The effect of alternate training of action observation and motor imagery on cognitive and skill performance

Taeho Kim */**/***, Cornelia Frank */**/*** and Thomas Schack */**/***/****

(*) University of Bielefeld, Germany
(**) Neurocognition and Action-Biomechanics Research Group
(***) Cognitive Interaction Technology – Center of Excellence (CITEC)
(****) Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab)

Citation

Kim, T., Frank, C., Schack, T. (2020). The effect of alternate training of action observation and motor imagery on cognitive and skill performance. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 51(2), 101-121. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2020.51.101

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of alternate action observation and motor imagery training on cognitive performance in working memory and skill performance. Forty-eight beginners with no experience in Taekwondo participated in the experiment. They were randomly assigned to one of four groups: action observation (AO) training group, motor imagery (MI) training group, alternate AO+MI training group (i.e., MI after AO), and a control group. Cognitive performance was measured before and after three days of training, and one day after completion (retention test). After retention test, all participants performed three blocks of Taekwondo roundhouse kick. Results showed that alternate AO+MI training overall was more effective in improving cognitive performance and skill performance after cognitive training than independent AO and MI training. Taken together, the findings suggest that alternate AO+MI training may be considered a more effective training method as compared to AO and MI training alone.

Keywords: Cognitive training, Motor learning, Motor memory, Skill acquisition, working memory


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