Chronometric Comparison of Actual and Imaged Complex Movement Patterns

The authors’ aim in this study was to consider the functional equivalence of internal imagery, external imagery, and action execution. Sixteen elite gymnasts imaged and performed a complex gymnastic vault. Ten performers imaged from an internal perspective, and 6 used an external perspective. Although the results revealed that the time to image the entire motor task did not significantly differ from the time required to physically perform it, irrespective of the imagery perspective used, the temporal organization of the action was different within the imagery conditions than it was in the physical condition. The results do not provide support for the principle of temporal functional equivalence. The authors discuss the results in light of recent findings from the cognitive neuroscience and psychology literatures.

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