Objective: This paper reported on the application of mental imagery to the relearning of daily task performance in people with brain injury. Method: The changes in two subjects who had suffered from cerebral infarction shown throughout a 3-week mental imagery programme were described. The subjects' improvement in task performance and other clinical outcomes illustrated the programme's therapeutic effects on skill relearning, maintenance and generalization. Results: After completing the programme, the subjects showed improvements in performance at both the trained and untrained tasks. Feedback from the patients also suggested its ability to enhance their day-to-day functioning. Clinical assessment results indicated that the subjects experienced an increase in the attention and sequential processing functions but not in the motor and other cognitive functions. Conclusion: Mental imagery appears to be effective at enhancing the task relearning of subjects after brain injury. The skills acquired under this treatment regime can be retained and then generalized to other tasks. Its therapeutic effect is probably mediated by the improved attention and planning and execution functions associated with the rehearsal. Further research should conduct clinical controlled trials to gather evidence on its efficacy at promoting functional regain in people suffering from neurological disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Neurology