Psychophysiological Coherence as a Function of Mental Imagery Practice

Publication Info: 
imagination Cognition and Personality, Vol.31, No. 4 - 2011-2012
Pub. Date Description: 
Nov/Dec 2012
Publication Date: 

In this experimental study, we explored effects of mental imagery practice

on psychophysiological coherence, measured as heart rhythm coherence.

A total of 82 undergraduates participated in the study and were randomly

assigned to mental imagery, thought monitoring, and control groups. The

experiment took a period of 3 weeks, during which the first group regularly

practiced two imagery exercises, and the second group practiced a thought

monitoring exercise. Participants in all three groups visited a lab, twice a

week, where their heart rhythm coherence was measured by a device that

monitors heart rate variability. Results showed significant increases in

heart rhythm coherence as a function of mental imagery practice.

The effects of thought monitoring practice were much more limited.