Mental Rotation Performance by Learning Disabled and Down’s Syndrome Children: A Study of Imaginal Development

Anne Uecker, John E. Obrzut, Lynn Nadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A mental rotation task was administered to 56 control (n = 22), learning-disabled (LD n = 24), and Down’s syndrome (DS; n - 10) children. Each subject was asked to make a decision regarding the side on which a stick figure stimulus held a ball. Regression analyses were used to compare reaction time and accuracy scores among the groups. As predicted, reaction time scores from fastest to slowest were displayed by groups in the following order: control < LD < DS. Although control and LD subjects were more accurate in mental rotation performance than DS subjects, the control subjects were only marginally better than the LD subjects (p < 06). Mental rotation presentations were further broken down into upright and rotated categories. The control group had quicker reaction times than the LD group in both of these categories. In accuracy analyses, the control group and the LD group performed similarly at the upright angles. However, at rotated angles there was a trend for the control group to be more accurate than the LD group (p <. 07). LD individuals surpassed DS individuals’ performance at upright angles but not at rotated angles. We concluded that although LD children performed mental rotation problems more slowly than normal children, they were not necessarily less accurate. Further- • more, our data indicated that LD subjects had difficulties comparable to those of DS individuals on spatial transformation problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-411
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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