Can a single session of motor imagery promote motor learning of locomotion in older adults? A randomized controlled trial

Journal article


Nicholson, Vaughan P., Keogh, Justin W. L. and Low Choy, Nancy L.. (2018) Can a single session of motor imagery promote motor learning of locomotion in older adults? A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 13, pp. 713 - 722. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S164401
AuthorsNicholson, Vaughan P., Keogh, Justin W. L. and Low Choy, Nancy L.
Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the influence of a single session of locomotor-based motor imagery training on motor learning and physical performance. Patients and methods: Thirty independent adults aged > 65 years took part in the randomized controlled trial. The study was conducted within an exercise science laboratory. Participants were randomly divided into three groups following baseline locomotor testing: motor imagery training, physical training, and control groups. The motor imagery training group completed 20 imagined repetitions of a locomotor task, the physical training group completed 20 physical repetitions of a locomotor task, and the control group spent 25 minutes playing mentally stimulating games on an iPad. Imagined and physical performance times were measured for each training repetition. Gait speed (preferred and fast), timed-up-and-go, gait variability and the time to complete an obstacle course were completed before and after the single training session. Results: Motor learning occurred in both the motor imagery training and physical training groups. Motor imagery training led to refinements in motor planning resulting in imagined movements better matching the physically performed movement at the end of training. Motor imagery and physical training also promoted improvements in some locomotion outcomes as demonstrated by medium to large effect size improvements after training for fast gait speed and timed-up-and-go. There were no training effects on gait variability. Conclusion: A single session of motor imagery training promoted motor learning of locomotion in independent older adults. Motor imagery training of a specific locomotor task also had a positive transfer effect on related physical locomotor performance outcomes.

Keywordsmental practice; gait; elderly; rehabilitation; mobility; motor imagery; motor control
Year2018
JournalClinical Interventions in Aging
Journal citation13, pp. 713 - 722
PublisherDove Medical Press Ltd.
ISSN1178-1998
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S164401
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85045977021
Open accessOpen access
Page range713 - 722
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Publisher's version
License
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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