Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Re: [NASP-Listserv] iPost: Special JID issue on Gv (visual-spatial abilities)

I have found that the best way to keep up is to transform the articles to audio and listen on the fly. I think there was some discussion about this on the listserv in the past.
Moshe Landsman
Dir. Arara School psyc services

On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 7:02 AM, Earthlink <iap@earthlink.net> wrote:

Damn. This looks excellent. Where can I find the time to read all these articles dealing with contemporary visual-spatial (Gv - especially Vz or mental rotation abilities)  processing and assessment?

So much data and enticing readings--so little time. I wish I could take a sabbatical just to do research, read and write. 

Journal of Individual Differences - Vol 31, Iss 2

Ecological aspects of mental rotation around the vertical and horizontal axis.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Battista, Christian; Peters, Michael

Rotation of both natural and man-made objects most commonly requires rotation around the vertical rather than the horizontal axis because it is relatively rare that we need to rotate, e.g., trees, mountains, chairs or vehicles around their horizontal axis in order to match images to their canonical orientation. Waszak, Drewing, and Mausfeld (2005) demonstrated the importance of a gravitationally defined vertical axis and the visual context within which objects occur, when performing mental rotations. We extended their findings in a between-subject design by asking 406 subjects to rotate wireframe cube figures around either the vertical axis or around the horizontal axis. Both male and female subjects performed significantly better when rotating objects around the vertical axis. Males performed better than females in both conditions, and there was no interaction between axis of rotation and sex. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Gender differences in the mental rotations test are partly explained by response format.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Glück, Judith; Fabrizii, Claudia

Gender differences in the Mental Rotations Test (Vandenberg &; Kuse, 1978) are larger than in virtually all other spatial tests and have been highly robust over decades. Several possible explanations for this phenomenon have been proposed. This research tests the hypothesis that the gender differences are partly due to the response format of the MRT (two out of four responses correct in each item). This format, in combination with the high time pressure of the MRT, may be particularly conducive to the performance of highly confident (i.e., frequently male) participants who use "quick-and-dirty" response strategies. In study of 288 students, a new MRT version was used in which a variable number of 0 to 4 alternatives per item were correct. Gender differences were significantly smaller than in the standard MRT. In particular, the performance of highly confident male participants was markedly lower than in the standard MRT. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Pairwise presentation of cube figures does not reduce gender differences in mental rotation performance.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Titze, Corinna; Heil, Martin; Jansen, Petra

Gender differences still are one of the main topics in mental rotation research. Quite a number of different approaches aim to uncover the reasons for the substantial effect sizes observed. In this paper, we focus on the performance factor task complexity, which may contribute to gender differences. A pairwise paper-pencil presentation mode—using the original but rearranged items of the classic MRT by Peters et al. (1995)—was chosen to investigate mental rotation performance of adults. A total of 72 participants were asked to complete a complexity reduced version of the MRT: They had to complete simple "same-different" judgments without any time constraints instead of regular "two-out-of-four-alternatives" choices. Results revealed that the reduction of complexity did not affect the gender differences at all: Men outperformed women in both accuracy and speed. The reasons for these results are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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The solution strategy as an indicator of the developmental stage of preschool children's mental-rotation ability.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Quaiser-Pohl, Claudia; Rohe, Anna M.; Amberger, Tobias

The solution strategies of preschool children solving mental-rotation tasks were analyzed in two studies. In the first study n = 111 preschool children had to demonstrate their solution strategy in the Picture Rotation Test (PRT) items by thinking aloud; seven different strategies were identified. In the second study these strategies were confirmed by latent class analysis (LCA) with the PRT data of n = 565 preschool children. In addition, a close relationship was found between the solution strategy and children's age. Results point to a stage model for the development of mental-rotation ability as measured by the PRT, going from inappropriate strategies like guessing or comparing details, to semiappropriate approaches like choosing the stimulus with the smallest angle discrepancy, to a holistic or analytic strategy. A latent transition analysis (LTA) revealed that the ability to mentally rotate objects can be influenced by training in the preschool age. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Does children's left hemisphere lateralization during mental rotation depend upon the stimulus material?

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Lange, Léonie F.; Heil, Martin; Jansen, Petra

Recent publications suggest that there is a developmental-based change of lateralization of brain activity during mental rotation from left to bilateral. But it is an open question whether this left hemisphere activation could also be observed with stimuli other than characters. To test this, behavioral data and event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured in 28 children, 28 juveniles, and 28 adults during a mental rotation task with animal drawings. The results showed that reaction times (RTs) and error rates decreased with the increasing age of the participants. Furthermore, RTs and error rates increased with increasing angular disparity. An unlateralized ERP amplitude modulation at parietal electrodes as a function of angular disparity was present in all age groups. These results contrast former studies revealing a left lateralization in children when characters were used as stimuli for mental rotation. Left hemisphere activation is therefore not a general developmental trend; rather, it is suggested that it might be a correlate of written language acquisition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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The neural network of spatial cognition and its modulation by biological and environmental factors.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Jordan, Kirsten; Wüstenberg, Torsten

