The Effects of Internal Representations on Performance and Fluidity in a Motor Task

Oliver Runswick, Hettie Roebuck

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Individuals can differ in the mode in which they experience conscious thought. These differences in visualisation and verbalisation can also be evident during motor control. The Internal Representation Questionnaire (IRQ) was developed to measure propensity to engage certain types of representations, but its ability to predict motor control and links to reinvestment and motor imagery have not been tested. 159 included participants completed the IRQ, movement specific reinvestment scale (MSRS), and a novel online motor task before and after a period of practice. Results showed that the IRQ Verbal and Orthographic factors were significant predictors of scores on the MSRS. The IRQ factor of Manipulational Representations predicted motor performance both before and after practice. The fluidity of executed movements were predicted by the IRQ verbalisation factor where higher propensity to verbalise was associated with higher levels of jitter, but only after a period of practice. Results suggest there may be some informative conceptual overlap between internal verbalisations and reinvestment and that the propensity to manipulate internal representations may be predictive of motor performance in new tasks. The IRQ has potential to be a valuable tool for predicting motor performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-814
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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