A Biologically Plausible Neuron Model of Mental Rotation

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Riley, Sean




This thesis presents a biologically plausible account of mental rotation. To this end, there is evidence that mental rotation is a spatial imagery task that can invoke a variety of strategies, depending on the nature of the stimuli. This thesis uses simple but unfamiliar stimuli, which engenders a continuous, whole-unit rotation. The model is comprised of 43,000 simulated neurons spread across a variety of neuron ensembles. These ensembles work together to form a neuronal representation of the spatial map entailed by the stimuli, then rotates that spatial map into a series of new orientations according to simulated movement along an intended axis of rotation. Two sets of simulations were run: one focusing on the biological accuracy of spatial maps, with the second focusing on the biological accuracy of neurons. Overall, both sets of simulations were able to re-produce the reaction times found in behavioural studies of mental rotation


Psychology - Cognitive




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Cognitive Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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