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Training Videos Seem to Boost Brain Activity

Stroke patients, others who must relearn motor skills might benefit from findings, researchers say

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In other words, these mirror neurons might help people learn new skills through observation and imitation.

Although the Italian researchers were specifically interested in the use of these videos in brain rehabilitation, Finney said their findings could apply to anyone preparing to try something new.

"It does suggest that this may be a good way to start," he said. "Especially for people who aren't ready to do the actual activity, it may be the best way to prepare."

But, he added, observation has its limits when it comes to training.

"We certainly know this kind of training is not enough in and of itself to learn new abilities," Finney said. "Otherwise we'd all be skiing like Olympians."

Data and conclusions presented at meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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