Continuous Repetition Motor Imagery Training and Physical Practice Training Exert the Growth of Fatigue and Its Effect on Performance

SOURCE: Brain Sciences. 12(8) (no pagination), 2022. Article Number: 1087.


AUTHORS: Nakashima A.; Moriuchi T.; Matsuda D.; Nakamura J.; Fujiwara K.; Ikio Y.; Hasegawa T.; Mitunaga W.; Higashi T.

ABSTRACT: Continuous repetition of motor imagery leads to mental fatigue. This study aimed to examine whether fatigue caused by motor imagery training affects improvement in performance and the change in corticospinal excitability. The participants were divided into “”physical practice training”” and “”motor imagery training”” groups, and a visuomotor task (set at 50% of maximal voluntary contraction in participants) was performed to assess the training effect on fatigue. The measurements were recorded before and after training. Corticospinal excitability at rest was measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation according to the Neurophysiological Index. Subjective mental fatigue and muscle fatigue were assessed by using the visual analog scale and by measuring the pinch force, respectively. Additionally, the error area was evaluated and calculated at pre-, mid-, and post-terms after training, using a visuomotor task. After training, muscle fatigue, subjective mental fatigue, and decreased corticospinal excitability were noted in both of the groups. Moreover, the visuomotor task decreased the error area by training; however, there was no difference in the error area between the mid- and post-terms. In conclusion, motor imagery training resulted in central fatigue by continuous repetition, which influenced the improvement in performance in the same manner as physical practice training.