July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
A comparison between mental object and viewer rotation reveals a substantial difficulty for viewer rotations greater than 90°
Author Affiliations
  • Thitaporn Chaisilprungraung
    Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • David Rothlein
    Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • Michael McCloskey
    Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 678. doi:10.1167/13.9.678
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      Thitaporn Chaisilprungraung, David Rothlein, Michael McCloskey; A comparison between mental object and viewer rotation reveals a substantial difficulty for viewer rotations greater than 90°. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):678. doi: 10.1167/13.9.678.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

In mental object rotation tasks participants imagine an object rotating, whereas in mental viewer rotation tasks the participants imagine themselves moving around an object or scene. Given that the relative motion of the participant and object is the same, do imagined object rotations involve different cognitive processes than imagined viewer rotations? In three experiments, participants performed imagined object and viewer rotations on pictures of bilaterally asymmetric objects (e.g., a hammer) presented at oblique orientations. In the first experiment, participants drew the stimulus after imagined object rotations of 0°, 90°CW, 90°CCW or 180°. In the second experiment participants drew the stimulus after imagined viewer rotations of 0°, 90°CW, 90°CCW or 180°. Analyses of errors revealed that 180° viewer rotations were substantially more difficult than all other object or viewer rotations. A third experiment revealed that the difficulty extended to 135° viewer rotations. Interestingly, the difficulty for 135° and 180° viewer rotations was observed only when the correct response orientation was oblique, and not for cardinal response orientations. We interpret these findings within a theoretical framework that characterizes both object and viewer rotations as transformations over mental representations that specify the correspondence between two reference frames.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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