In this study we aim to evaluate the impact of ageing and gender on different visual mental imagery processes. Two hundred and fifty-one participants (130 women and 121 men; age range = 18–77 years) were given an extensive neuropsychological battery including tasks probing the generation, maintenance, inspection, and transformation of visual mental images (Complete Visual Mental Imagery Battery, CVMIB). Our results show that all mental imagery processes with the exception of the maintenance are affected by ageing, suggesting that other deficits, such as working memory deficits, could account for this effect. However, the analysis of the transformation process, investigated in terms of mental rotation and mental folding skills, shows a steeper decline in mental rotation, suggesting that age could affect rigid transformations of objects and spare non-rigid transformations. Our study also adds to previous ones in showing gender differences favoring men across the lifespan in the transformation process, and, interestingly, it shows a steeper decline in men than in women in inspecting mental images, which could partially account for the mixed results about the effect of ageing on this specific process. We also discuss the possibility to introduce the CVMIB in clinical assessment in the context of theoretical models of mental imagery.

The impact of ageing and gender on visual mental imagery processes: A study of performance on tasks from the Complete Visual Mental Imagery Battery (CVMIB)

NORI, RAFFAELLA;GIUSBERTI, FIORELLA;
2016

Abstract

In this study we aim to evaluate the impact of ageing and gender on different visual mental imagery processes. Two hundred and fifty-one participants (130 women and 121 men; age range = 18–77 years) were given an extensive neuropsychological battery including tasks probing the generation, maintenance, inspection, and transformation of visual mental images (Complete Visual Mental Imagery Battery, CVMIB). Our results show that all mental imagery processes with the exception of the maintenance are affected by ageing, suggesting that other deficits, such as working memory deficits, could account for this effect. However, the analysis of the transformation process, investigated in terms of mental rotation and mental folding skills, shows a steeper decline in mental rotation, suggesting that age could affect rigid transformations of objects and spare non-rigid transformations. Our study also adds to previous ones in showing gender differences favoring men across the lifespan in the transformation process, and, interestingly, it shows a steeper decline in men than in women in inspecting mental images, which could partially account for the mixed results about the effect of ageing on this specific process. We also discuss the possibility to introduce the CVMIB in clinical assessment in the context of theoretical models of mental imagery.
Palermo, Liana; Piccardi, Laura; Nori, Raffaella; Giusberti, Fiorella; Guariglia, Cecilia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/544992
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