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Motor imagery when watching dance in people with and without Parkinson’s disease

Motor imagery when watching dance in people with and without Parkinson’s disease

Name:Judith Bek

School/Affiliation:University College Dublin & University of Toronto

Co-Authors:Ashkan Karimi (presenting), Rebecca Barnstaple, Udichi Das, Danai Kokkinopoulou, Susan Marsh-Rollo, Xianze Meng, Jianna Neufeld, Devki Patel, Laurel J Trainor, Jody White Van de Klippe, Joseph FX DeSouza, Judith Bek

Virtual or In-person:In-person


Introduction. Dance and music activate multiple neural pathways and can provide therapeutic effects for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Recent findings indicate that long-term dance participation may slow symptom progression[1], but little is known about neural mechanisms underlying effects of dance for PD.
Motor simulation through observation and imagery of movement may contribute to effects of dance in people with PD[2,3]. These processes are widely used within dance and are known to activate the brain’s motor system and facilitate movement.
Methods. Participants with PD (n=8) and without PD (n=12) attended a 2-part study. In Part 1, participants watched a dance choreography performed by an instructor while their brain activity was recorded with EEG. In Part 2, participants watched and performed the choreography, while movement was recorded with a motion capture system. In both parts, the dance was performed first without and then with imagery instructions and narrative. Participants rated their use and vividness of imagery when watching the dance.
Results and Conclusions. Participants without PD reported increased kinesthetic imagery vividness when watching and performing dance (Part 2) than when watching only (Part 1), while participants with PD did not show any significant change in vividness. However, a general measure of motor imagery vividness (KVIQ) did not differ between groups in visual or kinesthetic modalities. These findings suggest that PD may affect the ability to generate kinesthetic imagery during dance. Analysis of EEG and motion capture data will provide further insights into motor simulation when watching and participating in dance.

Key references:
1. Bearss KA, Desouza JFX. Parkinson’s Disease Motor Symptom Progression Slowed with Multisensory Dance Learning over 3-Years: A Preliminary Longitudinal Investigation. 2021. doi:10.3390/brainsci11070895
2. Bek J, Groves M, Leventhal D, Poliakoff E. Dance at home for people with Parkinson’s during COVID-19 and beyond: Participation, perceptions, and prospects. Front Neurol. 2021. https://doi.10.3389/fneur.2021.678124
3. Bek J, Arakaki AI, Lawrence A, Sullivan M, Ganapathy G, Poliakoff E. Dance and Parkinson’s: A review and exploration of the role of cognitive representations of action. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2020. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.12.023

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