Spaceflight

The researcher did research on, spaceflight is that astronauts do not feel the effects of gravity and therefore experience a weightlessness sensation, also called zero gravity or microgravity. Technically, escaping the bonds of gravity; which can simulate in parabolic flights; is to disrupt both vestibular and proprioceptive systems with symptoms including confusion in the sense of up and down affecting the body schema; the body orientation, and motor control.

Furthermore, additional long-term consequences of extended missions in space include bones weakening (osteoporosis); loss of muscle mass, strength, and endurance, and decrease of blood volume and immunodeficiency. Neural studies further revealed changes in the patterns of brain activation after long missions in space. For instance, reported narrowing of the central sulcus and the cerebrospinal fluid spaces at the vertex; in addition to an upward shift of the brain, which may cause visual impairment and intracranial pressure syndrome.

Exposure to microgravity

Motor imagery should ideally perform before, during, and after exposure to microgravity to prepare for the lack of gravity; counteract the effects of weightlessness and promote the re-adaptation to nor gravity. A quite similar theoretical viewpoint had been nicely proposed by; who more specifically focused on the preparation period a few days before landing. These authors developed two phases of individual MI training program to reach an optimal level of preparation before exposure to microgravity.

In the first phase, astronauts should familiarize with MI and develop their MI ability; concurrently with physical practice. Practically, programs might incorporate MI of exercises related to conditions encountered during the forthcoming flight. The second step would be scheduled a few days just before landing and improve performance of astronauts upon return to Earth. Whereby MI might used and provide before landing and improve performance of astronauts; upon return to Earth benefits such as during and after the flight should certainly extend at other times.

Different imaging modalities

MI is a multimodal construct and should ideally combine the different imaging modalities; including visual imagery through the first and third-person perspectives, as well as kinesthetic imagery. As mentioned previously, this latter form of imagery practice, which requires to feel sensations usually elicited by the action; including force and balance, may of particular interest during and after the flight, while external visual imagery may more relevant before the flight.

Overall, future experimental studies are certainly needs and to confirm all expected and theoretical beneficial effects discussed in the present paper. Developing MI ability might relevant for ongoing space tourism or personal spaceflight projects, which begin to appear for leisure or business purposes.