"If you can dream it you can do it! Well, according to a recent study, maybe not so much, at least when your dream is to rehabilitate an arm weakened by stroke.
I have written several times on this blog about how imagery and visualization can be used to build coordination and physical skills. For example, it has been shown that imagining playing piano can make you play better, imagining strength training can make you stronger, and just watching sports can activate mirror neurons responsible for performing the movements you see. The basic idea is that thinking about a physical skill will activate almost the exact same neural pathways as actually performing it, so that you can better at something purely by visualization. What an optimistic “feel good” idea!
So I was interested to see a recent study supporting the pessimistic “feel bad” idea that stroke patients receive no apparent benefit from engaging in imagined movement of their weakened arm. I think this may shed some light on an important limitation in the usefulness of imagined movement...."Read the rest at Todd Hargoves blog better movement here...
(I'm steadily getting through all the blog posts on this site...as you may have guessed!)