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Debi Stransky, Adam Dubrowski, Heather Carnahan, Laurie Wilcox; Mental rotation: Cross-task training and generalization. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):650. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.6.650.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It is well established that performance on standard mental rotation tasks improves with training (McClurg & Chaille, 1987), but thus far there is little consensus regarding the degree of transfer to other tasks involving mental rotation. We assessed the effect of mental rotation training, on participants' Mental Rotation Test scores (Vandenberg and Kuse Test, Redrawn by Peters et al., 1995). Thirty participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: the two experimental groups received mental rotation training either on a single day or on two separate days; the control group received no training between MRT tests. Importantly, training involved a diverse set of tasks. Participants who received training achieved higher scores on the MRT after two sessions, an advantage that was still evident after a one-week retention period. Preliminary results from a follow-up study show that our mental rotation training paradigm also generalizes to complex sensory motor tasks. Taken together, our experiments show that mental rotation is a skill that can benefit from training on related but not identical visual-spatial activities (see also Feng et al, 2007). Further, our results suggest that to achieve generalized improvement, training should involve a variety of mental rotation tasks.
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