Article

Influence of Body Rotation on Children's Left-Right Confusion: A Challenge to Bilateral Symmetry Theory

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Abstract

The hypothesis that left–right confusion in children is determined by correspondence to the bilateral symmetry of the nervous system was tested by presenting left–right and up–down discrimination-learning problems to 80 preschoolers (mean age = 4.25 yrs) who viewed these stimuli from either an upright or 90°-rotated body position. The data clearly contradict predictions based on the anatomical model. Regardless of body position, left–right confusion was primarily determined by the left–right relationship of the stimulus to environmental coordinates rather than by its relationship to the bilateral symmetry of the body. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... Second, participants had to verbally discriminate left from right in our experiment, which is known to be notoriously difficult for children and adults alike (e.g., Fisher & Camenzuli, 1987;McKinley, Dempster, & Gormley, 2015;Vingerhoets & Sarrechia, 2009). To our knowledge, no studies have investigated whether people find it difficult to discriminate between left and right using gestures as well. ...
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Gestures and speech are clearly synchronized in many ways. However, previous studies have shown that the semantic similarity between gestures and speech breaks down as people approach transitions in understanding. Explanations for these gesture–speech mismatches, which focus on gestures and speech expressing different cognitive strategies, have been criticized for disregarding gestures’ and speech's integration and synchronization. In the current study, we applied three different perspectives to investigate gesture–speech synchronization in an easy and a difficult task: temporal alignment, semantic similarity, and complexity matching. Participants engaged in a simple cognitive task and were assigned to either an easy or a difficult condition. We automatically measured pointing gestures, and we coded participant's speech, to determine the temporal alignment and semantic similarity between gestures and speech. Multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis was used to determine the extent of complexity matching between gestures and speech. We found that task difficulty indeed influenced gesture–speech synchronization in all three domains. We thereby extended the phenomenon of gesture–speech mismatches to difficult tasks in general. Furthermore, we investigated how temporal alignment, semantic similarity, and complexity matching were related in each condition, and how they predicted participants’ task performance. Our study illustrates how combining multiple perspectives, originating from different research areas (i.e., coordination dynamics, complexity science, cognitive psychology), provides novel understanding about cognitive concepts in general and about gesture–speech synchronization and task difficulty in particular.
... Second, participants had to verbally discriminate left from right in our experiment, which is known to be notoriously difficult for children and adults alike (e.g. Fisher & Camenzuli, 1987;McKinley et al., 2015;Vingerhoets & Sarrechia, 2009). To our knowledge, no studies have investigated whether people find it difficult to discriminate between left and right using gestures as well. ...
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When someone asks us to explain something, such as how a lever or balance scale works, we spontaneously move our hands and gesture. This is also true for children. Furthermore, children use their hands to discover things and to find out how something works. Previous research has shown that children’s hand movements hereby are ahead of speech, and play a leading role in cognitive development. Explanations for this assumed that cognitive understanding takes place in one’s head, and that hand movements and speech (only) reflect this. However, cognitive understanding arises and consists of the constant interplay between (hand) movements and speech, and someone’s physical and social environment. The physical environment includes task properties, for example, and the social environment includes other people. Therefore, I focused on this constant interplay between hand movements, speech, and the environment, to better understand hand movements’ role in cognitive development. Using science and technology tasks, we found that children’s speech affects hand movements more than the other way around. During difficult tasks the coupling between hand movements and speech becomes even stronger than in easy tasks. Interim changes in task properties differently affect hand movements and speech. Collaborating children coordinate their hand movements and speech, and even their head movements together. The coupling between hand movements and speech is related to age and (school) performance. It is important that teachers attend to children’s hand movements and speech, and arrange their lessons and classrooms such that there is room for both.
... Second, participants had to verbally discriminate left from right in our experiment, which is known to be notoriously difficult for children and adults alike (e.g. Fisher & Camenzuli, 1987;McKinley et al., 2015;Vingerhoets & Sarrechia, 2009). To our knowledge, no studies have investigated whether people find it difficult to discriminate between left and right using gestures as well. ...
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Gestures and speech are clearly synchronized in many ways. However, previous studies have shown that the semantic similarity between gestures and speech breaks down as people approach transitions in understanding. Explanations for these gesture-speech mismatches which focus on gestures and speech expressing different cognitive strategies, have been criticized for disregarding gestures’ and speech’s integration and synchronization. In the current study, we applied three different perspectives to investigate gesture-speech synchronization in an easy and a difficult task: temporal alignment, semantic similarity, and complexity matching. Participants engaged in a simple cognitive task, and were assigned to either an easy or a difficult condition. We automatically measured pointing gestures, and we coded participant’s speech, to determine the temporal alignment and semantic similarity between gestures and speech. Multifractal Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (MFDFA) was used to determine the extent of complexity matching between gestures and speech. We found that task difficulty indeed influenced gesture-speech synchronization in all three domains. We thereby extended the phenomenon of gesture-speech mismatches to difficult tasks in general. Furthermore, we investigated how temporal alignment, semantic similarity, and complexity matching were related in each condition, and how they predicted participants’ task performance. Our study illustrates how combining multiple perspectives, originating from different research areas (i.e., coordination dynamics, complexity science, cognitive psychology) provides novel understanding about cognitive concepts in general, and about gesture-speech synchronization and task difficulty in specific.
