Science University Research Symposium (SURS)


Picture That! EEG views imagery of your mind's eye

Publication Date

Fall 12-9-2022


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Carole Scherling, PhD, and Michael Oliver, PhD

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Mental imagery is a reproduction of perception without environmental input (Kosslyn, 2001). Mental rotations provide newly oriented views of objects in space, with varying skill competence in the general population (Peters, 2002) and functions are localized to the parietal regions (Kong et al., 2018). One condition displaying mental imagery deficits is Aphantasia, revealing slower reaction times for mental rotation (Pounder, 2018) as well as difficulty in facial recognition (Milton, 2021). In these individuals, mental rotation tasks mostly engage frontal neural regions (Zeman et al., 2010). Most studies have focused on self-reports, leading to a void in systematic assessments of skill, which is attempting to be addressed in the current study. During an EEG scanning session, participants (N=X; Mean age [SD]= X [X]) completed forced-choice assessments involving judgments of the same or mirrored images in a dyad pair, with the right image rotated along the XY plane. Outcome variables included reaction time and accuracy. Three stimulus types comprised the mental rotation task (blocks, letters, animals) and two facial stimuli comprised the Thatcher task (normal, manipulated). Outcome variables including behavioral markers of reaction time and accuracy as well as whole-brain ERP measures of N200 and P300 waves. A median split will divide the sample into high and low visualization cohorts (assessed by the VVIQ questionnaire). Statistical analyses will be examining differences between these groups on the above outcome variables. Data collection is ongoing, and results will be presented at the conference.

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