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May 07, 2006

Is there "feedback" during visual imagery?

Is there "feedback" during visual imagery? Evidence from a specificity of practice paradigm.

Can J Exp Psychol. 2006 Mar;60(1):24-32

Authors: Krigolson O, Van Gyn G, Tremblay L, Heath M

The specificity of practice hypothesis predicts the development of a sensorimotor representation specific to the afferent feedback available during skill acquisition (Proteau, 1992; Proteau, Marteniuk, Girouard, & Dugas, 1987). In the present investigation, we used the specificity of practice hypothesis to test whether skill acquisition through visual imagery would lead to the development of a sensory-specific movement representation similar to one resulting from actual practice. To accomplish this objective, participants practiced walking a 12-m linear path in one of three practice conditions, full-vision (FV), no-vision (NV), or visual imagery (VI), for either 10 or 100 trials. Knowledge of spatial and/or temporal results (KR) was provided to participants following each trial during this phase. Following acquisition, participants completed 10 NV trials without KR. An analysis of root-mean-squared-error (RMSE) indicated NV participants were more accurate than both FV and VI participants in the transfer condition. We believe the equivalence in transfer RMSE between FV and VI suggests that there are similarities between the movement representations attained by FV and VI practice.

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