Categorical and coordinate spatial processing in the imagery domain investigated by rTMS

Luigi Trojano, Massimiliano Conson, Raffaele Maffei, Dario Grossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using repetitive transcranical magnetic stimulation (rTMS), we investigated the functional relevance of posterior parietal cortex for categorical and coordinate judgements in the spatial imagery domain. In the coordinate task, subjects were asked to imagine two analogue clock faces based on acoustically presented pairs of times, and to judge at which of the two times the clock hands form the greater angle (mental clock task); in the categorical task subjects were again asked to imagine an analogue clock face showing the time verbally presented by the examiner, but in this case they had to judge whether both hands lay in the half of the clock face cued by an auditorily presented label. We matched the performance of three groups of subjects, two of which received rTMS stimulation over left and right posterior parietal cortex, respectively, while the third group received a sham stimulation. The results showed that right parietal stimulation interfered with the execution of the coordinate task, while left parietal stimulation mainly affected the categorical task, but also reduced the learning effect on the coordinate task. The present findings support the hemispheric specialization of the posterior parietal cortex in different spatial information processing in the imagery domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1574
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Coordinate and categorical judgements
  • Mental transformations
  • Parietal lobe
  • rTMS
  • Visuospatial imagery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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