A high density ERP comparison of mental rotation and mental size transformation

Suresh D. Muthukumaraswamy*, Blake W. Johnson, Jeff P. Hamm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


To compare mental rotation and mental size transformation, 128-channel EEG was recorded while subjects performed both tasks using random two-dimensional shapes as stimuli. Behavioural results showed significant linear effects of both size transformation and mental rotation on reaction times. Rotation ERPs showed experimental effects at two latencies: a bilateral component distributed over posterior parietal electrodes at a latency of approximately 232-300ms and a second component at approximately 424-492ms distributed over right anterior parietal electrodes. The latency and spatial distribution of this second effect is consistent with previous research indicating a functional connection between this component and mental rotation. ERPs for the size-transformation task showed an effect at 180-228ms distributed bilaterally over occipital-temporal electrodes. These results are consistent with previous hemodynamic imaging studies that show involvement of parietal cortex in mental rotation and also the involvement of BA 19 in size-transformation tasks. However, the superior temporal resolution of the present data indicates that BA 19 activation may occur at a latency that is more likely related to apparent motion than to the size-transformation operation per se.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain mapping
  • EEG
  • ERPs
  • Image transformation
  • Mental rotation
  • Size transformation


Dive into the research topics of 'A high density ERP comparison of mental rotation and mental size transformation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this