Mental rotation of pictured body stimuli: Involvement of visual representation of the stimuli


The present study investigated whether the time required for recognizing rotated body stimuli was matched strictly with the magnitude of correspondence regarding rotation angles between the stimulus and the body. Twelve young adults sat in front the computer monitor while their body was facing to it (no body rotation) or was rotating to the side by 90 degrees. They classified a body stimulus (hand or foot) presented with one of four orientations (0°, 90°, 180°, -90°) according to their laterality. The result showed that the time required for the classification was generally matched with the magnitude of correspondence regarding the rotation angles. However, the classification time was the longest for the 180-deg rotated stimulus even while the body was rotated by 90 degrees, demonstrating that the magnitude of rotation of the body stimuli itself affected the MR. It is likely that visual representation of the stimuli, as well as the body schema, is involved in the MR.

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