a single, upper-limb target-directed aim in the horizontal mediolateral direction. The start and end of the imagined movements were indexed by the lifting and lowering of the limb over the home position, respectively. Following each imagined movement, participants had to additionally estimate their imagined end location relative to the target. All the movements had to be completed at a prespecified criterion time (400 ms, 600 ms, 800 ms). The results indicated that the We increased following a decrease in movement time for execution, but not imagery. Moreover, the total error of imagined movements was greater than the actual error of executed movements. While motor imagery may comprise a neural representation that also contributes to the execution of movements, it is unable to closely reflect the random sources of variability. This limitation of motor imagery may be attributed to the comparatively limited efferent motor signals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2020 08:41
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2020 08:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s00221-020-05939-z
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13808

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