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Volume 8 Issue 5 (September 2005), Pages 387-458

Motor processes in children's imagery: the case of mental rotation of hands (pages 402-408)


In a mental rotation task, children 5 and 6 years of age and adults had to decide as quickly as possible if a photograph of a hand showed a left or a right limb. The visually presented hands were left and right hands in palm or in back view, presented in four different angles of rotation. Participants had to give their responses with their own hands either in a regular, palms‐down posture or in an inverted, palms‐up posture. For both children and adults, variation of the posture of their own hand had a significant effect. Reaction times were longer the more awkward it was to bring their own hand into the position shown in the stimulus photograph. These results, together with other converging evidence, strongly suggest that young children's kinetic imagery is guided by motor processes, even more so than adults’.

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