Effects of Physical and Mental Practice on Motor Learning in Individuals with Cerebral Palsy
- 447 Downloads
In this study we investigated the effects of physical and mental practice in acquisition, retention, and transfer of a motor skill in individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). For this reason, 29 males diagnosed with CP type I (18.51 ± 5.03 years of age) were chosen and, according to a pretest, were assigned to three homogenous groups; physical practice (n = 10), mental practice (n = 10), and control (n = 9). The experimental groups practiced for 5 sessions (6 blocks of 5 trials in each session). The acquisition test was run immediately at the end of each practice session and the retention and transfer tests were run approximately 48 h following the acquisition phase. Analyses of variance with repeated measures and post hoc tests suggest individuals with CP have the ability to acquire and retain a new motor skill with either physical or mental practice. This finding replicates studies involving typically developing individuals and extends previous research by demonstrating the benefits of mental practice for people with CP. Implications for clinical practice and directions for future research are discussed.
KeywordsPhysical practice Mental practice Motor learning Cerebral palsy Throwing dart
The authors thank the students with cerebral palsy who participated in this study and their parents.
- Barr, K., & Hall, C. (1992). The use of imagery by Rowers. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 23, 243–261.Google Scholar
- Denis, M. (1991). Image and cognition. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
- Finke, R. A. (1989). Principles of mental imagery. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Gordon, A. M., & Magill, R. A. (2012). Motor learning: Application of principles to pediatric rehabilitation. In S. K. Campbell, R. J. Palisano, & M. N. Orlin (Eds.), Physical therapy for children (4th ed., pp. 151–174). St. Louis: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Kosslyn, S. M. (1994). Image and brain: The resolution of the imagery debate. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Newsom, J., Knight, P., & Balnave, R. (2003). Use of mental imagery to limit strength loss after immobilization. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 12, 249–258.Google Scholar
- Peacock, J. (2000). Cerebral palsy: Perspective on disease and illness. Capstone Press.Google Scholar
- Richardson, J. T. E. (1999). Imagery. Hove: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Shumway-Cook, A., & Woollacott, M. H. (2012). Motor control: Translating research into clinical practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
- Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (5th ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetice.Google Scholar