INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF TASK NATURE ON CORTICOSPINAL EXCITABILITY DURING MOTOR IMAGERY
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Little research has gone into investigating the role of task used in learning via motor imagery. It is possible that our understanding of imagery might be influenced by the task chosen for its study. To ascertain if previous findings were influenced by the task chosen, participants were recruited to perform imagery of a motoric and perceptual task. In a single 2.5-hour session, participants performed imagery of the two tasks followed by physical execution to obtain a measure of performance improvement. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were elicited using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and recorded during imagery performance, with MEP amplitude compared between tasks for each participant to determine which task led to increased corticospinal excitability. Results indicated that the motor task led to significantly increased excitability, demonstrating that the task used has a meaningful influence on corticospinal excitability and suggesting that the task used may bias our understanding of how imagery works.