Publication details

Visual image retention does not contribute to modulation of event-related potentials by mental rotation

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Year of publication 2013
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Brain and Cognition
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Applied statistics, operation research
Keywords Event related potentials; Rotation related negativity; Working memory; Spatial cognition; Visual imagery; Individual differences
Description Rotation of a visual image in mind is associated with a slow posterior negative deflection of the eventrelated potential (ERP), termed rotation-related negativity (RRN). Retention of a visual image in shortterm memory is also associated with a slow posterior negative ERP, termed negative slow wave (NSW). We tested whether short-term memory retention, indexed by the NSW, contributes to the RRN. ERPs were recorded in the same subjects in two tasks, a mental rotation task, eliciting the RRN, and a visual short-term memory task, eliciting the NSW. Over both right and left parietal scalp, no association was found between the NSW and the RRN amplitudes. Furthermore, adjusting for the effect of the NSW had no influence on a significant association between the RRN amplitude and response time, an index of mental rotation performance. Our data indicate that the RRN reflects manipulation of a visual image but not its retention in short-term memory.
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