Macramalla S, Bridgeman B, 2009, "Anticipated effort in imagined self-rotation" Perception 38(1) 79 – 91
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Anticipated effort in imagined self-rotation
Steven Macramalla, Bruce Bridgeman
Received 22 August 2007, in revised form 30 June 2008; published online 23 December 2008
Abstract. Chronometric studies provide strong support that mental imagery recruits perceptual processes [Shepard and Cooper, 1982 Mental Images and Their Transformations (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press)]. Recent studies suggest that anticipated effort influences perception (Proffitt et al, 2003 Psychological Science 14 106 – 112). If anticipated effort influences perception and perception supports imagery, then anticipated effort may influence imagery. To examine the role of effort in mental imagery, participants in experiment 1 imagined self-rotation across two conditions of distance. Simulated rotation took 156 ms longer in larger settings, even though the amount of imagined angular rotation was the same in both settings. This finding suggests the start-to-goal arc is incorporated when imagining rotation through a given angle. Experiment 2 replicated the distance effect (232 ms) and added a variable for load. Simulated rotation took 167 ms longer with imaginary heavy loads. The results suggest that both spatial metrics and anticipated effort may play a role in the coding of mental imagery.
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