Thursday, 4 June 2015

think it through

Movement visualization has been used by many elite athletes, dancers and musicians to improve performance for a long time.  Science has been interested in the effects of visualization on physical performance since the 1920s.  Although there have been conflicting results, research has left no doubt that imagery can improve physical performance.  Here is a brief summary of some interesting results.
Numerous experiments have shown that people can increase their physical skills by imagining themselves practicing the skill.  For example, in one experiment two groups of people were taught a series of notes on the piano.  Neither group had ever played before.  One group practiced playing the notes for five days, two hours a day.  The second group simply imagined playing the notes for the same amount of time.  At the end of the experiment, the imagining group had improved almost as much as the practicing group.  In fact, they had completely caught up after two hours of hands on practice.  Further, their brains showed objective changes in the neurons that control the skills.  How is this possible?
-- Todd Hargrove
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