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the question, if the neural spatial cognition network is modulated by biological (Sex) and environmental factors (Experience, Spatial Component). Sex and Experience modulate response selection and motor imagery. Both Spatial Component and Experience are strongly related to brain activity in visual areas. The interaction between Spatial Component and Experience revealed that high spatial experience and significant better performance in the mental rotation task are related to task-specific neural changes. We conclude that brain areas involved in perceptual and motor processes are associated with the investigated factors Sex, Spatial Component, and Experience. The neural activity in core regions of the spatial cognition network seems to be associated with specific performance changes. Further studies should examine whether these results are specific to our spatial tasks or can be generalized to other cognitive tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Effects of age and sex in mental rotation and spatial learning from virtual environments.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Schoenfeld, Robby; Lehmann, Wolfgang; Leplow, Bernd

The study examined the age and sex effects in spatial learning and mental rotation in 58 adults. We developed two new spatial learning tasks using virtual reality (VR): a navigation task and a pointing task. The results show that younger adults outperformed older adults in both virtual tasks but not in mental rotation. Males outperformed females in the navigation task and mental rotation. We conclude that age generally drives differences in spatial learning, and that sex drives differences in spatial abilities, which were especially related to ability in navigating through virtual environments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Use of strategy in a 3-dimensional spatial ability test.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Strasser, Irene; Koller, Ingrid; Strauß, Sabine; Csisinko, Mathis; Kaufmann, Hannes; Glück, Judith

Use of strategy was investigated using a new spatial test in which items are presented in three-dimensional space and solutions are actively constructed rather than selected from alternatives. As the final test also comprises a training module, the focus of a first evaluation study was on the strategies participants use and their relationship to performance. Participants were interviewed after completing the test. The number of strategies reported and two specific strategies were significantly correlated to the test score. Implications of the findings for strategy assessment and test design are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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On the robustness of solution strategy classifications: Testing the stability of dynamic spatial tasks on a one-year test-retest basis.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Contreras, María José; Rubio, Víctor J.; Peña, Daniel; Santacreu, José

Individual differences in performance when solving spatial tasks can be partly explained by differences in the strategies used. Two main difficulties arise when studying such strategies: the identification of the strategy itself and the stability of the strategy over time. In the present study strategies were separated into three categories: segmented (analytic), holistic-feedback dependent, and holistic-planned, according to the procedure described by Peña, Contreras, Shih, and Santacreu (2008). A group of individuals were evaluated twice on a 1-year test-retest basis. During the 1-year interval between tests, the participants were not able to prepare for the specific test used in this study or similar ones. It was found that 60% of the individuals kept the same strategy throughout the tests. When strategy changes did occur, they were usually due to a better strategy. These results prove the robustness of using strategy-based procedures for studying individual differences in spatial tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Map understanding as a developmental marker in childhood.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Peter, Michael; Glück, Judith; Beiglböck, Wolfgang

A new test on map understanding for preschool and elementary-school children was constructed based on a Piagetian framework of the development of spatial ability and representational understanding. Results from a study with 95 3- to 6-year-old children are reported. The developmental trajectories for the performance components confirmed the construction rules and were explainable by Piagetian developmental stages. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Spatial tests, familiarity with the surroundings, and spatial activity experience: How do they contribute to children's spatial orientation in macro environments?

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Neidhardt, Eva; Popp, Michael

Spatial orientation as the ability to know the bearing to the origin of a walked path was investigated in two studies with ca. 140 preschool and primary school children who walked paths of about 1 km beginning at the familiar kindergarten or in a completely unknown territory. Path difficulty and familiarity with the surroundings influenced correctness of pointing. Spatial ability measured by test performance and spatial activity experience, i.e., children's reports about unsupervised walks, effected pointing accuracy as well. The data emphasize that spatial activity experience may be an important factor for spatial orientation beyond kindergarten age. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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New approaches to studying individual differences in spatial abilities.

Sun, May 30 2010 5:00 PM 
by Glück, Judith; Quaiser-Pohl, Claudia; Neubauer, Aljoscha C.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, interest in spatial ability research in psychology has not been particularly high, and the field was progressing slowly:Empirical findings were largely correlational and rarely exceeded the ".30 barrier" so characteristic of many methodologically neglected fields in empirical psychology. Recently, however, interest seems to be increasing again, one reason being the growing availability of virtual-reality methods that enable researchers to study spatial cognition in the laboratory in completely new ways. Other methodological advances concern the measurement of brain activity while solving spatial tasks and the study of spatial abilities in very young children. Thus, the ".30 barrier" may be overcome through the development of innovative data-collection as well as statistical methods that offer researchers new possibilities to study both inter- and intraindividual differences. By featuring some of these new developments, we hope that this special issue will stimulate new research efforts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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