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Cognitive Model for a Mental Folding Task

Preuss, Kai

Mental spatial transformation is usually modeled with highly task-specific approaches, allowing high model accuracy and valid explanations for effects in experimental data. These approaches however suffer from overfitting of models to data, resulting in low general validity. Based on neuro-imaging research suggesting a dedicated cognitive system for mental spatial transformation, a theory for universal spatial transformative cognition and its implementation as an ACT-R module is proposed. This spatial module enables the prediction of processing time for mental spatial operations. Concurrently, a mental folding experiment is conducted to gather participant data for model fitting. Our data confirms an effect of transformation difficulty on reaction times often found in related research, as well as learning effects during the experiment. These results form the foundation for ongoing development of the spatial module, especially regarding the influence of transformation complexity on spatial assessments.
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