Unformatted text preview: lating that image is a high-level cognitive skill. The way people form and
process mental images has been of interest to researchers in cognitive psychology for many years. At its heart, the mental
imagery debate is about the nature of the mental representations that we use, and their functional role in cognition.
In the Mental rotation, 2-D ZAP you found that there is a strong relation between the degree of mental rotation of twodimensional letters and the time it takes to make judgments about the letters. This relationship is analogous to longer
reaction times to physically rotate an object. The same relationship between degree of rotation and response time was found
using three-dimensional stimuli. In the 1970s, Roger Shepard and Metzler presented subjects with pairs of 3-D block figures
at various degrees of rotation from each other. The subjects were asked to judge whether the two figures were the same
(albeit rotated), or mirror images of each other. This ZAP is a replication of Shepard and Metzler’s original experiment on the
mental rotation of 3-D stimuli. Experiment
Procedure. When the experiment begins you will be shown pairs of objects, as shown in Figure 1. Make a decision about
whether the two objects are identical, or whether they are mirror images of each other (in Figure 1 the objects are identical).
When you have made a choice, the computer will show whether your choice was correct or incorrect. Incorrect trials do not
count in the final data; those trials will be repeated later in the experiment. After a few seconds, a new pair of objects will
appear. The experiment starts with a few practice trials, followed by 48 experimental trials. 8 ZAPS Assignment: Mental Rotation 3- D Figure1. Example of stimuli in the mental rotation experiment Purpose. Your task is to respond as quickly as possible when you see the two objects appear. However, try to make as few
mistakes as possible. If you notice you are making too many mistakes, slow down to reduce your errors....
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