MUSCULAR ACTIVITY PATTERNS DIFFER BETWEEN IMAGINED AND REAL TRIALS IN UNTRAINED INDIVIDUALS
Slade, J. M., Landers, D. M., & Martin, P. E. (2002). Muscular activity during real and imagined movements: A test of inflow explanations. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 24, 151-167.
Students (M = 38; F = 22) performed dumbbell and manipulandum curls. Ss were divided into psychoneuromuscular-theory aware and naïve groups. Real and imagined curls were analyzed using EMG recordings from the biceps and triceps muscles on both passive and active arms. EMG patterns were compared between real and imagined exercises, and aware and naïve groups.
There were no differences between the aware and naïve groups. EMG activity was significantly greater for both curls in the active arm during imagery when compared to baseline. Pattern analysis showed that the patterns of EMG activity were different between imagined and real exercises.
[This lack of support for the psychoneuromuscular theory is acknowledged in the literature. Mirrored activity patterns do not occur in untrained, relatively normal individuals. It is expected that in untrained Ss, such as those used in this study, that a family of patterns would exist as the imagined and physical trials varied in muscle recruitment and activation sequencing. Mirrored patterns of activity have been demonstrated in highly trained athletes performing complex movement sequences.]
Implication. In untrained individuals, the patterns of muscular activity are different in imagined and real physical trials.
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