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Paul R. Surburg

This article provides insights into the use of imagery procedures with special populations. After an overview of various imagery techniques that have been used to enhance motor performance with normal persons, studies dealing with the elderly, brain and spinal cord injuries, neoplasms, and persons with mental handicaps are discussed. Issues are addressed concerning the use of imagery techniques by the researcher and practitioner. The final section of this paper deals with possible applications of imagery techniques with special populations.

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Kate A.T. Eddy and Stephen D. Mellalieu

The purpose of this study was to investigate imagery experiences in performers with visual impairments. Structured, in-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted with six elite goalball athletes regarding the processing and use of mental images in training and competition. Interview transcripts were analyzed using deductive and inductive procedures and revealed four general dimensions describing the athletes’ uses of imagery. Participants reported using imagery for cognitive and motivational purposes in both training and competition. Imagery was also suggested to be utilized from an internal perspective with the processing of images derived from a range of modalities. The findings suggest that visual impairment does not restrict the ability to use mental imagery and that psychological interventions can be expanded to include the use of all the athletes’ sensory modalities.

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Paul R. Surburg, David L. Porretta and Vins Sutlive

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of imagery practice as supplementary practice in the performance of a throwing task. A secondary purpose was to ascertain if different cognitive demands of a motor task affected the use of this supplementary practice. Forty adolescents with mild mental retardation were randomly assigned to the following groups: low cognitive loading-physical practice, low cognitive loading-imagery and physical practice, high cognitive loading-physical practice, high cognitive loading-imagery and physical practice. Subjects engaged in seven practice sessions during which performance scores of a throwing task were recorded. Groups supplemented with imagery practice were superior in performance to nonimagery groups. A higher cognitive loading of the task did not enhance the use of this type of supplementary practice more than a lower loading. The results of this study reflect the efficacy of imagery practice as a means to improve motor performance of students with mild mental retardation.

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Doris Pogue Screws and Paul R. Surburg

In order to improve motor performance, mental imagery procedures have evolved over the years with nondisabled subjects. Studies researching the concept of using mental imagery with special populations (Surburg, & Stumpner, 1987; Surburg, 1991; Surburg, Porretta, & Sutlive, 1995) are very few in number. This study examined the efficacy of using mental imagery in developing skill on a motorically oriented task (pursuit rotor) and a cognitively oriented task (peg board) on middle school students with mild mental disabilities (MMD). Thirty subjects were assigned randomly to a physical, imagery, or no-practice control group to perform either a peg board or pursuit rotor task. For each motor task, there was a pretest followed by appropriate treatment regime and a posttest session. The dependent variables were the number of pegs placed in appropriate order for the peg board task and time on target for the pursuit rotor task. Results were that imagery practice enhanced the motor performance of children with MMD on both the peg board (cognitively oriented task) and pursuit rotor (motorically oriented task).

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Wojciech Jedziniak, Piotr Lesiakowski and Teresa Zwierko

.M. , Richard , I. , & Dinomais , M. ( 2015 ). What do eye gaze metrics tell us about motor imagery? PLoS ONE, 10 ( 11 ), e0143831 . PubMed ID: 26605915 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0143831 10.1371/journal.pone.0143831 Rauthmann , J.F. , Seubert , C