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    The effects of combined action observation and motor imagery on corticospinal excitability and movement outcomes: two meta-analyses

    Chye, Samantha, Valappil, Ashika Chembila, Wright, David J, Frank, Cornelia, Shearer, David A, Tyler, Christopher J, Diss, Ceri E, Mian, Omar S, Tillin, Neale A and Bruton, Adam M (2022) The effects of combined action observation and motor imagery on corticospinal excitability and movement outcomes: two meta-analyses. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 143. p. 104911. ISSN 0149-7634

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    Abstract

    Motor simulation interventions involving motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have received considerable interest in the behavioral sciences. A growing body of research has focused on using AO and MI simultaneously, termed ‘combined action observation and motor imagery’ (AOMI). The current paper includes two meta-analyses that quantify changes in corticospinal excitability and motor skill performance for AOMI compared to AO, MI and control conditions. Specifically, the first meta-analysis collated and synthesized existing motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude data from transcranial magnetic stimulation studies and the second meta-analysis collated and synthesized existing movement outcome data from behavioral studies. AOMI had a positive effect compared to control and AO but not MI conditions for both MEP amplitudes and movement outcomes. No methodological factors moderated the effects of AOMI, indicating a robust effect of AOMI across the two outcome variables. The results of the meta-analyses are discussed in relation to existing literature on motor simulation and skill acquisition, before providing viable directions for future research on this topic.

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