EEG frequency ranges during perception and mental rotation of two-and three-dimensional objects

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Spectral EEG powers were compared in 4 frequency ranges (8-13, 15-25, 25-35, and 35-45 Hz) in a group of 20 subjects during the performance of tasks requiring mental rotation of two-and three-dimensional objects. Only those EEG segments corresponding to tasks with identical solution times were analyzed. The spectral powers of oscillations in the alpha range were higher in control conditions than during task performance. Power in the frequency range 15-45 Hz was greater during task performance than in control conditions; this supports the concept that alpha rhythm desynchronization accompanies the synchronization of higher frequency EEG rhythms. Frequency power during task performance with two-dimensional objects was greater than that during tasks with three-dimensional objects. Since the angle of rotation between two-dimensional objects was greater than that between three-dimensional objects, this factor, rather than the depth of the perceived space, increased the level of cortical activation. In all experimental situations, power at frequencies of 15-45 Hz was significantly greater in the occipital regions than any other regions, reflecting the visual modality of the stimulus. Particular changes were noted in the gamma range (35-45 Hz), where power in the first second of task performance was significantly higher than in the second second; this may provide evidence that this range is more closely associated with perception and recognition processes than with mental transformation of the image.

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