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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2016 March;69(1):79-93

language: English, Italian

The effect of night sleep following mental imagery on an goal-based task learning

Mohsen AFROUZEH 1, Amir HAGHKHAH 2, Soheyla GOHARROKHI 3, Fateme D. TELGERD 4, Fateme ROWSHANI 2

1 Young Researchers and Elite Club, Jahrom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Jahrom, Iran; 2 Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Zarrindasht branch, Islamic Azad University, Zarrindasht, Iran; 3 Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Neyshabur branch, Islamic Azad University, Neyshabur, Iran; 4 Physical Education Teacher Khorasan Razavi Province, Mashhad, Iran


BACKGROUND: Motor skill learning involves both practice and implicit, sleep-dependent process of consolidation that develops after training (“off-line” learning). An extensive range of experimental studies have provided proof that a night of sleep may improve motor performance following physical practice, but little is known about its effect after motor imagery (MI).
METHODS: Thirty six subjects were assigned to one of three groups that differed in the training method (Consolidated MI, Preparatory MI and Physical practice groups). The physical performance was measured before training (pre-test) and after a night of sleep (post-test). As expected, all groups improved their performance during the post-test.
RESULTS: The Consolidated MI group was further found to improve motor performance after sleep, so suggesting that sleep-related effects are effective following mental imagery.
CONCLUSIONS: Such findings highlight the reliability of MI in learning process, which is thought consolidated when associated with sleep.

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