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Furthermore, the higher imagery vividness of the patients was revealed to be statistically independent of the differences in general intelligence and psychomotor speed and unrelated to the individual psychopathology of the patients, including the presence of hallucinations. The exploratory factor analysis revealed that the factorial structure of the QMI was unchanged in the patient group, resulting in a seven-factor solution corresponding to the seven modalities targeted by the questionnaire Sheehan The patients thus not only showed a higher vividness of mental imagery but maintained a differentiation of this imagery ability.

The exploratory factor analysis of the LSHS revealed a five-factor solution for the patient group and a three-factor solution for the control group. These results conform to former studies on the factorial structure of the LSHS. The loading pattern of the factor solution in the patient group was similar to the results of Levitan et al. No significant correlation was found between mental imagery and tendency toward hallucinations in the patient group, which suggests that these two constructs might be independent.

Nor does the higher imagery vividness of the patients seem to be an effect of individual psychopathology. For an explanation, we may point to the different time intervals addressed by the two measures. Our finding of higher imagery vividness in schizophrenia patients is consistent with the results of Mintz and Alpert , who also found a significantly higher vividness of mental imagery in schizophrenia patients. In addition, strong correlations between increased vividness of mental imagery and the presence of positive schizotypal traits have been reported van de Ven and Merckelbach This discrepancy in the literature could be brought about by differences between the studies regarding the methods employed and the extent to which possible covariates were considered.

Our study revealed that when information from self-administered questionnaires is combined with that from objective cognitive tests and when confounding factors such as general intelligence and psychomotor speed are controlled for, schizophrenia patients do show a much higher vividness of mental imagery. Even so, our patient group performed worse on tasks that are supposed to recruit cognitive processes related to mental imagery the LPS subscales. This result is compatible with theories that attribute the group difference in vividness of mental imagery not to an enhancement of mental imagery abilities as such Bentall ; Aleman et al.

However, the impaired performance on the LPS was partly explained by deficits in psychomotor speed, which further complicates the interpretation of the results. A recent study on differences in perceptual closure between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls avoided this confound Doninger et al.

This study used a different perceptual closure task that did not involve time constraints. Instead, performance was assessed by the level of picture degradation that could be manipulated, and patients were found to perform significantly worse than healthy controls. Further research will thus be needed to investigate whether patients with schizophrenia are at all able to use their enhanced vividness of imagery for cognitive tasks that require good mental imagery abilities. It will also be worthwhile to conduct functional imaging studies of mental imagery in schizophrenia in other modalities than the auditory Shergill et al.

It is interesting to note that the enhanced vividness of mental imagery is independent of the severity of positive and negative symptoms, which indicates that it is not merely an effect of the current psychopathological state of the patient but related to the presence of the disease. In this context it could be speculated that subjectively reported enhanced vividness of mental imagery might prove to be a new trait marker of schizophrenia. However, such a claim needs to be based on further replication, including appropriate family and genetic studies. Overview of the administered battery of psychometric tests and self-administered questionnaires 1.

The reliability indexes of the QMI and the LSHS refer to the internal consistency of Cronbach's alpha, while all others represent the retest reliabilities. Comparison of imagery and hallucination scores for patients and controls 1. Comparison of questionnaire score and test performance between patients and controls 1. Comparison between subjects and patients in their mean test performances and questionnaire results. Correlation between imagery and hallucination scores and individual psychopathology 1. The authors are grateful to Prof.

Konrad Maurer, M. Special thanks are due to Bernadette Jansma, Ph. Robert Bittner and Christian Roeder, M. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. Enhanced vividness of mental imagery as a trait marker of schizophrenia? Alexander T Sack, Ph.

Send reprint requests to Dr. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Vincent G van de Ven, M. Simone Etschenberg, M. Dietmar Schatz. David E. J Linden, M. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract We assessed the vividness of mental imagery in schizophrenia patients in the context of psychopathology and cognitive abilities.

Table I. View Large.

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View large Download slide. Table II. Table III. Correlation matrix between imagery and hallucination scores and individual psychopathology. Disposition toward hallucinations and subjective versus objective vividness of imagery in normal subjects. Personality and Individual Differences. Multi-dimensionality of hallucinatory predisposition: Factor structure of the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale in a normal sample.