... 'Έτσι, καλείται να δει προοπτικές που διαφέρουν από τις δικές του. Ανεξάρτητα από τη θέση του σώματος, η αριστερή-δεξιά θέση καθορίζεται κυρίως από την αριστερά-δεξιά σχέση του ερεθίσματος με τις περιβαλλοντικές συντεταγμένες και όχι από τη σχέση του με την διμερή συμμετρία του σώματος (Fisher & Camenzuli, 1987). Ωστόσο, υπάρχει μια προηγούμενη έρευνα (Maki, 1979) που υποστηρίζει ότι οι διακρίσεις στους ενήλικες των εννοιών «Αριστερά-Δεξιά» είναι το ίδιο εύκολες με τις διακρίσεις «Πάνω -Κάτω», όταν δεν εμπλέκονται οι σχετικές κατευθυντήριες λέξεις. ...
Thesis
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Η παρούσα έρευνα αφορά στην πραγματοποίηση διδακτικής παρέμβασης σε παιδιά προσχολικής ηλικίας. Το θέμα της παρέμβασης είναι οι έννοιες χώρου «Πάνω- Κάτω- Δεξιά- Αριστερά» στο προγραμματιστικό περιβάλλον του ScratchJr. Παρουσιάζεται ο ρόλος της υπολογιστικής σκέψης και της εισαγωγής του προγραμματισμού στην τάξη του Νηπιαγωγείου, καθώς και η αξία των εννοιών χώρου στη γνωστική ανάπτυξη των παιδιών. Το παιχνίδι χρησιμοποιείται ως μέσο διδασκαλίας εννοιών από τις μαθησιακές περιοχές των Μαθηματικών και των Τεχνολογιών της Πληροφορίας και Επικοινωνίας. Ο στόχος αυτής της εργασίας είναι η διερεύνηση της συμβολής των πλακιδίων κίνησης «Πάνω- Κάτω- Δεξιά- Αριστερά» του ScratchJr στην κατανόηση των αντίστοιχων εννοιών με την χρήση ταμπλέτας. Συμμετείχαν 39 παιδιά ενός Νηπιαγωγείου σε μια εξελικτικά σχεδιασμένη διδακτική παρέμβαση με τη βοήθεια ημιδομημένων συνεντεύξεων που πραγματοποιήθηκε σε τρεις φάσεις. Αρχικά, ανιχνεύθηκαν οι γνώσεις και οι αντιλήψεις των παιδιών για την ταμπλέτα και τις έννοιες «Πάνω –Κάτω/ Δεξιά- Αριστερά». Στη συνέχεια, έγινε η διδακτική παρέμβαση. Τέλος, στην τρίτη φάση αξιολογήθηκε η ικανότητα των μικρών μαθητών να δημιουργούν ή να αναγνωρίζουν κώδικες, καθώς και η ικανότητα να αντιλαμβάνονται τα πλακίδια κίνησης «Πάνω- Κάτω – Δεξιά – Αριστερά» του ScratchJr. Η αξιολόγηση ολοκληρώθηκε με το τελικό τεστ κατανόησης των εννοιών «Πάνω – Κάτω – Αριστερά - Δεξιά» μετά την παρέμβαση. Τα αποτελέσματα του τελικού τεστ φανέρωσαν πως υπάρχει βελτίωση σε ικανοποιητικό βαθμό. Οι αρχικές δυσκολίες κατανόησης κυρίως των εννοιών «Δεξιά- Αριστερά» ξεπεράστηκαν όπως φάνηκε στο τελικό τεστ με αποτέλεσμα μεγάλος αριθμός παιδιών να αντιληφθεί σωστά και να διακρίνει το Δεξί από το Αριστερό. Κατά συνέπεια λοιπόν διαμορφώθηκε το συμπέρασμα πως η ενασχόληση των παιδιών με δραστηριότητες τόσο στον πραγματικό χώρο της τάξης όσο και στον προγραμματιστικό χώρο του ScratchJr, συνέβαλε θετικά στους μαθητές στην προσπάθειά τους να μάθουν να χειρίζονται σωστά αυτές τις χωρικές έννοιες και στα δύο περιβάλλοντα. Επιπλέον, έγινε κατανοητό ότι η εισαγωγή του ScratchJr στο Νηπιαγωγείο με την χρήση ταμπλέτας έδωσε στον εκπαιδευτικό ένα εύχρηστο εργαλείο, το οποίο με κατάλληλο σχεδιασμό, μπορεί να συμβάλλει αποτελεσματικά στην επίτευξη των στόχων του Προγράμματος σπουδών.
