Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Physical Therapy


Michael Chiacchiero

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy


Motor imagery (MI) is the mental representation of movement without any body movement. Action observation (AO) is a non-physical method of training, in which the learner observes the action of another individual. Eighteen subjects between ages 60-80 were randomly assigned to 3 training groups, the MI, AO and motor training groups. All subjects were assessed and measured with the Expanded Timed-Get Up and Go (TUG) test and Figure-8-Walk (F8W) test. All three groups yielded a significant improvement in difference in total TUG time (<0.05). When individual aspects of the TUG were considered, the sit to stand component improved in the MI and Motor groups. The results of this study suggest that MI and AO can improve cadence and have an effect mirroring that of motor practice. If utilized properly, MI and AO may be indicated as a rehabilitation intervention adjunct to gait training, and potentially decrease the risk of falls in the elderly population.