Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery

Frank C, Land WM, Popp C, Schack T (2014)
PLoS ONE 9(4).

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Journal Article | Published | English
Abstract
Recent research on mental representation of complex action has revealed distinct differences in the structure of representational frameworks between experts and novices. More recently, research on the development of mental representation structure has elicited functional changes in novices' representations as a result of practice. However, research investigating if and how mental practice adds to this adaptation process is lacking. In the present study, we examined the influence of mental practice (i.e., motor imagery rehearsal) on both putting performance and the development of one's representation of the golf putt during early skill acquisition. Novice golfers (N = 52) practiced the task of golf putting under one of four different practice conditions: mental, physical, mental-physical combined, and no practice. Participants were tested prior to and after a practice phase, as well as after a three day retention interval. Mental representation structures of the putt were measured, using the structural dimensional analysis of mental representation. This method provides psychometric data on the distances and groupings of basic action concepts in long-term memory. Additionally, putting accuracy and putting consistency were measured using two-dimensional error scores of each putt. Findings revealed significant performance improvements over the course of practice together with functional adaptations in mental representation structure. Interestingly, after three days of practice, the mental representations of participants who incorporated mental practice into their practice regime displayed representation structures that were more similar to a functional structure than did participants who did not incorporate mental practice. The findings of the present study suggest that mental practice promotes the cognitive adaptation process during motor learning, leading to more elaborate representations than physical practice only.
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Frank C, Land WM, Popp C, Schack T. Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(4).
Frank, C., Land, W. M., Popp, C., & Schack, T. (2014). Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery. PLoS ONE, 9(4).
Frank, C., Land, W. M., Popp, C., and Schack, T. (2014). Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery. PLoS ONE 9.
Frank, C., et al., 2014. Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery. PLoS ONE, 9(4).
C. Frank, et al., “Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery”, PLoS ONE, vol. 9, 2014.
Frank, C., Land, W.M., Popp, C., Schack, T.: Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery. PLoS ONE. 9, (2014).
Frank, Cornelia, Land, William Marshall, Popp, Carmen, and Schack, Thomas. “Mental Representation and Mental Practice: Experimental Investigation on the Functional Links between Motor Memory and Motor Imagery”. PLoS ONE 9.4 (2014).
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6 Citations in Europe PMC

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Schack T, Essig K, Frank C, Koester D., Front Hum Neurosci 8(), 2014
PMID: 24904368

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