Andreasen, NC. The Spot-the-Word test: A robust estimate of verbal intelligence based on lexical decision. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. Barrett, TR. Verbal hallucinations in normals: II. Self-reported imagery vividness. Verbal hallucinations in normals: I. Applied Cognitive Psychology. Bentall, RP. The illusion of reality: A review and integration of psychological research on hallucinations.

Psychological Bulletin. Reality testing and auditory hallucinations: A signal detection analysis. Reliability of a scale measuring disposition toward hallucination. Perception, mental imagery and reality discrimination in hallucinating and non-hallucinating schizophrenic patients. Brett, EA and Starker, S. Auditory imagery and hallucinations. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Theory of mind and the role of IQ in chronic disorganized schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research. Cahill, C and Frith, CD.

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A cognitive basis for the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia: A Neuropsychological Perspective. Chandiramani, K and Varma, VK. Imagery in schizophrenic patients compared with normal controls. British Journal of Medical Psychology. Impaired sensory processing as a basis for object-recognition deficits in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry.

Refinement and test of the theory of fluid and crystallized general intelligences. Journal of Educational Psychology. Horn, W. Horowitz, M. Hallucinations: An information processing approach.

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Hallucinations: Behavior, Experience and Theory. Kail, R. Processing time, imagery, and spatial memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Kosslyn, SM. Image and Brain. Launay, G and Slade, PD. The measurement of hallucinatory predisposition in male and female prisoners.

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Lehrl, S. Predisposition toward auditory hallucinations: The utility of the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale in psychiatric patients. The role of metacognitive beliefs in auditory hallucinations. The neural correlates of inner speech and auditory verbal imagery in schizophrenia: Relationship to auditory verbal hallucinations. British Journal of Psychiatry. Mintz, S and Alpert, M. Imagery vividness, reality testing, and schizophrenic hallucinations.

Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Oswald, WD and Roth, E. Aerobic fitness and cognitive development: event-related brain potential and task performance indices of executive control in preadolescent children. Hirnstein, M. Sex-specific response strategies in mental rotation. Hoyek, N. The use of the Vandenberg and Kuse mental rotation test in children. Iachini, T.

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The effect of body-related stimuli on mental rotation in children, young and elderly adults. Jansen, P. Motor and visual-spatial cognition development in primary school-aged children in Cameroon and Germany. Gender differences in mental rotation in Oman and Germany. Jansen-Osmann, P. Suitable stimuli to obtain no gender differences in the speed of cognitive processes involved in mental rotation.

Brain Cogn. Jordan, K. Cortical activations during the mental rotation of different visual objects. NeuroImage 13, — Lippa, R. Sex differences in mental rotation and line angle judgments are positively associated with gender equality and economic development across 53 nations. Lugtmeijer, M. Inequality in education in Brazil. Leiden: Leiden University. Oswald, W. Zahlen-verbindungs-test ZVT number-connection-test. Peters, M. A redrawn Vandenberg and Kuse mental rotations test: different versions and factors that affect performance. Pietsch, S.

Different mental rotation performance in students of music, sport and education. Quinn, P. A sex difference in mental rotation in young infants. Schwartz, S. Individualism and collectivism: Theory, method, and applications. Kim, H. Triandis, C. Choi, and G. Shepard, R. Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects. Science , — Titze, C.

Single-sex school girls outperform girls attending a co-educative school in mental rotation accuracy. Sex Roles 65, — Voyer, D.

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Time limits and gender differences on paper-and-pencil tests of mental rotation: a meta-analysis. Motor expertise and performance in spatial tasks: a meta-analysis. Magnitude of sex differences in spatial abilities: A meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables. World Economic Forum. The global gender gap report Yuille, J. Nonholistic processing in mental rotation: some suggestive evidence. Keywords: mental rotation, adolescents, physical activity, Brazil, Germany, cross cultural research.

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Introduction Mental rotation is defined as the ability of mental transform of how an object appears if it is rotated from its original position Shepard and Metzler, Material Demographic Questionnaire Demographic data of the participants concerning sex, age, and time spent practicing sport were recorded with a self-generated questionnaire.

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Procedure The pupils were tested in each country in group sessions, in the following order: 1 demographic questionnaire; 2 physical activity and sedentary behavior questionnaires; 3 cognitive processing speed test; 4 mental rotation test. Edited by: Timothy L. Reviewed by: Jeff P. All Rights Reserved.