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ERIC Number: EJ1008652
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Think Spatial: The Representation in Mental Rotation Is Nonvisual
Liesefeld, Heinrich R.; Zimmer, Hubert D.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v39 n1 p167-182 Jan 2013
For mental rotation, introspection, theories, and interpretations of experimental results imply a certain type of mental representation, namely, visual mental images. Characteristics of the rotated representation can be examined by measuring the influence of stimulus characteristics on rotational speed. If the amount of a given type of information influences rotational speed, one can infer that it was contained in the rotated representation. In Experiment 1, rotational speed of university students (10 men, 11 women) was found to be influenced exclusively by the amount of represented orientation-dependent spatial-relational information but not by orientation-independent spatial-relational information, visual complexity, or the number of stimulus parts. As information in mental-rotation tasks is initially presented visually, this finding implies that at some point during each trial, orientation-dependent information is extracted from visual information. Searching for more direct evidence for this extraction, we recorded the EEG of another sample of university students (12 men, 12 women) during mental rotation of the same stimuli. In an early time window, the observed working memory load-dependent slow potentials were sensitive to the stimuli's visual complexity. Later, in contrast, slow potentials were sensitive to the amount of orientation-dependent information only. We conclude that only orientation-dependent information is contained in the rotated representation. (Contains 10 figures, 2 tables, and 10 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China