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Creem,S. H., Wraga, M., & Proffitt, D.R. (2001). Imagining physically impossible self-rotations: Geometry is more important than gravity. Cognition, 81,41-64.

Previous studies found that it is easier for observers to spatially update displays during imagined self-rotation versus array rotation. The present study examined whether either the physics of gravity or the geometric relationship between the viewer and array guided this self-rotation advantage. Experiments 1-3 preserved a real or imagined orthogonal relationship between the viewer and array, requiring a rotation in the observer's transverse plane. Despite imagined self-rotations that defied gravity, a viewer advantage remained. Without this orthogonal relationship (Experiment 4), the viewer advantage was lost. We suggest that efficient transformation of the egocentric reference frame relies on the representation of body-environment relations that allow rotation around the observer's principal axis.

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