Mental-rotation deficits following damage to the right basal ganglia

Irina M. Harris*, Justin A. Harris, Diana Caine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The authors report the case of a woman with a right basal ganglia lesion and severe mental-rotation impairments. She had no difficulty recognizing rotated objects and had intact left-right orientation in egocentric space but was unable to map the left and right sides of external objects to her egocentric reference frame. This study indicates that the right basal ganglia may be critical components in a cortico-subcortical network involved in mental rotation. We speculate that the role of these structures is to select and maintain an appropriate motor program for performing smooth and accurate rotation. The results also have important implications for theories of object recognition by demonstrating that recognition of rotated objects can be achieved without mental rotation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-537
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


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