Action, observation and mental imagery: Can one implicitly learn in all cases?

Abstract : This experiment is aimed to study if an implicit learning can take place when participants practice, observe or mentally imagine regular displacements of a target in a Serial Reaction Time task (SRT). The results indicate that participants who really practice the task, and participants who realized motor imagery and also participants who made observation, learned the sequence, contrary to the participants who only made visual imagery. Indeed, times on target of these participants decrease significantly when a new sequence is introduced, which is not the case for the participants of the visual imagery condition. However, the results obtained with the recognition test do not enable us to definitively conclude about the nature of the learning (implicit vs. explicit). Finally, this study highlights that the motor imagery condition gives performance similar to those obtained in practice and in observation conditions, which represents an interesting contribution in the field of the psychology of the sport and cognitive psychology.
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Stephanie Chambaron, Bruno Berberian, Dominique Ginhac, Laure Delbecque, Axel Cleeremans. Action, observation and mental imagery: Can one implicitly learn in all cases?. Annee Psychologique, Centre Henri Pieron/Armand Colin, 2010, 110 (03), pp.351-364. ⟨10.4074/S0003503310003027⟩. ⟨hal-00704291⟩

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