... According to Lachmann (2002), the mirror-generalization processa process that is applied to all visual stimuli before one learns to read and that allows us to recognize an object regardless of its left-right orientation (e.g., Pegado, Nakamura, Cohen, & Dehaene, 2011)leads to the costorage and co-retrieval of the image representation of a letter and its mirror-image representation and thus to mirror errors in reading. Note that findings from several studies have challenged the assumption that mirror errors occur because of the symmetrical organization of the brain (see, e.g., Corballis, Miller, & Morgan, 1971;Fisher & Camenzuli, 1987;Gregory & McCloskey, 2010;Kosslyn, LeSueur, Dror, & Gazzaniga, 1993;Storandt, 1974). ...
Article
A striking error in reading is the early and sometimes persistent confusion of mirror letters such as b and d. These mirror errors are likely a result of the mirror generalization process that allows one to identify a visual stimulus regardless of its presentation side. A previous study demonstrated that preventing mirror errors in reading requires the inhibition of the mirror generalization process in expert adult readers (Borst et al., 2015). Using the same experimental paradigm, the current study aimed at replicating this result in school-aged children. Three age groups—1st, 3rd, and 5th graders—performed a negative priming study in which they were asked to determine on the primes whether two letters were identical and on the probes whether two animals facing opposite directions were identical. All three groups of children required more time to discriminate two letters that were lateral mirror images of one another (e.g., b/d) than two letters that were not (e.g., f/t). Crucially, children required more time to determine that two animals facing opposite directions were identical when preceded by two letters that were lateral mirror images of one another (b/d) than when preceded by letters that were not mirror images of one another (f/t). Importantly, the amplitude of the negative priming effect did not vary with age. Our results suggest that overcoming mirror errors in reading, regardless of the reading proficiency of school-aged children, is rooted in the ability to inhibit the mirror generalization process.
... Computing the meaning of spatial relation terms, especially of directional terms like left and right, is difficult and time consuming (e. g., Bryant & Tversky, 1991; Farrell, 1979; Franklin & Tversky, 1990; Maki & Braine, 1985; Maki, Grandy, & Hauge, 1979). Left and right are acquired late in development after other conceptually similar terms like front/back and above/below (Fisher & Kamenzuli, 1987; Internicola & Weist, 2003). They take longer to produce and understand (Franklin & Tversky, 1990) and when other options are available, adults appear to avoid using left and right (Mainwaring, Tversky, Ogishi, & Schiano, 2003). ...
Article
The study examined the role of establishing local conventions in the interpretation of left and right. 32 adults participated in a referential communication game carrying commands like "Put the red cup to the left of the green." The results suggest that local conventions strongly influence the interpretation of the two spatial terms but global expectations about the usage of the terms also play a role.
... For example, given a neural representation specifying the correct orientation for the letter b, the mirror image of that representation would not necessarily represent the mirror-image orientation d. Furthermore, the principal findings cited in support of the hypothesis (e.g., Mello, 1965;Noble, 1968) can plausibly be explained without positing mirror engrams (see, e.g., Hamilton & Tieman, 1973;Lehman & Spencer, 1973;Tieman, Tieman, Brody, & Hamilton, 1974), and results inconsistent with at least some forms of the hypothesis have been reported (e.g., Corballis, Miller, & Morgan, 1971;Fisher & Camenzuli, 1987;Kosslyn, LeSueur, Dror, & Gazzaniga, 1993;Storandt, 1974). ...
Article
Perceiving the orientation of objects is important for interacting with the world, yet little is known about the mental representation or processing of object orientation information. The tendency of humans and other species to confuse mirror images provides a potential clue. However, the appropriate characterization of this phenomenon is not entirely clear, in part because the stimuli used in most previous studies were not adequate for distinguishing various forms of mirror-image and non-mirror-image error. In the present study we explore the nature of mirror-image confusion and what the phenomenon can reveal about object-orientation representations. We report several experiments in which participants reported the orientations of pictures. In all of the experiments mirror-reflection errors were more frequent than other orientation errors. However, whereas mirror-image confusion has previously been described as a tendency to confuse stimuli that are related by reflection across an extrinsic (usually vertical) axis, the vast majority of mirror-image errors in our experiments were reflections across an object axis. This finding calls into question several hypotheses proposed to explain mirror-image confusion. We describe a coordinate-system orientation representation (COR) hypothesis that can account for our results (McCloskey, Valtonen, & Sherman, 2006). COR assumes that orientation representations map an object-centered reference frame onto a reference frame extrinsic to the object, with this mapping specified by several parameters. According to COR, mirror-image confusions and other orientation errors arise from failures in representing or processing specific parameters. Considered in light of COR, our results suggest that orientation representations are compositional, and that object-centered reference frames play a central role in orientation representation.
