doi: 10.17586/2226-1494-2016-16-1-168-173


V. A. Lyakhovetskiy, A. S. Potapov, G. Krumina

Read the full article  ';
Article in Russian

For citation: Lyakhovetskiy V.A., Potapov A.S., Krumina G. Informational model of mental rotation of figures. Scientific and Technical Journal of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, 2016, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 168–173.


Subject of Study.The subject of research is the information structure of objects internal representations and operations over them, used by man to solve the problem of mental rotation of figures. To analyze this informational structure we considered not only classical dependencies of the correct answers on the angle of rotation, but also the other dependencies obtained recently in cognitive psychology. Method.The language of technical computing Matlab R2010b was used for developing information model of the mental rotation of figures. Such model parameters as the number of bits in the internal representation, an error probability in a single bit, discrete rotation angle, comparison threshold, and the degree of difference during rotation can be changed. Main Results.The model reproduces qualitatively such psychological dependencies as the linear increase of time of correct answers and the number of errors on the angle of rotation for identical figures, "flat" dependence of the time of correct answers and the number of errors on the angle of rotation for mirror-like figures. The simulation results suggest that mental rotation is an iterative process of finding a match between the two figures, each step of which can lead to a significant distortion of the internal representation of the stored objects. Matching is carried out within the internal representations that have no high invariance to rotation angle. Practical Significance.The results may be useful for understanding the role of learning (including the learning with a teacher) in the development of effective information representation and operations on them in artificial intelligence systems.

Keywords: mental rotation, information model, coding, mental representations

Acknowledgements. The work has been supported by grant 2013/0021/1DP/ of the University of Latvia and by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.


1. Marr D. Vision. A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information. W.H. Freeman and Company, 1982, 415 p.
2. Shepard R.N., Metzler J. Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects. Science, 1971, vol. 171, no. 3972, pp. 701–703.
3. Bryden M.P., George J., Inch R. Sex differences and the role of figural complexity in determining the rate of mental rotation. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1990, vol. 70, no. 2, pp. 467–477.
4. Hertzog C., Rypma B. Age differences in components of mental rotation task performance. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 1991, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 209–212. doi: 10.3758/BF03342680
5. Krumina G., Liakhovetckii V., Skilters J. Impacts of fatigue on mental rotation. Perception Suppl, 2015, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 159–160.
6. Gardony A.L., Taylor H.A., Brunyé T.T. What does physical rotation reveal about mental rotation? Psychological Science, 2014, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 605–612. doi: 10.1177/0956797613503174
7. Hamrick J.B., Griffiths T.L. What to simulate? Inferring the right direction for mental rotation. Proc. 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Quebec, Canada, 2014, pp. 577–582.
8. Larsen A. Deconstructing mental rotation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2014, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 1072–1091. doi: 10.1037/a0035648
9. Seepanomwan K., Caligiore D., Baldassare G., Cangelosi A. Modelling mental rotation in cognitive robots. Adaptive Behavior, 2013, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 299–312. doi: 10.1177/1059712313488782
10. Krumina G., Lyakhovetskii V.A. Problems of coding stereo images in human memory. Journal of Optical Technology, 2010, vol. 77, no. 7, pp. 14–18.
11. Lyakhovetskii V.A., Bobrova E.V. Playing a stored sequence of movements of the right and left hands: positional vector encoding. I.P. Pavlov Journal of Higher Nervous Activity, 2009, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 45–54. (In Russian)
12. Lyakhovetskii V.A., Potapov A.S. Presentation of information at the working spatial memory in processes of recognition and reproducing. Mathematical Biology and Bioinformatics, 2014, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 206–215. doi: 10.17537/2014.9.206
13. Lyakhovetskii V.A., Potapov A.S., Popechitelev E.P. Methods of study and model the information structure of human memory. Izvestiya YuFU. Tekhnicheskie Nauki, 2006, no. 11 (66), pp. 4–9. (In Russian)
14. Johnson A.M. Speed of mental rotation as a function of problem solving strategies. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1990, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 803–806.
15. Cooper L.A. Mental rotation of random two-dimensional shapes. Cognitive Psychology, 1975, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 20–43. doi: 10.1016/0010-0285(75)90003-1
16. Heil M., Rosler F., Link M., Bajric J. What is improved if a mental rotation task is repeated – the efficiency of memory access, or the speed of a transformation routine? Psychological Research, 1998, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 99–106.
17. Wright R., Thompson W.L., Ganis G., Newcombe N.S., Kosslyn S.M. Training generalized spatial skills. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 2008, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 763–771. doi: 10.3758/PBR.15.4.763
18. Shelepin Yu.E., Chikhman V.N., Vakhrameeva O.A., Pronin S.V, Foreman N., Pasmore P. Invariance of visual perception. Experimental Psychology, 2008, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 7–33.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
Copyright 2001-2023 ©
Scientific and Technical Journal
of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.
All rights reserved.