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Cogn Process. 2012 Aug;13(3):211-29. doi: 10.1007/s10339-012-0438-z. Epub 2012 Mar 31.

Motor imagery and higher-level cognition: four hurdles before research can sprint forward.

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Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Biological Sciences Building, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada.


Traditionally, higher-level cognition has been described as including processes such as attention, memory, language, and decision-making. However, motor processing and motor imagery are important aspects of cognition that have typically been considered outside of the traditional view. Recent research has demonstrated that there may be a critical functional relationship between motor imagery and other higher-level cognitive processes. Here we present a review of the extant literature on motor imagery and cognition, as well as outline four hurdles that must be addressed before the field investigating the influence of motor-based processes on higher-level cognition can be moved forward. These hurdles include problems distinguishing between visual and motor processes, addressing the differences in tasks and stimuli used to evoke motor imagery, accounting for individual differences in motor imagery ability, and identifying the appropriate neural correlates. It is important that these hurdles are addressed in future research so we can sprint forward and further our knowledge about this interesting relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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