mental rotation

AbstractMental rotation is test of intelligence just like when we take our S.A.T.

exams, Psychological exams and Entrance exams. This paper wishes to define what mental rotation is. This paper starts by defining what mental rotation is, why there are people who dedicate their lives into studying this types of things. This paper gave some teenagers and a few adults some mental rotation tests, the results will be discussed with in the paper as well.

IntroductionOur society has always been obsessed with competing against one another in everything we do. We find false pride in out doing our friends which is called friendly rivalry, we also have sibling rivalry, and the office rivalry. Even at S.A.

T. exams at when we were kids and teenagers we would try to be the best to out do every one. But it is human nature isn’t it? Who are we do question that? This paper’s topic is about mental rotation. All of us at some point hand encountered it, and to a certain extent we know what mental rotation is.

It is in the portion of our S.A.T exams, Psychological exams, and Entrance exams. You may ask what part we did mental rotation.

We did mental rotation   on the part that was entitled abstract reasoning. Yup that is the one, abstract reasoning. For a clearer example of mental rotation, watch the television series bones.The team from the Jeffersonian Institute has this nice little computer program that can predict what happened to the person murdered and gives of a hologram image of what happened.

This is the same concept with mental rotation, its just we are given the object before we it is twisted and rotated. We are to predict the next form that the object is going to take. That is mental rotation.There are some of us that may ask what the importance of mental rotation in our lives is.

Mental rotation is a test in our prowess of observation and perception. As human beings we can be very impulsive at times, especially when emotions are running high. Mental rotation helps us observe the slightest details and changes that can happen to a person when that person is angry, jealous or even lying. By sharpening our mental rotation skills we can detect even the slightest change in the pattern of the behavior of a person that we know.

Mental rotation also sharpens our perception skills, of course mental rotation and perception occurs at the same part of the Brian. It helps us predict what will happen next if we make a move. This paper is not saying that by sharpening our mental rotating skills, we gain ESP. No that’s not it at all, we just learn to read others more properly.

That is what mental rotation exercises gives to us. That is why we should understand what mental rotation is.This paper covers the basic definition of what mental rotation is. It also explains how mental rotation works and the people that discovered and is striving to improve mental rotation.

The readings about mental rotation are not very easy to find, and test subjects are even harder to come by. As the readings are concern the researcher had to look at other alternative names in which to look at. There is a lot of related material on this topic. The teenage test subjects usually say that they needed to relax because its summer and answering a test is not part of their summer plans.

The working would give reasons like they are in a hurry to get back to work. But the researcher has got it done. The results will be discussed in the later part of the paper.The main problem of the paper besides the people taking it for granted is what is the purpose of mental rotation? In all the readings that the researcher has read there are three hypothesizes that this paper will one to prove and they are (1) that is a talent anyone can develop, (2) it helps us in a lot of ways, (3) we can improve with practice.

Related Literature ReviewMental RotationMental rotation is the ability to rotate mental representations of two dimensional and three dimensional objects. This usually takes place in the right cerebral hemisphere, it is the same area that perception occurs. According to Johnson (1990), mental rotation can be separated in to five cognitive stages. These five stages are (1) Create a mental image of the object, (2) rotate the object mentally until a comparison can be made, (3) make the comparison, (4) decide if the objects are the same or not and lastly (5) report the discussion.

How is it to asses’ mental rotation ability? It is fairly simple according to the article that the researcher read. People who are taking a mental rotation test are given a set of figures to compare, which they can rotate to certain amount of degrees namely 0 degree, 60 degree, 120 degrees, or 180 degrees which allows them to find the pair of the objects. The objects rotated can be 2 dimensional, or 3 dimensional but never a human body part. In another study, it will be harder for people to imagine a human body part in mental rotation because we have a preconceive notion of how our bones.

