Talk by Dr. Ellen Poliakoff (University of Manchester, UK)

Motor resonance and imagery in Parkinson’s disease
Ellen Poliakoff
© Ellen Poliakoff


People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are slow to initiate and execute movements, and often produce movements of smaller amplitude. These motor changes mean that the effects of observing actions during imitation may also be impaired in PD (see Poliakoff, 2013 for a review). On the other hand, therapeutic interventions involving imitation and action observation have the potential to facilitate movements in PD (Abbruzzese et al., 2015). My talk will cover recent work on motor resonance (automatic imitation), the enhancement of voluntary imitation through combined action observation and motor imagery (AO+MI) and a pilot therapeutic intervention (Bek et al., 2016).

Abbruzzese, G., Avanzino, L., Marchese, R., & Pelosin, E. (2015). Action observation and motor imagery: Innovative cognitive tools in the rehabilitation of Parkinson's disease. Parkinsons Disease, doi:10.1155/2015/124214

Bek, J., Webb, J., Gowen, E., Vogt, S., Crawford, T.J., Sullivan, M., Poliakoff, E. (2016). Patients’ views on a combined action observation and motor imagery intervention for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s Disease, article ID 7047910.

Poliakoff, E. (2013) Representation of action in Parkinson's disease: Imagining, observing and naming actions. Journal of Neuropsychology, 7, 241-254.