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A neuroscientific review of imagery and observation use in sport

Holmes, Paul S. and Calmels, Claire (2008) A neuroscientific review of imagery and observation use in sport. Journal of motor behavior, 40 (5). 433–445. ISSN 0022-2895

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Imagery and observation are multicomponential, involving individual difference characteristics that modify the processes. The authors propose that both imagery and observation function by offering effective routes to access and reinforce neural networks for skilled performance. The neural isomorphism with overt behaviors offers a tempting mechanism to explain the beneficial outcomes of the 2 processes. However, several limitations related to imagery indicate the possibility that imagery may not be as efficacious as the literature would indicate. The authors propose observation-based approaches to offer more valid and effective techniques in sport psychology and motor control.

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