It will be hard to imagine a bone distorted in a unnatural way with out it being broken. The study also proves that the subject was slower in rotation the figure rather that 2 or 3 dimensional objects. The test subjects will be judged by how accurate and rapid they can be differentiated between the mirrored and non-mirrored images.     A New Spin on Mental RotationAccording to this paper Cooper (1975) gave the world two new experiments which seems to demonstrate that human subject generally possessed a “mental imagery” and that one of the architectural features of this faculty was the ability to rotate images.

This was being contradicted by the legacy of Locke’s Empricism which states that no though was possible without images, and the controversy concerned the question whether “imageless thought” is possible.The paper that the researcher was using examined Cooper’s paradigm examples more closely. They found out that experiment 1 demonstrates that when subjects were presented with two random Attenuate forms, one of which has been rotated clockwise or counter clockwise by one of several possible angular deviations from upright, and optionally reflected, the time required by subjects to decide whether the form was reflected or not was a linear function of the absolute angular deviation.  Also in experiment 1 the amount of rotation is not specified in advance, and the subject’s task is to discover the appropriate amount of rotation in order that the comparison can be made.

Meaning that the subjects’ analysis is equal to the amount of rotation so that it can be traced back to its original form. To claim that the rotation could be accomplished in a single step gives the question how subjects could know the target orientation without some kind of systematic search..The 2nd experiment The same subjects were instructed to mentally rotate a given form by specific amount, then signal their readiness at this point, the second form was presented in specified orientation, and they were to decide whether the second form was reflected or not.

According to theorists like Kosslyn in 1980 to be no principled reason why these models should incrementally rotate their representations, rather than simply jumping to the required orientation in a single step.Notable ResearchesRoger Shepard and Jacqueline Metzler in 1971 was the original discoverers of mental rotation. The research they did showed the reaction time for the participants to decide if the pairs of items matched or not was linearly proportional to the angel of rotation from its original position.Another research that Shepard made along with Cooper this time in 1982 have propose the concept of “mental imagery” facility, which is responsible for the ability to mentally rotate visual forms.

It has also been found out that it does not matter on which axis the object is rotated on, but rather what is significant is the degree on which the object is rotated which affects the response time. Then the conclusion to the matching requires more time as the amount of depth rotation increases, just for within the depth plane.According to Sternberg (247) it has been found that response time increases for degraded stimuli and can decrease when participants are allowed to practice mentally rotating imagery has been instrumental in showing how people use mental representation to navigate their environments. Sternberg (247) also sates that the more the object has been rotated from the original form the longer it takes for an individual to determine if the images are of the same object or enantiomorphs.

Recent StudiesIn our medical science fields, psychologists have discovered what parts of the Brain corresponds to the use of this mental imagery function. With the use of a machine called Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, psychologist have shown that when participants who are performing a mental rotation tasks, there is an activation in the 7 A and 7 B areas. There is also the middle of the frontal gyrus, extra-straite cortex, the hand somastosensory cortex and the frontal cortex. This is according to Cohen et al.

Method:Subject: This paper uses the subject of teenagers ages 15 to 17 who usually hang out in the mall during summer vacation with their friends. There are difficulties that the researcher encountered during this testing with the teenagers. The researcher heard reasons like “its summer time”, “News flash, I’m not in school.” The researcher has found 30 teenagers who are willing to take the exam the researcher gave them.

The research also asked a few working adults to answer the test give to them. They were just as hard to find the people who would answer the exams because they give a more valid reason then the teenagers saying that they have to work and that the researcher to make it quick as possible. There were only 25 adults who answer the test.Testing: The researcher had taken the sample exam from the web page http://psychexps.

olemiss.edu/InstrOnly_Page/mentalrotation.html. The researcher has made 60 copies to be given to people that would answer the tests.

ResultsThe researcher had found that the teenagers answer the test faster than those of the adults. The teens are somewhat impatient in answering the exam and mostly just guesses the answers. The adults took a few more time in answering the paper. Why, because they have a tendency to over analyze the figures.

