Monday, July 21, 2008

Rotating objects

Via Cognitive Daily, older people are worse at some visuospatial tests than younger people.

Mélanie Joanisse, Sylvain Gagnon, Joshua Kreller, Marie-Claude Charbonneau (2008). Age-related differences in viewer-rotation tasks: Is mental manipulation the key factor? Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 63B (3), 193-200

This is very interesting - not only for the whole neuroscientific aspect, but because I have also tested as having much higher visuospatial abilities than other people my age. The study looked at three different methods of presenting an object to a viewer - updating, ignoring, and imagining. See the Cognitive Daily post for the study methods.

What is cool about this is the fact that some aspects of mentally rotating objects decline in older people but not other methods, which makes me wonder whether these aspects are controlled by different areas of the brain - different parts of the visual cortex or the intraparietal cortices? Do older people lose particular synapses? Does this vary by original visuospatial ability?

Put an fMRI in there - I want to see the activity of the parietal lobe in this study.

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