Theoretical and Practical Problems for Imagery in Stroke Rehabilitation: An Observation Solution

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Abstract

Imagery has been recommended increasingly for use in rehabilitation programs for individuals following a stroke. Frequently, this use is based on the premise that imagery is associated with neural activity in the brain similar to that occurring during the overt behavior and that this isomorphism will benefit the individual. There is evidence that imagery does share neural correlates with the perceptual behavior. However, to optimize and to make functional use of the equivalence, a number of factors need to be considered. Because many of these factors have been omitted from previous research designs, it may be premature to make claims for the success of imagery in the context of stroke rehabilitation. An observation-based approach is proposed to address some of the concerns.

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