Changes in Muscular Activity while Imagining Weight Lifting Using Stimulus or Response Propositions

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Investigating emotional imagery, Lang (1977, 1979) proposed a dichotomy between stimulus and response propositions. In this study, Lang’s model is applied to movement images of lifting of 4.5 and 9 kg weights. Twenty-two male and 17 female students participated in the study. During the imaginary lifting of the weights, the electromyographical activity (EMG) of both biceps brachii muscles were assessed. Imagery ability was measured with the Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ) and another self-report rating scale. When response propositions were emphasized in the script, imaginary weight lifting resulted in greater muscle activity than when stimulus propositions were emphasized. During imagined lifting, EMG activity of the active arm was greater than that of the passive arm. In addition, in the active arm, a significant difference in EMG activity was found between 9 kg and 4.5 kg. It was concluded that Lang’s model is also applicable to emotionally neutral movement Imagery.

Frank C. Bakker, Marc S.J. Boschker, and Tjuling Chung are with the Institute for Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, at Vrije Universiteit, Van der Boechorststraat 9, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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