... Why are so many years necessary before children, and even adults, can master right and left identification? Some aspects of right-left orientation, related to discrimination and recognition of mirror stimuli, are already well mastered at four years of age (Fisher & Camenzuli, 1987;Braine & Fisher, 1988;Fisher, 1990). Children can say if the image is looking towards one side or the other (from the subject's viewpoint) without using right or left terms; it is a discrimination of orientation. ...
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Right-left orientation includes discrimination and recognition as well as identification, the former two differentiating between symmetrical cues and the latter using the words right and left. In the present experiment involving 406 children, the evolution of the knowledge and use of the concepts of right and left were assessed. Discrimination and recognition on all tasks used in this study are mastered much earlier than verbal identification, and, at even 11 years of age, half of the subjects of the present study still did not apply the words right and left properly onto other persons in the milieu. Children use the words right and left correctly first on their own bodies as early as seven years of age, then on people facing away, and finally on people facing them around eight to nine years of age. This transition most probably reflects the slow evolution of cognitive processes which determine the way the child will use internal or external frameworks as well as the passage from egocentrism to "alteregocentrism" with ability to consider other viewpoints than one's own.
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Objectives: To evaluate a smartphone-based application's (Peek Acuity) ability to assess visual acuity and screen for ocular conditions in children, we compared visual acuity assessment between Peek Acuity and the pediatric ophthalmology examination and evaluated Peek Acuity's ability to identify children with referable ocular conditions. Study design: We prospectively recruited 111 children age 3-17 years, presenting to a pediatric ophthalmology clinic, who could follow instructions. Monocular visual acuity assessments by Peek Acuity and standard clinical methods were performed in randomized order. We compared visual acuity assessments between methods using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and evaluated Peek Acuity's ability to identify children with referable ocular conditions. Results: ICC comparing visual acuity assessed between methods was 0.88 (95% CI 0.83-0.92) for first and 0.85 (95% CI 0.78-0.89) for second eyes examined. ICC among 3 to 5-year-olds (preschool-age children) was 0.88 (95% CI 0.77-0.94) for first and 0.45 (95% CI 0.13-0.68) for second eyes examined. Peek Acuity had a sensitivity of 83%-86% for decreased vision and 69%-83% for referable ocular disease. Sensitivity was highest among 3 to 5-year-olds with decreased vision, 93%-100%. Conclusions: Overall, Peek Acuity visual acuity assessment correlated well with visual acuity assessed by standard clinical methods, though preschool-age children appeared more susceptible to examination fatigue. Peek Acuity performed adequately as a screening tool and had the greatest sensitivity among those with decreased vision and preschool-age children. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03212222.
Chapter
Die Überschrift dieses Kapitels weist darauf hin, daß es hier um vestibulär-propriozeptive Verarbeitungssstörungen gehen soll. Ergotherapeuten, die Erfahrungen auf dem Gebiet der Sensorischen Integrationstheorie haben oder sich mit der Literatur zu diesem Thema auseinandersetzen, sind sich sicherlich dessen bewußt, daß der Schwerpunkt bislang eher auf der Funktionsweise des vestibulären Systems als auf dem Prozeß der Propriozeption lag. Wir persönlich ziehen aus es aus zwei Gründen vor, vom Vorgang der vestibulär-propriozeptiven Verarbeitung zu sprechen. Erstens stellt das vestibuläre System eine der Quellen für eine ganz spezielle Art von propriozeptivem Input dar.1
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The difficulty of discriminating between left–right orientations of a shape has usually been attributed to symmetrical coding in the brain or to the nature of perceptual learning. However, recent work on the context-dependent nature of the difficulty challenges such explanations and supports a more cognitive approach to the problem. The present work examined the basis for left–right difficulty in the standard two-choice task (stimuli aligned side by side) in children of 3 to 4 years. Experiment 1 found that children who learned the task with the easy, single-stimulus procedure could generalize to the difficult, two-choice task. Subsequent experiments found that the difficulty in learning the two-choice task could not be attributed to the attentional demands of the two stimuli, nor to the use of the second stimulus as a spatial referent for defining orientation. The data suggested that the standard two-choice task is difficult because it promotes the use of two competing orientation judgments. We conclude that the difficulty of left–right judgments lies in the cognitive demands of the task and is to be understood in the same terms as other problems in cognitive development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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When a letter is drawn on the forehead, it is perceived cutaneously as a mirror reversal of the experimenter-defined stimulus. An analogous mirror-reversal phenomenon is found in motor behaviour; eg, writing on the downward-facing horizontal surface of a table. We examined these mirror-reversal phenomena in tasks, performed by 4-year-old and 8-year-old children, involving cutaneous perception and motor-production. The children's tendencies toward mirror reversal in the two tasks varied with the orientation and position of the surface, but were similar to those of sighted and blind adult subjects. In addition, mirror reversal was independent of the left-right indifference often observed in young children in writing or visual-matching tasks. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of a body schema used to guide sensorimotor functions.
