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PSYC2650 Lab notes 3.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

PSYC2650 – Lab Notes Lab 7: Mental Rotation 3D - visual imagery plays causal role in our behaviours i.e. salivate or feel hungry after mentally picturing hot fudge ice cream sundae - pulling image from memory and manipulating it = high-level cognitive skill Mental imagery – study of how we mentally represent memories of scenes/pictures + how we manipulate those images through rotation and scanning  debate = nature of mental representations that we use + functional role in cognition - (Mental rotation 2D = strong relation between degree of mental rotation of 2D letters and time it takes to make judgements about the letters o longer reaction times to physically rotate an object same relationship between degree of rotation and response time using 3D stimuli) - response time to 3D stimuli proportionately related to degree of rotation between the 2 images o further rotation (relative to each other) = longer response time (longer time to mentally align them)  3D images not rotated all-in-one rotate part of one image, then check to see if remaining parts line up correctly with other image (part-by-part rotation)  Evidence: experiments in which subjects showed faster reaction times when told could perform mental rotation task by rotating only part of figure o mean speed = 60 degree/s - in general, people make more mistakes in 3D task (vs. 2D task) + have longer avg time for rotating o both 2 and 3D tasks show same linear reaction between relationship (3D graph steeper) - mental representations we use during rotations tasks are picture-like representations o parts of brain active during actual “seeing” (i.e. visual cortex in occipital lobe) also active when we generate mental images from memory as if actually “seeing” an internal picture o temporal loves may also be responsible for helping recreate mental pictures of objects  i.e. LH = visual agnosia patient, damage to visual pathways from visual cortex to temporal lobes unable to recognize objects + can’t generate mental images - parietal lobe + few other areas (i.e. frontal lobes, basal ganglia) active when mentally rotate images o superior parietal lobe = execution of mental rotation; parietal lobe processes info about spatial location of objects in space + allocated visual attention to objects in space  generating mental images from memory + operating on them (i.e. scanning, rotation) = psychologically and neurologically distinct  i.e. LH able to
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