[[abstract]]The transformation of visual images is very important during the learning of chemistry. It’s not yet clear about the relationship of the visual imagery transformation in psychology. To rotate or transfer the mental image in the mind, mental rotation is one of abilities about visual transformations. The study tried to investigate the mental process during the mental rotation phase in the mental rotation task, to clarify the mechanism of mental rotation phenomenon and the nature of mental representation during mental rotation. The study included six experiments to explore the nature of mental representation, the mechanisms of mental rotation and the scanpaths of eye movement in the mental rotation. There are three findings in the study. First, there are two subtle processes in the mental process of mental rotation – rotation of a reference line and reconstruction of the image. Second, the mental image is incomplete during mental rotation. Third, the eye movement scanpaths are relative during the encoding of one visual image and the rotating that visual mental images. IF a figure has an obvious reference line to restructure the components in the figure, it might help students transfer visual image. These kinds of figures not only help students remember and recognize them easier, but also reduce the visual spatial working memory in the transformation. The stimuli used in these experiments are specific to investigating the study only and the findings are not inferred overly to all visual transformations in the chemistry learning. It’s necessary to utilize the figures and symbols of the chemistry for stimuli of future experiments for searching the important index during any visual transformation in the chemistry learning.
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