Mental Rehearsal (under whichever guise it is used) is a training technique essential to anyone who wants to perform to the best of their ability. I’ve posted on it before eg in The Psychology of Performance and Stronger, fitter, faster & more skillful just by thinking?…….Motor Imagery, and the techniques are used in all areas of elite performance be it business, sport, music or beyond.
The issue is that, while we know it works and we have well refined techniques for its use, the understanding of how it works is not so good. I recently read about work being done at Stanford University using brain-machine interfaces that is hoping to develop our understanding of the neural mechanics behind mental rehearsal. By using a machine that can detect electrical activity in the brain, people (and often in research monkeys) can learn to play games on a computer simply by thinking. The researchers, in this case, are hoping to use brain-machine interfaces to be able to better understand how our brains use mental rehearsal to improve. This would then pave the way for them to be able to make the current mental rehearsal techniques we have even more potent. If you’re interested in learning more, click the link below to be redirected to an article on some of the research I’ve been reading:
This kind of research is an exciting prospect if it can make the techniques we utilise even more effective. In the meantime, make sure you’re making the best of the techniques we currently have.
If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.