Publicaties 2015

Predictive Models to Determine Imagery Strategies Employed by Children to Judge Hand Laterality

A commonly used paradigm to study motor imagery is the hand laterality judgment task.
The present study aimed to determine which strategies young children employ to successfully
perform this task. Children of 5 to 8 years old (N = 92) judged laterality of back and
palm view hand pictures in different rotation angles. Response accuracy and response duration
were registered. Response durations of the trials with a correct judgment were fitted
to a-priori defined predictive sinusoid models, representing different strategies to successfully
perform the hand laterality judgment task. The first model predicted systematic
changes in response duration as a function of rotation angle of the displayed hand. The second
model predicted that response durations are affected by biomechanical constraints of
hand rotation. If observed data could be best described by the first model, this would argue
for a mental imagery strategy that does not involve motor processes to solve the task. The
second model reflects a motor imagery strategy to solve the task. In line with previous research,
we showed an age-related increase in response accuracy and decrease in response
duration in children. Observed data for both back and palm view showed that motor
imagery strategies were used to perform hand laterality judgments, but that not all the children
use these strategies (appropriately) at all times. A direct comparison of response duration
patterns across age sheds new light on age-related differences in the strategies
employed to solve the task. Importantly, the employment of the motor imagery strategy for
successful task performance did not change with age.