Perspective taking in judgment of relative direction tasks

  • Danit GevaEmail author
  • Avishai Henik


Mental rotation and visual-spatial perspective taking (VSPT) are two visual-spatial abilities that are highly correlated. Judgment of relative direction (JRD) tasks are commonly used to examine VSPT in conjunction with mental rotation. Moreover, in many studies the task involves switching from an imagined perspective to a sensorimotor perspective at the response phase. The current study employed a JRD task that enabled examination of mental rotation, perspective taking, and perspective switching, separately. In two experiments we found that both perspective taking and perspective switching affected accuracy and response time (RT). Namely, trials with a perspective change larger than 90° (that required perspective taking) were harder than trials with a change smaller than 90° (that required mental rotation), and so were trials that required switching from an imagined perspective to a sensorimotor perspective. Importantly, we suggest that VSPT and mental rotation are dissociable.


Mental transformation Perspective switching Visual-spatial perspective taking Mental rotation 



This work was supported by funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement No. 295644. We would like to thank Ronen Hershman, Naama Katzin, and Desiree Meloul for their professional and generous help. Finally, we thank three research assistants – Tal Feldman, Matanel Weissmann, and Ram Orr – for their help.


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© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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