The neurophysiological foundations of mental and motor imagery

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Mental imagery is the ability to form perceptual-like representations of objects or events on the basis of information stored in memory. Motor imagery is often used when the human body is involved, where subjects imagine the body moving or manipulating objects. The use of mental practice, including motor imagery for the rehabilitation of patients with cerebral motor impairments, is one of the most active areas in the field of motor imagery research. Such data provide evidence for imagery as a method in stroke rehabilitation, leading to reliable reconstruction of neural networks and thus to functional recovery. In recent years, our understanding of imagery has advanced greatly thanks to functional imaging studies using, for example, PET and fMRI. There is now ample evidence that a common neural substrate (albeit not identical) underlies mental imagery and visual perception, on the one hand, and motor performance and motor imagery, on the other. This book, the first of its kind, examines three main aspects of mental imagery. In the first part, the chapters address the neural basis of mental and motor imagery, the relationships between mental imagery and perception, and between motor imagery and physical execution. In the second part, the chapters focus on the evaluation of mental/motor imagery accuracy, including both central and peripheral nervous system recordings. The final chapters address the effects of mental practice on motor recovery after stroke. Providing a state of the art review along with in-depth summaries, meta-analyses, and research syntheses, this book will be important for those in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, physiology, and rehabilitation.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Mental imagery has long been a focus of neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists, but the motor aspects of this phenomenon have been largely ignored. There is great potential in better understanding motor imagery in terms of enhanced performance in, for example sports or music, as well as in biomechanics and brain-computer interfaces.
Purpose: The goals of this book range from exploring the boundaries of the motor imagery phenomenon to critically evaluating its potential contributions to a multitude of fields.
Audience: This is appropriate for neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists in the main, but it also may appeal to biologists, clinical psychologists, sports psychologists, and others involved in performance enhancement. The editors are steeped in this field and make regular scientific contributions to it.
Features: It is clear from the beginning that this book assumes as least a moderate level of familiarity with neuroscience concepts. For example, the first chapter discusses neuroanatomy in terms of Brodmann areas. The issue of motor imagery versus execution is tackled as early as the third chapter. A series of chapters address a variety of measurement techniques for motor imagery, including EEG and EMG. A few figures help to highlight the findings, but these are sparse and of mediocre quality. Thereafter, some overlap sets in with the chapter on autonomic nervous system functioning and the neurophysiological substrates of motor imagery. This is followed, however, by an excellent review of studies on movement disorders rehabilitation with motor imagery. A nice table lists these interventions and associated disorders, but it is tempered by a welcome discussion of limitations in the current body of literature. Color plates appear towards the middle of the book, but even these are not up the quality of figures found in other books, especially with their small size. The last few chapters focus on the practical applications of motor imagery. Although these are a valuable addition to the book, readers can find more extensive information in a dedicated sports psychology text. The references are current and extensive and the index is helpful.
Assessment: This book provides an intriguing look at an oft-neglected area of mental imagery research. The theoretical and practical applications are well laid out and provide a balanced viewpoint on the current state of the science in this field.
From the Publisher

"This book provides an intriguing look at an oft-neglected area of mental imagery research. The theoretical and practical applications are well laid out and provide a balanced viewpoint on the current state of the science in this field."--Doody's

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199546251
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/12/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Aymeric Guillot has a Ph.D. in Sport Sciences from the Claude Bernard University of Lyon (2003) and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Center of Research and Innovation in Sport in Lyon (France). Using notably the techniques of autonomic nervous system recordings, functional magnetic resonance imaging, mental chronometry and electromyography recordings, he has worked on numerous mental/motor imagery studies, investigating primarily the effect of motor imagery in motor learning and motor performance, but also in motor recovery after stroke, and during mental rotation. He has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters, including extensive reviews and meta-analyses of the motor imagery literature. Christian Collet rreceived a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1995, from the Claude Bernard University of Lyon (France). He is currently Professor at the Center of Research and Innovation in Sport (France) and leader of the research team "Mental processes and Motor Performance". During the last ten years, he has conducted research in the areas of human factors in ergonomics and sports behaviour. His main research interests include mental processes in professional and sporting activities. The main topics are concerned with the general field of motor imagery (learning, mental abilities, rehabilitation) and workload (emotional reactivity control, arousal, vigilance and mind concentration).

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Table of Contents

SECTION 1: The neural substrates of mental and motor imagery
Multimodal Images in the Brain, Stephen M. Kosslyn, Giorgio Ganis and William L. Thompson
Neural bases of topographical representation in humans: Contribution of neuroimaging studies, Poirel N., Zago L., Petit L. and Mellet E.
Contribution of the primary motor cortex to motor imagery, M. Lotze and K. Zentgraf
Corticospinal facilitation during motor imagery, Cathy M Stinear
SECTION 2: Neurophysiological correlates of motor imagery
EEG Characteristics during Motor Imagery, Christa Neuper & Gert Pfurtscheller
Electromyographic activity during motor imagery, Aymeric Guillot, Florent Lebon and Christian Collet
Autonomic nervous system activities during imagined movements, C Collet and A Guillot
Neurophysiological substrates of motor imagery ability, Aymeric Guillot, Magali Louis, and Christian Collet
SECTION 3: Motor imagery in rehabilitation
Motor imagery and the rehabilitation of movement disorders: an overview, H.C. Dijkerman, M. Ietswaart and M. Johnston
An overview of the effectiveness of motor imagery after stroke: A neuroimaging approach, S.J. Page
Motor imagery for optimising the reacquisition of locomotor skills after cerebral damage, Francine Malouin, Carol L. Richards, Philip L. Jackson, Julien Doyon
Motor Imagery Practice in Individuals with Parkinson's Disease, Dickstein R. and Tamir R.
Blindness and motor imagery, Luis Aureliano Imbiriba, Sylvia Joffily, Erika Carvalho Rodrigues, Claudia D. Vargas.
EEG-based brain-computer communication, G. Pfurtscheller and C. Neuper
SECTION 4: Motor imagery in learning processes
Motor imagery and motor performance: evidence from the sport science literature, Aymeric Guillot, Ursula Debarnot, Magali Louis, Nady Hoyek, Christian Collet
Meta-imagery Processes Among Elite Sports Performers, Tadhg MacIntyre and Aidan Moran
The use of motor imagery in teaching surgical skills lessons from sports training, R.E. Sapien and R.G. Rogers
Movement Imagery, Observation, and Skill, Paul S.Holmes, Jennifer Cumming and Martin G. Edwards
From the mental representation of pain and emotions to empathy, Philip Jackson and Amelie M. Achim

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