Date of Original Version
COGNITIVE AFFECTIVE & BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE 5(1) 2005 54-66
Abstract or Table of Contents
In this fMRI study, we examined the relationship between activations in the inferotemporal region (ventral pathway) and the parietal region (dorsal pathway), as well as in the prefrontal cortex (associated with working memory), in a modified mental rotation task. We manipulated figural complexity (simple vs. complex) to affect the figure recognition process (associated with the ventral pathway) and the amount of rotation (0 degrees vs. 90 degrees), typically associated with the dorsal pathway. The pattern of activation not only showed that both streams are affected by both manipulations, but also showed an overadditive interaction. The effect of figural complexity was greater for 90 degrees rotation than for 0 degrees in multiple regions, including the ventral, dorsal, and prefrontal regions. In addition, functional connectivity analyses on the correlations across the time courses of activation between regions of interest showed increased synchronization among multiple brain areas as task demand increased. The results indicate that both the dorsal and the ventral pathways show interactive effects of object and spatial processing, and they suggest that multiple regions interact to perform mental rotation.