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In order to evaluate the importance of the axis of stimulus presentation, inter- and intramanual recognition of mirror pairs was studied with the stimulus materials aligned along the front/back axis (whereas in previous work the mirror pairs were aligned along the left/right axis). Children were allowed to feel shapes with the whole hand, with only four fingers (excluding the thumb), or with only the index finger. After learning with one hand, recognition was tested in experiment 1 with the other hand; after learning with one orientation of the hand (palm down or up), recognition was tested in experiment 2 with the other orientation (palm up or down) of the same hand; after learning with one coronal alignment of the hand (to the left or right), recognition was tested in experiment 3 with the other alignment (to the right or left), but without rotation, of the same hand. Significantly fewer intermanual recognition errors were made on mirror pairs with the materials oriented along the front/back axis than in previous work when oriented along the left/right axis. This supports the suggestion that such errors arise when the stimuli are oriented along the left/right axis during formation of the memory trace. The same trend was unexpectedly obtained for intramanual recognition errors (after rotation of the hand). These errors (after hand rotation) are largely due to coding with respect to the hand; they are reduced when the hand is not aligned with the body axis, since then coding can also occur in relation to the environment.
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Adults judge that patterns symmetrical about the vertical axis are more similar to standard patterns symmetrical about both major orthogonal axes than are patterns which are symmetrical only about the horizontal axis (the Goldmeier effect). Thus, symmetry about the vertical axis is more salient for adults than symmetry about the horizontal axis. Two experiments are reported in which subjects from three age groups (preschool, 8 years old, and adult) were given Goldmeier problems under different conditions. In experiment 1 three head-tilt conditions were used (0 degrees, 45 degrees, 90 degrees); in experiment 2 there were four conditions defined by head orientation (0 degrees, 90 degrees) and phenomenal instructions (top of figure at 0 degrees or at 90 degrees). In both experiments, increasing head tilt from 0 degrees decreased the consistency with which the environmentally vertical pattern was chosen. Noncorrespondence between the three spatial frameworks (environmental, retinal, and phenomenal) failed to produce biases in favor of either retinal-egocentric or phenomenal systems. For rotated adult subjects in experiment 2, 0 degrees phenomenal instructions strengthened an environmental bias, and 90 degrees phenomenal instructions shifted responses toward a retinal bias. These findings provide strong refutation of explanations for symmetry perception that are based solely upon the anatomical symmetry of the visual system. The data also fail to support arguments for environmental or phenomenal frameworks as singular influences. The results are best explained in terms of failure of constancy mechanisms to coordinate environmental and retinal information as a function of degree of head rotation and stimulus complexity.
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The present study investigated right-left discrimination, with a paper-and-pen test using line figures. The test consists of line drawings of a person with no, one, or both arms crossing the vertical body axis of the figure. The subjects' task is to mark with a pencil, as fast as possible, which is the right or left hand in the figure. The line drawings are either viewed from the back, from the front, or randomly alternating between the back and front views. The sample consisted of 322 male and female subjects, split into four different groups, from children to old adults. The results showed increasing performance from children to young adults, with a decline in performance in the old adults (>50 years). The condition with alternating front-back views was the most difficult, particularly when the figure also had both arms crossing the vertical body midline. There were no gender differences except for better male performance in the young adults group (18-22 years). The results are discussed in relation to theories of mental rotation and lateralization of information processing strategies, in addition to right-left discrimination across the age groups.
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Directional judgments are typically slower when relative location is described by the words “east” and “west” or “right” and “left” than when described by the words “north” and “south” or “up” and “down.” A series of experiments are reported that disentangle verbal from perceptual encoding explanations for right-left difficulty. Overall, our results support a verbal encoding explanation for right-left confusion in the adult. Experiments 1-3 demonstrate that in a response-differentiation task, it is response to the labels “north,” “east,” “south,” and “west” that is responsible for right-left confusion. In addition, Experiments 4-6 demonstrate that right-left difficulty in a mirror image discrimination task is contingent on the use of directional labels. (The data also suggest that it may be more difficult to deal with “up,” “down,” “left,” and “right” than with “north,” “south,” “east,” and “west”) The data are interpreted as inconsistent with a bilateral symmetry explanation for right-left confusion.
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The existence of a cortical representation of vestibular function has been questioned (e.g. Griffith, 1922). On the other hand, a cortical representation has been postulated with the argument that there is true vestibular sensation and that vestibular signals might be also useful for higher motor mechanisms (Spitzer, 1924). Information concerning the vestibular sensory systems has been gathered relatively recently.
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Maki, Grandy, and Hauge (1979) found that right-left discriminations were not more difficult than up-down discriminations when no directional words were used. However, Farrell (1979) found that right-left discriminations took longer than up-down discriminations in a non-verbal go/no-go task. Two experiments were conducted to isolate the reasons for the different results. No directional words were used in either experiment, and there was no difference between response times to right-left and up-down stimuli in several different conditions. While there may have been some subtle procedural difference between Farrell’s procedures and ours, generally, right-left discriminations do not seem to take longer than up-down discriminations when directional words are not used.
