Action Observation Therapy

Action Observation Therapy (AOT) is a physical rehabilitation approach in which the individual observes someone else exhibiting purposeful actions with the intention of imitating and then executing the same actions. This safe technique can be performed without expensive and complicated equipment and requires minimal therapist supervision. Research shows that observing an action activates similar brain areas as the brain area for performing that same action. This helps the planning of motor functions and neuroplasticity; this may favor movement recovery after stroke.

There are no specific techniques required for practicing Action Observation Therapy, but these are the two main steps:

  1. Observe an action being performed, either through a live demonstration or a video.

  2. Attempt the same action that was observed.

Mancuso, M. (n.d.). Action Observation Therapy for Upper Limb Recovery in Patients with Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. MDPI.

Action Observation Therapy. (2023). Physiopedia.