Realistic stimuli show selective effects of motor expertise during a mental body rotation task

[Speaker] Molinaro, Corinne:1
[Co-author] Lejeune, Laure:1, Habacha, Hamdi:1, Molinaro, Marion:1, Midavaine, Vladimir:1
1:University of Caen - Normandie / CESAMS (France)

Several studies highlighted selective effects of given physical activities on mental rotation (Steggemann et al., 2011, Habacha et al., 2014). This study aimed at investigating whether stimuli features influence implementation of motor expertise in body rotations during mental body-rotation tasks. In experiment 1, we investigated the mental rotation abilities in experts in real-body rotations and non-experts. The mental rotation task used left-right judgments and involved three types of stimuli: images of a stick figure person, images of line drawings of the human body and photographs of a real person. In experiment 2, experts and non-experts performed a mental body rotation task with same-different judgments. Results revealed faster response times with more realistic stimuli. Further, experts outperformed non-experts in the mental rotation task of photographs with left-right judgments in unfamiliar orientations (180°). These results suggest the existence of specific stimuli features that reveal selective effects of motor expertise in body rotations.
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