We've been seeing more interesting research studies looking into the the respective roles of visual and motor (or shall we say sensory-motor?) imagery. Although the full length paper is not freely accessible yet, the punchline for the study is that although visual and motor imagery are tightly coordinated in imagined activities like walking on a narrow plank, they were also distinguishable by difference types of interference (for instance engaging in motor tasks interfere with motor imagery). These results might have implications for the ways we should use imagery, learning environment, and understanding how different kinds of imagery work together.
Considering the importance of imagery to problem solving, it's surprising how little thought is given to its discussion in education. Sport coaches certainly use imagery a great deal, but imagery for sports achievement is different from imagery used for spatial problem solving, scientific or mathematical problem solving, and, well...you get the idea.
Although the numbers are still low, we were intrigued to see so far that 31% of poll respondants solve problems by visual imagery, while 20% are words, 17% symbols, 11%, hands-on. Because for many problem solving is nonverbal process, it might tell us why it can be hard to teach to others.
Visual and Motor ImageryAbstract