Journal of Medicine and Health Research
 

Journal of Medicine and Health Research, ISSN No. : 2456-9178, Vol.: 2, Issue.: 1

Minireview Article

MOTOR IMAGERY – A CONCISE REVIEW ON ITS HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT, ITS PRESENT USE AND FUTURE APPLICATION

 

LARS JÄGER1,2,3* AND BIRGIT SCHULTE-FREI3,4

1Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Hochschule Fresenius, Düsseldorf, Germany.

2Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Hochschule Fresenius, Cologne, Germany.

3ProPhysio, Cologne, Germany.

4Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Hochschule Fresenius, Germany.

Abstracts

Not long after Motor Imagery established itself as an effective training tool in professional sports, it found its way into therapy. Mental execution of single-movements and movement sequences has henceforth been compared to actual movements and revealed surprising similarities. Different forms have been created and assessments for testing individual abilities have been developed and refined. Until now, Motor Imagery has been successfully integrated into the treatment of several patient categories. 

Present-day imaging modalities allow for in-depth understanding of underlying mechanisms. Several neuroplastic alterations and mechanisms of adjusted cortical excitability are explainable, by now. Motor imagery can nowadays be implemented or supported by technologies and therefore is finding a new lease of life by reinventing itself.

However, Motor Imagery has repeatedly been a subject of debate.

Therefore, a concise review is given, retrospecting the historical background, naming similarities and differences of actual and imagined movement, shedding light on underlying neuronal mechanisms and critically discussing the implementation of Motor Imagery in various fields of therapy. Lastly, future development of Motor Imagery is discussed. 

Keywords :

Motor imagery; mental training; visual imagery; kinaesthetic imagery; laterality training; neuroplasticity.