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The goal of the study was to investigate whether motor imagery (MI) could be observed in cerebral palsy (CP) participants presenting a bilateral affected body side (diplegia) as it has been previously revealed in participants presenting a unilateral body affected sided (hemiplegia). MI capacity for walking was investigated in CP adolescents diagnosed with hemiplegia (n = 10) or diplegia (n = 10) and in adolescents with typical motor development (n = 10). Participants were explicitly asked to imagine walking before and after actually walking toward a target located at 4 m and 8 m. Movement durations for executed and imagined trials were recorded. ANOVA and Pearson's correlation analyses revealed the existence of time invariance between executed and imagined movement durations for the control group and both groups of CP participants. However, results revealed that MI capacity in CP participants was observed for the short distance (4 m) but not for the long distance (8 m). Moreover, even for short distance, CP participants performed worse than typical adolescents. These results are discussed inline of recent researches suggesting that MI in CP participants may not depend on the side of the lesion.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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