Our RIO-Symposium on Motor Imagery during Action Observation was one of the first symposia of this year‘s FEPSAC Congress at the University of Münster in Germany.
Dr. Robert Hardwick, Dr. David Wright, Dr. Adam Bruton and Dr. Daniel Eaves and myself presented our recent work, ranging from the neurophysiology of AOMI to behavioral studies in real world and virtual reality.
I talked about most recent findings from our VR work:
Using an immersive, state-of-the-art, low-latency cave automatic virtual environment, we compared AO+MI of one’s current state of performance to AO+MI of one’s future state of performance. After having performed 3D scans and having created ready-to-animate virtual humans of each participant, we assigned novice participants to one of two groups: a self-appearance/current performance level group (Me-Current) and a self-appearance/future performance level group (Me-Future). During acquisition, participants simultaneously imagined whilst observing an avatar of themselves either performing one of their previously executed squats or performing a squat of an expert model. We measured movement quality, mental representation structure, and self-efficacy of the squat. Preliminary findings revealed an advantage of the Me-Future group as compared to the Me-Current group in motor (i.e. movement quality), cognitive (i.e. mental representation structure) as well as motivational (i.e. self-efficacy) variables. These findings indicate that simultaneous imagery whilst observing future states of action may help establish both cognitive and motivational prerequisites that enable better motor performance. To this end, virtual reality is a promising tool to create learning environments that exceed real-world opportunities.
Thank you all for attending, for the questions, comments and discussion we had during the symposium and throughout the conference, we hope to welcome new RIO group members during our next annual meeting at Manchester, UK in April 2020.