| Experimental design. The three rows represent the procedures of action observation training (AOT) (top), observational learning (OL) (middle), and motor practice (MP) (bottom) training. All of them are based on 12 trials, based on action observation (dark gray color) or action execution (white). Light gray indicates the execution trials common to all groups.

| Experimental design. The three rows represent the procedures of action observation training (AOT) (top), observational learning (OL) (middle), and motor practice (MP) (bottom) training. All of them are based on 12 trials, based on action observation (dark gray color) or action execution (white). Light gray indicates the execution trials common to all groups.

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Motor learning can be defined as a process that leads to relatively permanent changes in motor behavior through repeated interactions with the environment. Different strategies can be adopted to achieve motor learning: movements can be overtly practiced leading to an amelioration of motor performance; alternatively, covert strategies (e.g., action...

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Context 1
... belonging to the AOT group were administered with alternated observation and execution trials (see Figure 2, upper string). Twelve trials were chosen to meet the six observation trials suggested by the online questionnaire results. ...
Context 2
... observational learning (OL) group started the experiment with an observation-execution block. Subsequently, participants kept observing the knot videos until the final execution (see Figure 2, middle string). Likewise, after the initial observationexecution block, MP participants were requested to practice motorically until the end of the training (see Figure 2, lower string). ...
Context 3
... participants kept observing the knot videos until the final execution (see Figure 2, middle string). Likewise, after the initial observationexecution block, MP participants were requested to practice motorically until the end of the training (see Figure 2, lower string). As the MP training lasted about 10 min for each knot and participants could lose focus about the goal to achieve, a static image of the final knot configuration was presented for 5 s before each MP execution trial. ...
Context 4
... addition, only the first (OBS), second (EXE), and last (EXE) trials are common for all three groups. As indicated in Figure 2, the first execution was considered a baseline, while the last one was used to quantify the performance increase for each subject relative to the baseline. ...
Context 5
... we averaged the Success Rate scores across the knots for each execution trial. Therefore, we obtained six scores for the AOT group, two for OL, and eleven for the MP group (see EXE blocks in Figure 2). ...

Citations

Article
Imagery is a cognitive process widely used for learning and performance of motor skills (Morris et al., 2005). In this study, we investigated Internal (IP) and External Imagery Perspectives (EP) and actual copying of movement to deepen understanding of the character of imagery perspectives. Research on IP and EP shows that the superiority of one perspective in terms of performance enhancement is still equivocal. Further research is required to understand the character of IP and EP, and to establish how they affect learning and performance of motor skills. We applied a Stimulus-Response (S-R) compatibility protocol to a finger-movement, choice-reaction time (CRT) task to differentiate response latencies for actual copying of the movement, and IP and EP of the movement, after watching internal and external stimulus videos of the CRT button-pressing task. We used paired t-tests to analyse the differences in decision time and movement time for external and internal stimulus videos, in the physical copying of the movement condition. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine differences in response times for movement, IP, and EP imagery conditions for internal and external video stimuli. Results showed that the response times in both imagery perspective conditions were significantly slower than response times in the physical movement condition. It was further revealed that response times were faster for the internal view than the external view for the movement and IP conditions, whereas EP latencies were faster for external than internal video stimuli. We concluded that the S-R compatibility protocol can be used to confirm use of IP and EP, which is questionable in studies where participants are simply instructed to use IP or EP, and it is assumed they follow instructions, or even when they are asked to confirm use of IP or EP at the end of studies.
Article
Background: Action observation (AO) is a physical rehabilitation approach that facilitates the occurrence of neural plasticity through the activation of the mirror-neural system, promoting motor recovery in people with stroke. Objectives: To assess whether AO enhances upper limb motor function in people with stroke. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (last searched 18 May 2021), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (18 May 2021), MEDLINE (1946 to 18 May 2021), Embase (1974 to 18 May 2021), and five additional databases. We also searched trial registries and reference lists. Selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of AO alone or associated with physical practice in adults after stroke. The primary outcome was upper limb (arm and hand) motor function. Secondary outcomes included dependence on activities of daily living (ADL), motor performance, cortical activation, quality of life, and adverse effects. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently selected trials according to the predefined inclusion criteria, extracted data, assessed risk of bias using RoB 1, and applied the GRADE approach to assess the certainty of the evidence. The reviews authors contacted trial authors for clarification and missing information. Main results: We included 16 trials involving 574 individuals. Most trials provided AO followed by the practice of motor actions. Training varied between 1 day and 8 weeks of therapy, 10 to 90 minutes per session. The time of AO ranged from 1 minute to 10 minutes for each motor action, task or movement observed. The total number of motor actions ranged from 1 to 3. Control comparisons included sham observation, physical therapy, and functional activity practice. Primary outcomes: AO improved arm function (standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.17 to 0.61; 11 trials, 373 participants; low-certainty evidence); and improved hand function (mean difference (MD) 2.76, 95% CI 1.04 to 4.49; 5 trials, 178 participants; low-certainty evidence). Secondary outcomes: AO did not improve ADL performance (SMD 0.37, 95% CI -0.34 to 1.08; 7 trials, 302 participants; very low-certainty evidence), or quality of life (MD 5.52, 95% CI -30.74 to 41.78; 2 trials, 30 participants; very low-certainty evidence). We were unable to pool the other secondary outcomes (motor performance and cortical activation). Only two trials reported adverse events without significant adverse effects. Authors' conclusions: The effects of AO are small for arm function compared to any control group; for hand function the effects are large, but not clinically significant. For both, the certainty of evidence is low. There is no evidence of benefit or detriment from AO on ADL and quality of life of people with stroke; however, the certainty of evidence is very low. As such, our confidence in the effect estimate is limited because it will likely change with future research.