It's clear that we all have an internal representation of our own bodies, Coslett says. We need that very specific sense of ourselves to understand how much space we take up — so we can walk and not bump into things, or perform simple tasks, like reaching out a hand and picking up a coffee cup. Studies show that this internal sense of oneself is a powerful thing. Research on what neurologists call motor imagery indicates that the same neurological networks are used both to imagine movement, and to actually move. And imagining a movement over and over can have the same effect on our brains as practicing it physically — as well as lead to similar improvements in performance.