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Lucette Toussaint, Nicolas Robin and Yannick Blandin

We examined the similarities between actual and motor imagery practice with regard to the development of sensorimotor representations. Participants had to reproduce knee joint positions (15 or 150 trials) in visuo-proprioceptive or proprioceptive conditions (Experiment 1) or in visual, proprioceptive or visuo-proprioceptive imagery conditions (Experiment 2), before being transferred in a proprioceptive condition. A familiarization session in a proprioceptive condition was performed before imagery practice only (Experiment 2). Results showed that the effect of vision withdrawal varied according to actual or motor imagery practice: performance accuracy in transfer decreased after actual visuo-proprioceptive practice while it increased after visuo-proprioceptive imagery practice. These results suggest that different movement representations can be developed following actual or imagery practice. They also suggest that information from previous experience could be stored in a sensori-motor memory and could be fundamental for the efficiency of motor imagery practice.

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Nicolas Robin, Lucette Toussaint, Guillaume R. Coudevylle, Shelly Ruart, Olivier Hue and Stephane Sinnapah

Objective: This study tested whether text messages prompting adults 50 years of age and older to perform mental imagery would increase aerobic physical activity (APA) duration using a randomized parallel trial design. Method: Participants were assigned to an Imagery 1, Imagery 2, or placebo group. For 4 weeks, each group was exposed to two conditions (morning text message vs. no morning text message). In the morning message condition, the imagery groups received a text message with the instruction to mentally imagine performing an APA, and the placebo group received a placebo message. All participants received an evening text message of “Did you do your cardio today? If yes, what did you do?” for 3 days per week. Results: Participants of the imagery groups reported significantly more weekly minutes of APA in the morning text message condition compared with the no morning message condition. Conclusion: Electronic messages were effective at increasing minutes of APA.

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Nicolas Robin, Lucette Toussaint, Stéphane Sinnapah, Olivier Hue and Guillaume R. Coudevylle

Inactivity is known to have harmful effects on the physical and mental health of older adults. This study used a randomized, parallel trial design to evaluate whether daily text prompts to practice mindfulness would have a positive impact on the time that adults aged 50 years or older spend in aerobic physical activity. The participants were recruited from a certified fitness center and divided into mindfulness and control groups. For 4 weeks, they were exposed to the experimental conditions, with or without the morning text message. In the morning message condition, the mindfulness groups received a text message with the instruction to practice audio-guided mindfulness for 10 min, and the control group received a placebo message. The participants practicing mindfulness reported significantly more weekly minutes of aerobic physical activity and higher intrinsic motivation than the control participants. Mindfulness training was effective at increasing aerobic physical activity duration and might complement physical activity programs.