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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00382

Dynamic Neuro-Cognitive Imagery (DNI)™ Improves Developpé Performance, Kinematics, and Mental Imagery Ability in University-Level Dance Students.

  • 1Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, United States
  • 2Department of Dance, University of Georgia, United States
  • 3Department of Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • 4Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation, Atlanta VA Health Care System, United States


Dance requires optimal range-of-motion and cognitive abilities. Mental imagery is a recommended, yet under-researched, training method for enhancing both of these. This study investigated the effect of Dynamic Neuro-Cognitive Imagery (DNI™) training on developpé performance (measured by gesturing ankle height and self-reported observations) and kinematics (measured by hip and pelvic range-of-motion), as well as on dance imagery abilities. Thirty-four university-level dance students (M age = 19.70 + 1.57) were measured performing three developpé tasks (i.e., 4 repetitions, 8 consecutive seconds hold, and single repetition) at three time-points (2 x pre-, 1 x post-intervention). Data were collected using three-dimensional motion capture, mental imagery questionnaires, and subjective reports. Following the DNI™ intervention, significant increases (p < .01) were detected in gesturing ankle height, as well as in hip flexion and abduction range-of-motion, without significant changes in pelvic alignment. These gains were accompanied by self-reported decrease (p < .05) in level of difficulty experienced and significant improvements in kinesthetic (p < .05) and dance (p < .01) imagery abilities. This study provides evidence for the motor and non-motor benefits of DNI™ training in university-level dance students.

Keywords: Mental Imagery, dance, Range-of-motion, dynamic neuro-cognitive imagery, training, developpé, kinematics.

Received: 28 Feb 2018; Accepted: 07 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Adelaida María A. Castro Sánchez, University of Almería, Spain

Reviewed by:

Glenna Batson, Wake Forest University, United States
Bernadette A. Murphy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada  

Copyright: © 2019 Abraham, Gose, Schindler, Nelson and Hackney. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Amit Abraham, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Atlanta, United States,