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In choice reaction time (RT) tasks, college students verified the truth of displays expressing spatial relations between two objects. The relations werelocational (A is left of B) ororientational (A and B are horizontal). The objects were names of states in the United States, symbols, or letter arrays. The objects were memorized prior to the display (states and letters) or were presented as part of the display (symbols and letters). In the location tasks with both states and symbols, locatives were spatial (right, left, above, below) or compass (north, south, east, west). Distance between states was also varied. When location was judged, horizontally aligned stimuli resulted in slower responses than vertically aligned stimuli, independently of materials and locative set. Reaction time was inversely related to distance. When orientation was judged, responses to horizontal pairs of states were slower than responses to vertical pairs of states, responses to horizontal pairs of letters were faster than responses to vertical pairs, and RT did not depend upon the orientation of symbols. This pattern of results suggests that orientational judgments are influenced by type of materials and the entext to which the material has been encoded (i.e., memorized). Locational judgments reflect a potent source of difficulty not present in orientation tasks, namely, telling left from right. Alternative explanations of the right-left effect are discussed.
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The material included in this preliminary report has come from several sources but was assembled chiefly during an experimental clinic held by members of the Iowa State Psychopathic Hospital Staff in Greene County, Iowa, in January, 1925. Among those children who were reported to the clinic by their teachers as "dull, subnormal, or failing or retarded in school work" was a fairly high proportion whose chief difficulty was in learning to read. Two of these would fit Hinshelwood's criteria of true "congenital word-blindness," and one of these two cases (M. P.) also gave bizarre written productions. Because of his striking disability, M. P. was admitted to the State Psychopathic Hospital, and his case was there studied more thoroughly than was possible in the clinic. The results of this study are here reported in full. Observations suggesting an explanation of one of the factors in this case are recorded from other
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• FOR the preparation of the present excellent translation of my Beitrage zur Analyse der Empfindungen I am under profound obligations to The Open Court Publishing Company. Not a little of the progress of psychology is owing to the strenuous efforts which the promoters of the science have made to find the main explanation of its problems in the principle of association and these investigations have received a fresh impulse from the results of neural anatomy and neural physiology. I am of opinion however, that the idea advanced in the present work, agreeably to which as many physico-chemical neural processes are to be assumed as there are distinguishable qualities of sensation, is also possessed of heuristic value, and that there is reasonable hope that at some future time it, too, will receive elucidation from the side of physiological chemistry. Although I can lay no claim whatever to the title of physiologist, and still less to that of philosopher, yet I venture to hope that the work thus undertaken, purely from a strong desire for self-enlightenment, by a physicist unconstrained by the conventional barriers of the specialist, may not be entirely without value for others also, even though I may not be everywhere in the right. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) • FOR the preparation of the present excellent translation of my Beitrage zur Analyse der Empfindungen I am under profound obligations to The Open Court Publishing Company. Not a little of the progress of psychology is owing to the strenuous efforts which the promoters of the science have made to find the main explanation of its problems in the principle of association and these investigations have received a fresh impulse from the results of neural anatomy and neural physiology. I am of opinion however, that the idea advanced in the present work, agreeably to which as many physico-chemical neural processes are to be assumed as there are distinguishable qualities of sensation, is also possessed of heuristic value, and that there is reasonable hope that at some future time it, too, will receive elucidation from the side of physiological chemistry. Although I can lay no claim whatever to the title of physiologist, and still less to that of philosopher, yet I venture to hope that the work thus undertaken, purely from a strong desire for self-enlightenment, by a physicist unconstrained by the conventional barriers of the specialist, may not be entirely without value for others also, even though I may not be everywhere in the right. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study establishes that young children can form abstract concepts of left and right which are not bound to the specific training context: Children are able to generalize to new figures and to new spatial locations. In experiment 1, 16 children between the ages of 3 and 4 were given left-right and up-down problems in which they were trained to discriminate between 180-degree rotations of symmetric drawings of realistic figures. Following training, the child's ability to generalize to 16 new shapes was tested. For both problems, children who reached criterion on training showed almost perfect generalization. Similar results were found for 8 children trained on the left-right problem using asymmetric drawings. In experiment 2, 16 preschoolers (mean age = 3-8) were trained on left-right and up-down problems using a single figure in specific locations. Again, children who reached criterion on training showed almost perfect generalization when the stimuli were presented in 16 new locations. The nature of the preschool child's left-right judgments is discussed.
