IDEOMOTOR ACT (grech, idea idea, image, concept + lat. motor setting in motion; lat. actus the movement, activity) — the unconscious motor reaction arising in response to idea of the movement. Concept I. and. it was entered into psychology by W. James. Later And. and. began to treat more widely: reaction not only to idea of the movement, but also to representation in general (e.g., an ideomotor reflex of Piltts — a mydriasis in response to idea of a dark subject). Besides, in And. and. include not only actually the movement, but also tension of the corresponding muscles and even emergence of the nervous impulses addressed to these muscles at idea of the movement.
Basis for allocation And. and. its difference as from a usual reflex (lack of an objective irritant), and from strong-willed action (involuntary character) is. I. P. Pavlov described the phenomena And. and. as follows: «Long ago it was noticed and scientifically proved that, time you think of a certain movement (i.e. you have a kinestezichesky idea), you it involuntarily, it without noticing, you make».
According to P. K. Anokhin, not only And. and., but also any behavioural act goes idea of its results — acceptor of results of action (see). If the reality differs from this representation, then there is an aspiration to elimination of a mismatch, to change of this reality towards representation. In this sense representation is allocated with active motive power, edges and is shown in And. and.
In the medical practician I. and. it can be used for psychodiagnostics and psychotherapy. So, e.g., in the suggestibility test when the doctor inspires in the patient idea of falling, it is possible to see that the more «motive power» of this representation, i.e. rather it causes the valid falling, the higher suggestibility is considered (see. Hypnosis ). As many mimic movements are among And. and., on a look of the patient the keen observer can judge his hidden moods and thoughts. The possibility of electric registration of ideomotor impulses in principle opens perspectives of creation of the devices (e.g., prostheses) managed directly by a thought.
See also Reflex .
Bibliography: Anokhin P. K. Biology and neurophysiology of a conditioned reflex, M., 1968, bibliogr.; Pavlov I. P. Complete works, t. 3, book 2, page 316, M. — L., 1951.
G. Ts. Agayan.