Effect of a fatiguing protocol on motor imagery accuracy

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2005 Oct;95(2-3):186-90. doi: 10.1007/s00421-005-1400-x. Epub 2005 Jul 8.


This study was devised to evaluate the influence of muscle fatigue on athletes' ability to perform motor imagery. Performance impairment is a consequence of fatigue, but alterations on perception and mental activity may also occur. To test whether peripheral fatigue affects mental processes, ten sports students imagined three consecutive countermovement jumps before and after a fatiguing protocol, through repetition of upright movements, at 70% of maximal voluntary contraction, until exhaustion. Autonomic nervous system responses and imagined movement durations were considered the dependent variables. Actual duration was systematically overestimated during both visual and kinesthetic imagery, but motor imagery duration and autonomic responses were similar without and under fatigue. Results suggest that muscle fatigue, unlike fatigue induced by prolonged exercise, does not elicit mental fatigue and therefore does not alter motor imagery accuracy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eidetic Imagery / physiology*
  • Electric Impedance
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*