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Motor Processes in Children's Mental Rotation


Frick, A; Daum, Moritz M; Walser, S; Mast, F W (2009). Motor Processes in Children's Mental Rotation. Journal of Cognition and Development, 10(1-2):18-40.

Abstract

Previous studies with adult human participants revealed that motor activities can influence mental rotation of body parts and abstract shapes. In this study, we investigated the influence of a rotational hand movement on mental rotation performance from a developmental perspective. Children at the age of 5, 8, and 11 years and adults performed a mental rotation task while simultaneously rotating their hand (guided by a handle). The direction of the manual rotation was either compatible or incompatible with the direction of the mental rotation. Response times increased with increasing stimulus orientation angles, indicating that participants of all age groups used mental rotation to perform the task. A differential effect of the compatibility of manual rotation and mental rotation was found for 5-year-olds and 8-year-olds, but not for 11-year-olds and adults. The results of this study suggest that the ability to dissociate motor from visual cognitive processes increases with age.

Abstract

Previous studies with adult human participants revealed that motor activities can influence mental rotation of body parts and abstract shapes. In this study, we investigated the influence of a rotational hand movement on mental rotation performance from a developmental perspective. Children at the age of 5, 8, and 11 years and adults performed a mental rotation task while simultaneously rotating their hand (guided by a handle). The direction of the manual rotation was either compatible or incompatible with the direction of the mental rotation. Response times increased with increasing stimulus orientation angles, indicating that participants of all age groups used mental rotation to perform the task. A differential effect of the compatibility of manual rotation and mental rotation was found for 5-year-olds and 8-year-olds, but not for 11-year-olds and adults. The results of this study suggest that the ability to dissociate motor from visual cognitive processes increases with age.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:January 2009
Deposited On:28 Feb 2010 12:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:57
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN:1524-8372
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/15248370902966719

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