Motor imagery is the mental execution of a movement without any overt movement or without any peripheral (muscle) activation. It has been shown that motor imagery leads to the activation of the same brain areas as actual movement.
Information from both the internal (inside the body) and external environments, in the form of light, heat, pressure, taste, and smell is detected by sensory neurons. Motor neurons carry impulses from the brain to the body. Movement of muscles and secretion of glands is controlled by motor neurons.
Reinhold Scherer, Carmen Vidaurre, in Smart Wheelchairs and Brain-Computer Interfaces, 2018 The term motor imagery (MI) refers to the mental simulation of body movements.