How Visuo-Spatial Mental Imagery Develops: Image Generation and Maintenance
Wimmer, Marina C.
Maras, Katie L.
Robinson, Elizabeth J.
Doherty, Martin J.
Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2015 Wimmer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Two experiments examined the nature of visuo-spatial mental imagery generation and maintenance in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-year old children and adults (N = 211). The key questions were how image generation and maintenance develop (Experiment 1) and how accurately children and adults coordinate mental and visually perceived images (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 indicated that basic image generation and maintenance abilities are present at 4 years of age but the precision with which images are generated and maintained improves particularly between 4 and 8 years. In addition to increased precision, Experiment 2 demonstrated that generated and maintained mental images become increasingly similar to visually perceived objects. Altogether, findings suggest that for simple tasks demanding image generation and maintenance, children attain adult-like precision younger than previously reported. This research also sheds new light on the ability to coordinate mental images with visual images in children and adults.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Vol. 10 (11), article e0142566
Place of publication