Article
Investigated whether toddlers could remember the left and right sides of a symmetrical array. 64 22-35 mo old children learned to find a reward under 1 box of a 2- or a 9-box array. Two generalization conditions were introduced: The array was moved to new positions on 1 side of the S, or the S moved 180° to a new side of the table. To prevent visual tracking of the correct box, the array was kept covered except when the S responded. Ss were able to identify the correct side of the array after various spatial displacements; however, good performance appeared primarily for the 9-box array. Three conclusions are drawn: (a) The use of 2-choice tasks limits the study of spatial cognition; (b) a developmental shift from an egocentric to an allocentric framework may be more apparent than real; and (c) an analysis of the cognitive demands of left-right tasks provides a better basis for understanding performance than the assumption that discriminations along the horizontal axis are difficult to make and remember. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Discusses man's capabilities and limitations as an element in a closed loop control system under normal environmental conditions. Factors considered include the nature of manual control, modes of tracking, mathematical models of human operators, and characteristics of controls and displays in tracking tasks. (21/2 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Defined 2 tests of the ability to distinguish left from right: mirror-image stimulus discrimination and left-right response differentiation. A perfectly bilaterally symmetrical machine could perform neither test. Evidence is reviewed that animals and men find both tests difficult, especially the lst. It is suggested that interhemispheric fiber systems, i.e., the corpus callosum, act to "symmetrize" memory traces and thus preserve structural symmetry. This may partly explain findings of mirror-image reversal accompanying interhemispheric transfer. Evidence is also described which suggests that animals may sometimes solve problems of mirror-image stimulus discrimination by adopting asymmetrical postures or by making asymmetrical responses in scanning the stimuli. (63 ref.)
Article
The present study compared the processing of direction for up and down arrows and for left and right arrows in visual displays. Experiment 1 demonstrated that it is more difficult to deal with left and right than with up and down when the two directions must be discriminated but not when they must simply be oriented to. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that telling left from right is harder regardless of whether the responses are manual or verbal. Experiment 4 showed that left-right discriminations take longer than up-down discriminations for judgments of position as well as direction. In Experiment 5 it was found that position information can intrude on direction judgments both within a dimension (e.g., a left arrow to the left of fixation is judged faster than a left arrow to the right of fixation) and across dimensions (e.g., judging vertically positioned left and right arrows is more difficult than judging horizontally positioned left and right arrows). There was indirect evidence in these experiments that although the spatial codes for up and down are symmetrical, the codes for left and right may be less so; this in turn could account for the greater difficulty of discriminating left from right.
Article
Some have interpreted children's reliance on external visual cues as evidence that they are unable to use internal cues for orientation. This hypothesis was examined in experiment 1, where 24 preschoolers were tested on left-right, vertical-horizontal, and mirror-image oblique discriminations under essentially context-free conditions. Subjects succeeded on all discrimination problems and performed equally well on vertical-horizontal and mirror-image oblique discriminations. Thus, preschoolers can use an internal frame of reference to code orientation. Experiment 2 contrasted children's performance under context-free conditions with their ability to discriminate orientation in the presence of external visual cues. Children who had discriminated left-right oblique and nonoblique mirror-image forms in experiment 1 failed to so discriminate in experiment 2. This result is discussed in terms of a breakdown in the ability to use internal cues when external visual cues are available.
Article
Adults take longer to judge the locations of horizontal stimuli than to judge the locations of vertical stimuli. In order to determine the source of this difficulty with the horizontal dimension, the congruity between the locations of stimuli and verbal descriptions was judged in a reaction time (RT) task. Because bilateral symmetry of the nervous system may be related to the difficulty with horizontal stimuli, this was varied by using right-handed, left-handed, and ambidextrous subjects. However, this variable produced no significant effects in the RT task. Horizontal stimuli took longer than vertical stimuli whether the verbal description was encoded before or during the RT periods, suggesting that label encoding is not the entire source of the effect. However, when the verbal labels were eliminated entirely by having subjects learn and use stimulus-letter pairs, horizontal stimuli did not take longer than vertical stimuli. This suggests that perception of the stimulus is not the cause of the difficulty. Together, the experiments indicated that comparing horizontal labels to stimuli is the largest source of the difficulty in telling right from left. Reasons why adults have such a problem were discussed.
Article
Experiments were conducted to examine the difficulty six-year-old children have in discriminating visually between a shape and its lateral reversal, relative to the difficulty in discriminating between a shape and its inversion. Contrary to results with simultaneous presentation, under successive presentation there was no difference between the difficulty of discriminating lateral reversals and difficulty of discriminating inversions. This was also the case for successive presentation with trial-to-trial variation in position of shapes. Spatial adjacency of the shapes to a reference feature of the visual background accounted for the variations in difficulty between discrimination of lateral reversals and discrimination of inversions which obtained under simultaneous presentation.
Article
In an earlier study it was found that judgments of right-left orientations and locations were more difficult than judgments of up-down only when spatial words were used in the tasks. Experiments are reported in which pictures of many objects were presented to eliminate the possibility that subjects in previous studies had used strategies specific to single-stimulus tasks. In experiment 1, right-left orientations were judged more slowly than up-down orientations both when the spatial words were used and when arbitrary letters replaced the spatial words. In experiment 2, judgments of the right-left locations of pictures took longer than judgments of their up-down locations only when spatial words were used in the task; the right-left difficulty was eliminated when arbitrary letters replaced the words. The differential effect of words and letters in location judgments seems to be due to the different coding strategies adopted by subjects under the two conditions. It is concluded that a right-left difficulty does not depend on the use of spatial terms: word and letter conditions yield different results only when the task permits different judgments to be made under the two conditions.
