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Title: The interaction between body posture and the performance of imagined arm movements
Author: Boulton, Hayley
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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Jeannerod (2006) proposed that imagined movements are effectively covert simulations of their physical counterparts. Consistent with this idea, imagined movements show adherence to the same behavioural and body constraints as physical movements, activate similar cortical and subcortical regions, and can even excite corticospinal pathways. Although postural control is inherently linked to the performance of all movements, its interaction with imagined movements has received little research attention, with the few studies that have been conducted predominately looking at imagery of the lower limbs that are simultaneously engaged in posture control. The present research is the first to study interactions between posture control and imagined upper limb movements. In a series of experiments, healthy young adults performed imagined reaching movements of the arm to an array of target locations presented either in the mediolateral or anteroposterior direction. Participants’ stability in the mediolateral direction was manipulated through varying stance. The effects of different arm movement parameters (e.g., load and precision) were also considered, as was the congruency between physical and imagined stance. Cumulatively, the present experimental results suggest that the current postural state does influence trajectory planning during imagined arm movements and furthermore, there are observable changes in posture control in response to imagined upper limb movements. These findings have important implications for our understanding of the processes involved in inhibiting overt movement during motor imagery. They also contribute to the development of motor-imagery based schemes of motor training and rehabilitation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; QP Physiology