• Bárbara de Paula Ferreira Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Nathálya Gardênia de Holanda Marinho Nogueira Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Guilherme Menezes Lage Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • João Roberto Ventura de Oliveira Universidade Estadual de Minas Gerais, Ibirité, Brazil
  • Tércio Apolinário-Souza Instituto Metodista Izabela Hendrix, Belo Horizonte, Brazil



handstand skill, mental practice, forgetfulness, memory consolidation, cognitive processes


Parallel to processes of memory consolidation, forgetting is a functional mechanism that allows the maintenance of relevant information or learning in memory. Practice condition can affect the forgetting rate, favouring or not memory consolidation. Physical practice has been shown to be effective in decreasing forgetting, but the role of mental practice is not known yet. Thus, in this study, we aimed to investigate the role of mental practice in the forgetting rate of a motor skill. Twenty-four participants with the mean age of 26.13 years (± 3.04) of both genders were divided into three groups: (a) mental practice group (MG); physical practice group (PG) which practised the handstand skill either mentally or physically, respectively, and (c) control group (CG) that did not practice the skill. Results showed no difference between the forgetting rate of MG and PG. Also, they had forgetting rates lower than CG. Thus, it is suggested that mental practice is as effective as physical practice to decrease the forgetting rate of motor skills, favouring the maintenance of the movement representation in memory. Possibly, physical and mental practice conditions share mechanisms that slow down forgetting processes.


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