One good turn deserves another: An event-related brain potential study of rotated mirror-normal letter discriminations

Jeff P. Hamm*, Blake W. Johnson, Michael C. Corballis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The time to decide if a letter is normal or backwards (mirror-reversed) increases as the letter is rotated away from the upright. It is widely accepted that this increase in time reflects the mental rotation of the stimulus to the upright orientation in order to determine the mirror-normal status of the stimulus. Although response times tend to be longer for mirrored stimuli than for normal stimuli, the difference is constant across orientation. Little work has been focused on why mirror-image stimuli produce longer response times than normal stimuli. This study examines the question of whether or not mirrored stimuli are rotated in the picture plane at the same time as normal stimuli, and if so, why response times to mirrored stimuli are longer than that for normal stimuli. Both the behavioural and electrophysiological findings suggest that the mirrored stimuli are not only rotated in the picture plane, but that they are subsequently rotated to the normal view. It is this additional rotation that produces, at least in part, the delayed response times for mirror-image stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-820
Number of pages11
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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