The adults are more patient than the teenagers. The research shows that teenagers value popularity over intelligence. They would rather spend their afternoons in malls or watching televisions then honing their mind skills.The adults on the other hand have took the time to analyze the test and most of the got the correct answer to the test.

But it also shows that people have to look very hard before they can find the original form.DiscussionIn this time and age, the researcher saw the value of mental rotation. It heightens the sense of the mind. It helps the skills of observation that can be of great values to us.

Being observant helps in the daily tasks of life, being observant gives us an edge over some of our companions. Mental rotation also hones our skills in being perceptive. It helps us manipulate through our environment. This paper did not say to manipulate the people, the research also shows that with the practice we can be one of the best in the skills of mental rotation.

We can also reap all the benefits of mental rotation is we just practice.The research shows that people or rather teenagers do not take the abstract reasoning skill of any value. The jet set life style is what they are after, so they only study when they have to. They are what people may call the MTV generation, they would rather be caught watching television show then reading a good book.

The teenagers also observe very well but the lack the patience to develop the talent. They are very impatient in everything they do. Yes they are observant but they lack the skills to analyze what they had observed. But the teenagers are still creative and imaginative.

They used their imagination rather that their perception to decide what form the object will take on next.The grown up on the other hand took more patience in answering the exams. They observed and analyze the object and tried to guess what the form is. Since the test is timed.

The adults answered only the obvious mental rotation items. The adults analyze things more, they are more patient then the teenagers. The time was the one that made the difference. Since the adults considered every aspect of the object and mentally rotated the objects.

It took them more time then the teens. There is a saying that haste makes waste. The adults surely proved that statement to be correct.But not all the adults though, some of them answered very quickly and the research knew at once that they were just guessing the correct answer.

Someone once to the researcher that you can tell a lot about the person when he is under pressure. Why, because some crack and give up. The others thrive under pressure and do surprisingly well under it.ConclusionThe research therefore concludes that adults have more patients then teenagers when it comes to mental rotation.

The teenagers do not know the value of the powers of observations and perception. They are impulsive and they love a jet set life style. The adults on the other hand know what the value of observation and perception are. Yet some of them just doesn’t want to take the time to appreciate what they have.

Reference:Cohen, M. “Changes in Cortical Activities During Mental Rotation: A mapping study using functional magnetic resonance imaging” 1996 February 12, 2006 http://airto.bmap.ucla.

edu/BMCweb/BMC_BIOS/MarkCohen/Papers/Rotate.pdfHertzog C., and Rypma B. (1991).

Age differences in components of mental rotation task performance. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 29(3), 209-212.Johnson A.M.

(1990). Speed of mental rotation as a function of problem solving strategies. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 71, 803-806.Jones B.

, and Anuza T. (1982). Effects of sex, handeness, stimulus and visual field on `mental rotation’. Cortex, 18, 501-514.

Mental Rotation Experiment. Feb 20, 2006. ;http://psychexps.olemiss.

edu/InstrOnly_Page/mentalrotation.htm;Parsons, Lawrence M. (1987) Imagined spatial transformations of one’s hands and feet. Cognitive Psychology 19: 178-241.

Rohrer, T. (2006). The Body in Space: Dimensions of embodiment. In Body, Language and Mind, vol.

2. Zlatev, Jordan; Ziemke, Tom; Frank, Roz; Dirven, René (eds.). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, forthcoming 2006.

Shepard, R and Cooper, L. “Mental images and their transformations.” Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982.Shepard, R and Metzler.

J. “Mental rotation of three dimensional objects.” Science 1971. 171(972):701-3.

Sternberg, R.J. (2006).Cognitive Psychology 4th Edition.

Belmont, CA: ThomsonYule, Peter. “A new spin on mental rotation.” 1997 University of London. February 12, 2006 ;http://www.psyc.bbk.ac.uk/people/associates/pgy/notes/rotation/

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