Mental imagery, the generation and manipulation of mental representations in the absence of sensory stimulation, is a core element of numerous cognitive processes. We investigate the cortical mechanisms underlying imagery and spatial analysis in the visual domain using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging during the mental clock task. The time-resolved analysis of cortical activation from auditory perception to motor response reveals a sequential activation of the left and right posterior parietal cortex, suggesting that these regions perform distinct functions in this imagery task. This is confirmed by a trial-by-trial analysis of correlations between reaction time and onset, width, and amplitude of the hemodynamic response. These findings pose neurophysiological constraints on cognitive models of mental imagery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas