About turn:neural mechanisms underlying visual processing of rotated letters and digits

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dc.contributor.advisor Professor Michael Corballis en
dc.contributor.advisor Dr Jeff Hamm en
dc.contributor.author Milivojevic, Branka en
dc.date.accessioned 2008-03-25T20:11:41Z en
dc.date.available 2008-03-25T20:11:41Z en
dc.date.issued 2007 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Psychology)--University of Auckland, 2007. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/2433 en
dc.description.abstract This thesis explores neural activity associated with processing of rotated alphanumeric characters, focusing particularly on linear and quadratic trend components of orientation-dependent activity. Choice of these components was driven by results of reaction-time (RT) studies; judging whether characters are normal or backward (parity task) typically elicit RTs that are linearly related to character disorientation, implying mental rotation of the characters to the upright, while judging whether they are letters or digits (categorisation task) elicits RTs related nonlinearly to disorientation, combining both linear and quadratic component, but not indicative of mental rotation. In Experiment 1 neural activity was monitored using fMRI while participants performed these tasks. In the next two experiments, neural processing was monitored with high-density EEG. In Experiment 2 participants performed the same two tasks, while in Experiment 3 they performed the category task and red-blue colour judgements. In Experiment 1, linear increases in fMRI activation were elicited only by the parity task and were observed in the posterior portion of the dorsal intraparietal sulcus and lateral and medial pre-supplementary motor areas, suggesting a fronto-parietal network underlying mental rotation. Experiment 2 showed that linear increases in parietal negativity between 350 and 710 ms only evident in the parity task, again indicating that mental rotation is only elicited by that task. Contrary to previous evidence, Experiment 2 indicated that both hemispheres may be involved in mental rotation, but rotation is faster in the right hemisphere than in the left hemisphere. Experiment 1 also showed that effects of orientation common to both tasks were best characterised by a quadratic trend, and were restricted to the supramarginal gyrus. This activation was interpreted as representing orientation-dependent shape recognition. Experiments 2 and 3 also revealed orientation-dependent neural activity at three distinct stages prior to mental rotation. First, on the P1 component, there was a difference between oblique and vertical orientations, suggesting the extraction of orientation based on axis of elongation. Next, orientation affected the N1 component, with longer latencies and larger amplitudes with misorientation, and smaller effects for inversion than for intermediate angular rotations. Finally, changes in orientation affected the P2 component differently for the parity and category tasks, probably signalling the perception of orientation relative to a parity-defined memory representation, and serving as a preparation for mental rotation. These experiments identify both the orientation-specific neural processing that occurs prior to the onset of mental rotation, and the subsequent neural correlates of mental rotation itself. en
dc.description.sponsorship Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship, University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship, The New Zealand Neurological Foundation, University of Auckland Research Fund (Project numbers: 3607199, 3605876 3604420) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA1800158 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.subject Object recognition en
dc.subject Spatial orientation en
dc.subject Mental rotation en
dc.subject Neural mechanisms en
dc.subject fMRI en
dc.subject EEG en
dc.title About turn:neural mechanisms underlying visual processing of rotated letters and digits en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Psychology en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.subject.marsden Fields of Research::380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.local.anzsrc 17 - Psychology and Cognitive Sciences en
pubs.org-id Faculty of Science en

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