Music and movement in mind: Exploring vividness and use of imagery related to music and movement in people with Parkinson’s
School/Affiliation:University College Dublin & University of Toronto
Co-Authors:Judith Bek, Ellen Poliakoff, Michelle Phillips, William R Young, Dawn C Rose
Virtual or In-person:In-person
Background: Parkinson's disease affects multiple aspects of movement, impacting significantly on everyday tasks. Music is often used in interventions for people with Parkinson’s, either to pace movements or as an integral element of activities such as dance. This study explored self-reported vividness and use of two forms of imagery in people with Parkinson’s: (i) music-evoked motor imagery (imagined movement prompted by listening to music), and (ii) and musical auditory imagery (imagined music).
Method: Participants (N=199) completed an online survey, which included vividness ratings for music-evoked motor imagery and musical imagery, as well as ratings and open comments about whether and how they used these types of imagery in everyday life.
Results and discussion: Most participants experienced music-evoked motor imagery, but less than 20% actively used music to support motor imagery in daily activities. In contrast, participants reported a broad range of uses for musical imagery, from supporting movement to emotion regulation and concentration. Music-evoked motor imagery vividness correlated with measures of urge to dance and musical training, while the use of musical imagery was associated with singing ability. A minority reported not experiencing either motor or musical imagery, suggesting that interventions based on imagery may not be universally suitable. Nonetheless, even participants with more severe motor symptoms reported experiencing and using both imagery types, indicating promise for their strategic use at different stages of Parkinson’s.
Conclusion: Musical imagery and motor imagery have the potential, either separately or combined, to support rehabilitation strategies for Parkinson’s.