Article
The interocular transfer of lateral mirror-image discriminations in the optic chaism sectioned monkey is paradoxical, the negative, previously unrewarded shape being preferred when the ‘untrained’ eye is tested. This phenomenon has also been reported for the unoperated pigeon. The two preparations are similar in that each eye projects directly to only one side of the brain.An explanation of this phenomenon is attempted with reference to the anatomy of the monkey brain. The model developed predicts veridical interocular transfer of vertical mirror-image discriminations and pairs of bilaterally symmetrical shapes generally. This is confirmed in both the pigeon and the optic chiasm sectioned monkey. It is further predicted, and confirmed, that normal monkeys, monkeys with one optic tract sectioned and monkeys with forebrain commissures divided will give veridical interocular transfer of lateral mirror-image discriminations. The reversal of preference with lateral mirror-images in the optic chiasm sectioned monkey is mediated via the anterior commissure or the splenium of the corpus callosum.The well established difficulty in learning to discriminate between lateral mirror-images, as compared with vertical mirror-images, in normal binocularly trained members of a number of species—rat, cat, monkey and human child—is considered in the light of the model developed in this paper. It is suggested that the difficulty with lateral mirror-images reflects the reception in each hemisphere of antagonistic information regarding the horizontal extent of the visual field. The information received via the lateral geniculate nucleus conflicts with information received from the other hemisphere via homotopic interhemispheric connections. A test of this explanation is suggested.
Article
CHILDREN'S DIFFICULTY IN LEARNING TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN LEFT-RIGHT DIFFERENCES AND UP-DOWN DIFFERENCES IN ORIENTATION IS SHOWN TO DEPEND ON THE RELATIVE POSITION OF THE 2 FIGURES IN SIMULTANEOUSLY PRESENTED ARRAYS. IF THE RELATIVE POSITION IS SUCH THAT 1 FIGURE IS PRESENTED AS A MIRROR-IMAGE REFLECTION OF THE OTHER, DISCRIMINATION IS ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT. EVEN UP-DOWN DISCRIMINATIONS MAY BE VERY DIFFICULT UNDER THESE CONDITIONS. IN GENERAL, THE LEFT-RIGHT DIMENSION IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN THE UP-DOWN DIMENSION, AS REPORTED EARLIER.
Article
In traditional tests of the "oblique effect," simultaneously presented mirror-image obliques are symmetrically aligned about a vertical axis, while vertical and horizontal stimuli are asymmetrically aligned. This work establishes that configurational cues associated with different alignments play an important role in children's memory for line orientation. In experiment 1, 16 kindergartners were tested on vertical-horizontal and oblique discriminations in symmetrical and asymmetrical alignments. When stimuli were asymmetrically aligned, the oblique discrimination was learned as rapidly as the vertical-horizontal discrimination. While performance on both problems was significantly better in the asymmetrical condition, stimulus alignment exerted its greatest influence on memory for oblique orientations; symmetrically aligned vertical and horizontal lines were easier to discriminate between than symmetrically aligned obliques. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the influence of configurational cues in memory for vertical-horizontal orientations increases when stimulus relationships between orthogonal stimuli are made salient. The 16 kindergartners tested found symmetrically aligned orthogonal lines as difficult to discriminate between as symmetrically aligned obliques, when stimuli were presented in diagonally oriented, rectangular frames. It is suggested that memory for orthogonal lines is more resistant to configurational cues because it typically involves an absolute code, while oblique memory always involves a relative code.
Article
A theory of orientation memory is advanced to explain why 5- and 6-year olds fail to discriminate between mirror-image obliques. It is argued that children can code the left-right orientation of an oblique line in relation to an adjacent reference feature, but are limited in their ability to recognize this stimulus-referent relationship when it is altered by changes in frame location. According to this view simultaneous presentation of the correct and incorrect comparison, typical of traditional testing paradigms, leads to failure because of trial by trial shifts in the frame location of the target orientation. The findings of the two experiments reported are consistent with this hypothesis. In Experiment 1 kindergarteners who performed poorly under the simultaneous condition discriminated oblique orientations with ease when stimuli were successively presented. Moreover, performance was not significantly affected by variations in the plane of presentation. In Experiment 2 children who discriminated successively presented obliques when stimuli were shown in a constant frame location had great difficulty when the left-right frame location of the stimuli was varied over trials.
Article
Accumulated evidence indicates that the judgment of apparent visual vertical is determined by the joint action of visual and postural stimulation. Neither is decisive for spatial perception. Reciprocal visual-proprioceptive stimulation results in a univocal impression of the vertical. Discrepant visual-proprioceptive stimulation results in equivocal, ambiguous perception.
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