The main aim of the study was to create and validate emotional version of mental rotation task (MRT). As all previously conducted experiments utilized neutral material only, such an attempt seemed necessary to confirm the generality of mental rotation effect and its properties. Emotional MRT was constructed using photos of negative facial expressions; a compatible neutral MRT was also created, for detailed comparisons. 2- and 3-dimensional figures (Experiment 1) and hexagrams (Experiment 2 and 3) served as affect-free stimuli. In three experiments, emotional MRT version was proven to be valid, whereas only hexagram-based neutral MRT version yielded the expected results. A number of differences between the two versions emerged, concerning response times, accuracy and difficulty of trials. The neutral/emotional MRT procedure, although needing more research, seems to give stable results, making the study of content-bound imagery possible.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.