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Motor imagery during action observation modulates automatic imitation effects in rhythmical actions.

Eaves DL, Haythornthwaite L, Vogt S - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: Furthermore, the bias was stronger when participants synchronized the instructed action with the distractor movie, compared to when they synchronized the distractor action with the distractor movie.Although we still observed a significant bias in the latter condition, this finding indicates a degree of specificity in AI effects for the identity of the synchronized action.Overall, our data show that MI can substantially modulate the effects of AO on subsequent execution, wherein: (1) combined AO + MI can enhance AI effects relative to passive AO; (2) observed and imagined actions can be flexibly coordinated across different action types and planes; and (3) conflicting AO + MI can abolish AI effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sport and Exercise Science Section, School of Social Sciences and Law, Teesside University Middlesbrough, UK ; Department of Psychology, Fylde College, Lancaster University Lancaster, UK.

ABSTRACT
We have previously shown that passively observing a task-irrelevant rhythmical action can bias the cycle time of a subsequently executed rhythmical action. Here we use the same paradigm to investigate the impact of different forms of motor imagery (MI) during action observation (AO) on this automatic imitation (AI) effect. Participants saw a picture of the instructed action followed by a rhythmical distractor movie, wherein cycle time was subtly manipulated across trials. They then executed the instructed rhythmical action. When participants imagined performing the instructed action in synchrony with the distractor action (AO + MI), a strong imitation bias was found that was significantly greater than in our previous study. The bias was pronounced equally for compatible and incompatible trials, wherein observed and imagined actions were different in type (e.g., face washing vs. painting) or plane of movement, or both. In contrast, no imitation bias was observed when MI conflicted with AO. In Experiment 2, motor execution synchronized with AO produced a stronger imitation bias compared to AO + MI, showing an advantage in synchronization for overt execution over MI. Furthermore, the bias was stronger when participants synchronized the instructed action with the distractor movie, compared to when they synchronized the distractor action with the distractor movie. Although we still observed a significant bias in the latter condition, this finding indicates a degree of specificity in AI effects for the identity of the synchronized action. Overall, our data show that MI can substantially modulate the effects of AO on subsequent execution, wherein: (1) combined AO + MI can enhance AI effects relative to passive AO; (2) observed and imagined actions can be flexibly coordinated across different action types and planes; and (3) conflicting AO + MI can abolish AI effects. Therefore, combined AO + MI instructions should be considered in motor training and rehabilitation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experiment 1: cycle time ratios (%). Mean cycle time ratios (with standard error of the mean) for three factors involved in Experiment 1: MI content, action type compatibility, and plane compatibility. Data obtained previously by Eaves et al. (2012) for passive-AO is also displayed. The cycle time ratio in the distractor actions was 150%.
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Figure 2: Experiment 1: cycle time ratios (%). Mean cycle time ratios (with standard error of the mean) for three factors involved in Experiment 1: MI content, action type compatibility, and plane compatibility. Data obtained previously by Eaves et al. (2012) for passive-AO is also displayed. The cycle time ratio in the distractor actions was 150%.

Mentions: The three-factorial ANOVA performed on the ratio data yielded only a significant main effect of MI content, F(1,11) = 16.67, p < 0.01, = 0.6 (see Figure 2). That is, the slow:fast ratio of response cycle times was significantly closer to that of the display (150%) following AO + synchronized MI (123%), compared to AO + static MI (102%). Both the main effects of compatibility and of habitual speed were not significant, and there were no significant interactions.


Motor imagery during action observation modulates automatic imitation effects in rhythmical actions.

Eaves DL, Haythornthwaite L, Vogt S - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Experiment 1: cycle time ratios (%). Mean cycle time ratios (with standard error of the mean) for three factors involved in Experiment 1: MI content, action type compatibility, and plane compatibility. Data obtained previously by Eaves et al. (2012) for passive-AO is also displayed. The cycle time ratio in the distractor actions was 150%.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3927126&req=5

Figure 2: Experiment 1: cycle time ratios (%). Mean cycle time ratios (with standard error of the mean) for three factors involved in Experiment 1: MI content, action type compatibility, and plane compatibility. Data obtained previously by Eaves et al. (2012) for passive-AO is also displayed. The cycle time ratio in the distractor actions was 150%.
Mentions: The three-factorial ANOVA performed on the ratio data yielded only a significant main effect of MI content, F(1,11) = 16.67, p < 0.01, = 0.6 (see Figure 2). That is, the slow:fast ratio of response cycle times was significantly closer to that of the display (150%) following AO + synchronized MI (123%), compared to AO + static MI (102%). Both the main effects of compatibility and of habitual speed were not significant, and there were no significant interactions.

Bottom Line: Furthermore, the bias was stronger when participants synchronized the instructed action with the distractor movie, compared to when they synchronized the distractor action with the distractor movie.Although we still observed a significant bias in the latter condition, this finding indicates a degree of specificity in AI effects for the identity of the synchronized action.Overall, our data show that MI can substantially modulate the effects of AO on subsequent execution, wherein: (1) combined AO + MI can enhance AI effects relative to passive AO; (2) observed and imagined actions can be flexibly coordinated across different action types and planes; and (3) conflicting AO + MI can abolish AI effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sport and Exercise Science Section, School of Social Sciences and Law, Teesside University Middlesbrough, UK ; Department of Psychology, Fylde College, Lancaster University Lancaster, UK.

ABSTRACT
We have previously shown that passively observing a task-irrelevant rhythmical action can bias the cycle time of a subsequently executed rhythmical action. Here we use the same paradigm to investigate the impact of different forms of motor imagery (MI) during action observation (AO) on this automatic imitation (AI) effect. Participants saw a picture of the instructed action followed by a rhythmical distractor movie, wherein cycle time was subtly manipulated across trials. They then executed the instructed rhythmical action. When participants imagined performing the instructed action in synchrony with the distractor action (AO + MI), a strong imitation bias was found that was significantly greater than in our previous study. The bias was pronounced equally for compatible and incompatible trials, wherein observed and imagined actions were different in type (e.g., face washing vs. painting) or plane of movement, or both. In contrast, no imitation bias was observed when MI conflicted with AO. In Experiment 2, motor execution synchronized with AO produced a stronger imitation bias compared to AO + MI, showing an advantage in synchronization for overt execution over MI. Furthermore, the bias was stronger when participants synchronized the instructed action with the distractor movie, compared to when they synchronized the distractor action with the distractor movie. Although we still observed a significant bias in the latter condition, this finding indicates a degree of specificity in AI effects for the identity of the synchronized action. Overall, our data show that MI can substantially modulate the effects of AO on subsequent execution, wherein: (1) combined AO + MI can enhance AI effects relative to passive AO; (2) observed and imagined actions can be flexibly coordinated across different action types and planes; and (3) conflicting AO + MI can abolish AI effects. Therefore, combined AO + MI instructions should be considered in motor training and rehabilitation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus