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Journal Article


McCormick SA, Causer J, Holmes PS. PLoS One 2013; 8(6): e67761.


Institute for Performance Research, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, United Kingdom.


(Copyright © 2013, Public Library of Science)






The concept of shared motor representations between action execution and various covert conditions has been demonstrated through a number of psychophysiological modalities over the past two decades. Rarely, however, have researchers considered the congruence of physical, imaginary and observed movement markers in a single paradigm and never in a design where eye movement metrics are the markers. In this study, participants were required to perform a forward reach and point Fitts' Task on a digitizing tablet whilst wearing an eye movement system. Gaze metrics were used to compare behaviour congruence between action execution, action observation, and guided and unguided movement imagery conditions. The data showed that participants attended the same task-related visual cues between conditions but the strategy was different. Specifically, the number of fixations was significantly different between action execution and all covert conditions. In addition, fixation duration was congruent between action execution and action observation only, and both conditions displayed an indirect Fitts' Law effect. We therefore extend the understanding of the common motor representation by demonstrating, for the first time, common spatial eye movement metrics across simulation conditions and some specific temporal congruence for action execution and action observation. Our findings suggest that action observation may be an effective technique in supporting motor processes. The use of video as an adjunct to physical techniques may be beneficial in supporting motor planning in both performance and clinical rehabilitation environments.

Language: en


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