Mental Rotation (MR) is a technique that some leading scientists and researchers studying aphantasia have used to understand how the visual processing systems may differ in an aphantasic’s brain. Laregly becase for many years, it was believed that you needed mental imagery in order to complete such tasks.
According to Zeman’s 2010 study, patient MX (who developed aphantasia after undergoing surgery) was still able to perform perfectly on mental rotation tasks despite his inability to create mental images of the objects in his mind’s eye.
It was also discovered that some people with aphantasia actually perform better on MR tasks than others. The findings have puzzled many scientists.
How do you perform on such tasks? What alternative strategies do you use to solve for them? Complete some MR tasks here. Remember to share your answers, time to complete and any new insights!
Here are my times and answers for the MR test:
MR Test 1: #1, about 17.63 seconds
MR Test 2: #3, about 30.40 seconds
MR Test 3: 35 and 1.09.74 minutes
I double checked my answers and got number one right, and half of number two right. However, I got all of number three wrong.
When I do mental rotation puzzles, half the time it’s an educated guess and a gut feeling for what feels correct. However, if the object is a relatively simple object, like the 2D first image, I can ‘feel’ the image rotating to compare it. Further, for the second test, usually what I do is try to compare one part of the object to the others and see how the other part of the object would look? Having a benchmark to compare makes these a little easier and a bit faster for me to complete, but not always. I didn’t think of having two answers for one question, so that didn’t cross my mind.
The folds test was the hardest for me. It took me the longest to complete, and I didn’t get it right. I definitely can’t translate colours well to a ‘feel’ system, and ended up relying on deductive reasoning and an educated guess.
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