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Gender differences in visuospatial planning: an eye movements study.

Cazzato, V and Basso, D and Cutini, S and Bisiacchi, P (2010) Gender differences in visuospatial planning: an eye movements study. BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH, 206 (2). pp. 177-183. ISSN 0166-4328

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Abstract

Gender studies report a male advantage in several visuospatial abilities. Only few studies however, have evaluated differences in visuospatial planning behaviour with regard to gender. This study was aimed at exploring whether gender may affect the choice of cognitive strategies in a visuospatial planning task and, if oculomotor measures could assist in disentangling the cognitive processes involved. A computerised task based on the travelling salesperson problem paradigm, the Maps test, was used to investigate these issues. Participants were required to optimise time and space of a path travelling among a set of sub-goals in a spatially constrained environment. Behavioural results suggest that there are no gender differences in the initial visual processing of the stimuli, but rather during the execution of the plan, with males showing a shorter execution time and a higher path length optimisation than females. Males often showed changes of heuristics during the execution while females seemed to prefer a constant strategy. Moreover, a better performance in behavioural and oculomotor measures seemed to suggest that males are more able than females in either the optimisation of spatial features or the realisation of the planned scheme. Despite inconclusive findings, the results support previous research and provide insight into the level of cognitive processing involved in navigation and planning tasks, with regard to the influence of gender.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2016 11:25
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2016 11:25
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.bbr.2009.09.010
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3252

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