Quantitative relations between parietal activation and performance in mental rotation

Georgios A. Tagaris, Seong Gi Kim, John P Strupp, Peter M Andersen, Kamil Ugurbil, Apostolos P Georgopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


The quantitative relationships between functional activation of the superior parietal lobule (SPL) and performance in the Shepard-Metzler mental rotation task were investigated in 16 human subjects using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at high held (4 Tesla). Subjects were shown pairs of perspective drawings of three-dimensional objects and asked to judge whether they were the same or mirror images. Increased SPL activation was associated with a higher proportion of errors in performance. The increase in errors, and the concomitant increase in SPL activation, could be due to an increased difficulty in, and therefore increased demands for, information processing at several stages involved in malting a decision, including encoding of the visual images shown, mentally rotating them, and judging whether they are the same or mirror images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-776
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Functional MRI
  • Mental rotation
  • Superior parietal lobule


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