psychoneuromuscular theory

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A theory postulated to explain the positive effects of motor imagery. It suggests that vivid, imagined events produce neuromuscular responses similar to those of an actual experience. That is, the images produced in the brain transmit impulses to the muscles for the execution of the imagined skill, although these impulses may be so minor that they do not actually produce movement or the movement may be undetectable. Support for this theory comes from a number of sources. For example, electromyograph patterns of the muscle activity of skiers who imagine they are performing a downhill run, are similar to the electrical patterns of the skiers’ muscles when they have actually been skiing. See also imagery, symbolic learning theory.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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