Mental rotation: The effects of processing strategy, gender and task characteristics on children's accuracy, reaction time and eye movements’ pattern
The effects of gender, strategy and task characteristics on children's mental rotation (MR) behavioral measures and eye movements were studied. Eye movements reflect thinking pattern and assist understanding mental rotation performance. Eighty-three fourth-grade children (44 boys and 39 girls) were administered the Computerized Windows Mental Rotation test (CWMR) while having their eye movements monitored and completed a Strategy Self-Report (global/local/combined) and a Spatial Span (WM) subtest. Difficulty level affected performance and was reflected in a different eye movement pattern. Boys were more accurate than girls, but they did not differ in their eye movement pattern. Eye movement pattern was related to strategy, accuracy and reaction time, revealing that the global and combined strategy were more effective compared with local strategy. WM was found to correlate with accuracy at the easy level of the test. The usage of eye movement measures assists in elaborating our knowledge regarding MR performance among children and enable a wider understanding regarding the interaction between gender, strategy and difficulty level.
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