The Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities published research on the effects of physical and mental practice in acquisition, retention, and transfer of a motor skill in 29 males with cerebral palsy. The participants were assigned to three homogenous groups; physical practice (n = 10), mental practice (n = 10), and control (n = 9). The experimental groups (physical and mental practice) performed 5 sessions (6 blocks of 5 trials in each session). The acquisition test was run immediately at the end of each practice session and the retention and transfer tests were run approximately 48 hours after the acquisition phase.
The results indicated that:
individuals with CP have the ability to acquire and retain a new motor skill with either physical or mental practice.
The researchers concluded that this study confirms previous studies involving typically developing individuals and indicates the benefits of mental practice for people with CP.
Reference: Mohammad Reza Sharif et al. Effects of Physical and Mental Practice on Motor Learning in Individuals with Cerebral Palsy. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities August 2015, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 479-487
You may manage your subscription options from your profile