The mediating role of sex upon the relationship between mental imagery ability and movement skill acquisition rate

G. Lovell, D. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating role of sex on the relationship between movement mental imagery (MMI) ability and the rate of motor skill acquisition. 28 right handed subjects (14 males, 14 females) were categorised as high or low in MMI ability by the Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ). The experiment involved learning to reproduce, by use of a computer mouse, stimulus movement patterns presented on a computer monitor. Data were collected during acquisition, immediate recall, retention recall and transfer settings. Results from multivariate analyses of variance demonstrated significant MMI by Sex interactions for performance during the early stages of learning between subjects when categorised by both the kinaesthetic movement imagery (F(2, 23) = 3.52, p <0.05, power = 0.60) and visual movement imagery (F(2,23) = 5.58, p <0.05, power = 0.81) sub-scales of the MIQ. Further inspection revealed that the interaction was due to a significant positive relationship between MMI ability and acquisition rate for the males and a significant negative relationship for the females. The results lend further strength to the existence of an MMI ability and learning relationship, and suggest that males and females use differing cognitive strategies when learning visual-spatial skills which must be catered for when new skills are learnt through mental practice. © 1997 Teviot Scientific Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-210
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Human Movement Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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