Mental rotation is the ability to rotate mental representations of two-dimensional and three-dimensional o bjects as it is related to the visual representation of such rotation within the human mind.
Recent research (Uttal et al.) on the effects of spatial training indicates that spatial skills are highly malleable and that training in spatial thinking is effective, durable, and transferable. This conclusion holds true across all the categories of spatial skill that the researchers examined. Although the majority of studies did not include measures of the durability of training, our results indicate that training can be durable. Indeed, the magnitude of training effects was statistically similar for posttests given immediately after training and after a delay from the end of training.
Spatial skills are obviously affected by the amount of information that can be held simultaneously in memory. Many spatial tasks require holding in working memory the locations of different objects, landmarks, etc. Research indicates that individual differences in (spatial) working memory capacity are responsible for some of the observed differences in performance on spatial tasks. Several lines of research indicate that spatial attentional capacity improves with relevant training (e.g., Castel, Pratt, & Drummond, 2005; Feng et al., 2007; Green & Bavelier, 2007). Instructions or training that improves working memory and attentional capacities is therefore likely to enhance the amount of information that participants can think about and act on.