How apparent motion affects mental rotation: Push or pull?
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Subjects were timed as they judged whether a small bar perpendicular to one side of a clockhand would point left or right if the hand was pointing upward (i.e., at the 12:00 position). The clockhand was shown in two successive orientations 30°apart, so that it was perceived to jump from one to the other, but the bar was included at only one of the two orientations. Analysis of reaction times as a function of angular orientation showed that the subjects “mentally rotated” the clockhand to the upright position before making their decisions. When the bar appeared on the second presentation, the jump had no significant influence on mental rotation but when it appeared on the first presentation, the estimated orientation from which the clockhand was mentally rotated was “dragged” in the direction of the jump.
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