Document Type : Research Paper



The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of physical training and working memory training on mental rotation ability. 45 non-athlete female students were purposively selected and randomly assigned to one of these groups: aerobic training, working memory training and control (each group 15 subjects). This study was quasi-experimental, which was a type of pretest-posttest with a control group. Mental rotation test was conducted for the sample. Physical training and working memory training groups participated respectively in aerobic training and working memory training for 30 minutes daily for two weeks. The control group performed their daily activities. Results of ANOVA with repeated measures showed that aerobic and working memory training affected mental rotation ability (P≤0.05). The findings suggested that cognitive abilities are facilitated by cognitive and motor interventions.


  1. دهقانی‌زاده، جلال؛ محمدزاده حسن و حسینی، فاطمه سادات (1392). "تأثیر برنامۀ آموزش ژیمناستیک بر چرخش ذهنی"، فصلنامۀ روان‌شناسی شناختی، 1 (1): ص 24-16.
  2. دهقانی‌زاده، جلال؛ محمدزاده؛ حسن و حسینی، فاطمه سادات (1393). "مقایسۀ چرخش‌ذهنی دانشجویان فعال و غیرفعال"، رفتار حرکتی، 6 (16): ص 106-93.
    1. Adams, DM., Stull, AT., Hegarty, M . (2014). "Effects of Mental and Manual Rotation Training on Mental and Manual Rotation Performance". Spatial Cognition & Computation. 14:169–198.
    2. Beste, C., Heil, M., Domschke, K., Konrad, C. (2010). "The relevance of the functional 5-HT1A receptor polymorphism for attention and working memory processes during mental rotation of characters". Neuropsychologia. 48: 1248–1254.
    3. Cherney, ID., London, KL. (2006). "Gender-linked differences in the toys, television shows, computer games, and outdoor activities of 5-to 13-year-old children". Sex Roles. (54): 717–726.
    4. Conway, ARA., Kane, MJ., Al, CET. (2005). "Working memory span tasks: a methodological review and user’s guide". Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 12: 769–86.
    5. Dang, CP., Braeken, J., Colom, R., Ferrer, E., Liu, C. (2015). "Do processing speed and short-term storage exhaust the relation between working memory capacity and intelligence?" . Personality and Individual Differences. 74: 241–247.
    6. Hyun, JS., Luck, SJ. (2007). "Visual working memory as the substrate for mental rotation". Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 14 (1), 154-158.
    7. Jaeggi, SM., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., Perrig, WJ. (2008). "Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105(19):6829-6833.
    8. Jansen, P., Lehmann, J. (2013). "Mental rotation performance in soccer players and gymnasts in an object-based mental rotation task". Advances in cognitive Psychology. 9(2) : 92-98.
    9. Jansen, P., Lange, LF., Heil, M. (2011). "The influence of juggling on mental rotation performance in children". Biomedical Human Kinetics, 3, 18 – 22.
    10. Jansen, P., Kelner, J., Rieder, C. (2013). "The improvement of mental rotation performance in second graders after creative dance training". Creative Education. 4(6): 418-422.
    11. Jordan, K., Heinze, HJ., Lutz, K., Kanowski, M., Jancke, L. (2008). "Cortical activations during the mental rotation of different visual objects". NeuroImage. 13, 143–152.
    12. Just, MA., Carpenter, PA. (1985). "Cognitive coordinate systems: Accounts of mental rotation and individual differences in spatial ability". Psychology Review. 92:137-171.
    13. Lehmann, J., Quaiser-Pohl, C., Jansen, P. (2014). "Correlation of motor skill, mental rotation, and working memory in 3- to 6-year-old children". European Journal of Developmental Psychology. 32: 1-14.
    14. Levin, SC., Huttenlocher, J., Taylor, A., Langrock, A. (1999). "Early sex differences in spatial skill". Developmen Psychology. 35: 940-949.
    15. Martin, MM., Wittert, G., Burns, NR., Pherson, JM. (2008). "Endogenous testosterone levels, mental rotation performance, and constituent abilities in middle-to-older aged men". Hormones and Behavior. 53: 431–441.
    16. Martins, AQ., Kavussanu, M., Willoughby, A., Ring, C. (2013). "Moderate intensity exercise facilitates working memory". Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 14: 323-328.
    17. Mc Carthy, LA. (2010). "Improving older adult's mental rotation skills through computer training". Thesis of Degree Doctor of Philosophy. University of Akron. Pp: 59-67.
    18. Moreau, D. (2013). "Motor expertise modulates movement processing in working memory". Acta Psychologica. 142: 356–361.
    19. Moreau, D., Clerc, J., Mansy-Dannay, A., Guerrien, Alain. (2012). "Enhancing spatial ability through sport practice: Evidence for an effect of motor training on mental rotation performance". Journal of Individual Differences. 33(2): 83-88.
    20. Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Jackson, M., Zaiyouna, R., Richardson, C. (1995). "A Redrawn Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotations Test: Different versions and factors that affect performance". Brain cognition. 28: 39-58.
    21. Piaget, J. (1951). "Play, dreams and imitation in childhood". New York: Norton; P. 75-9.
    22. Pietsch, S., Jansen, P. (2012). "Different mental rotation performance in students of music, sport and education". Learning and Individual Differences. 22: 159–163.
    23. Schweizer, K., Moosbrugger, H. (2004). "Attention and working memory as predictors of intelligence". Intelligence. 32: 329–347.
    24. Shepard, RN., Metzler, J. (1971). "Mental rotation of three- dimensional objects". Science. 171: 701-703.
    25. Smith, AM., Spiegler, KM., Sauce, B., Wass, CD., Sturzoiu, T., Matzel, LD. (2013). "Voluntary aerobic exercise increases the cognitive enhancing effects of working memory training". Behavior Brain RES. 256: 626–635.
    26. Vandenberg, SG., Kuse, AR. (1978). "Mental rotations, a group test of three- dimensional spatial visualization". Percept Motor Skill. 47: 599−604.
    27. Voyer, D., Voyer, S., Bryden, MP. (1995). "Magnitude of sex differences in spatial abilities: A meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables". Psychological Bulletin. 117(2): 250-270.