Mental Imagery

Reasoning about visual and spatial properties is a basic cognitive ability, important for everyday activities (arranging furniture, finding a friend's home) and technical domains (understanding a model molecule, performing endoscopic surgery). One possibility is that the brain uses a general-purpose processing engine to perform mental imagery.  We have been exploring the alternative hypothesis, that multiple dissociable mechanisms contribute to mental imagery.

Zacks, J., Rypma, B., Gabrieli, J., Tversky, B., & Glover, G. (1999). Imagined transformations of bodies: an fMRI study. Neuropsychologia, 37, 1029-1040.

Zacks, J. M., Ollinger, J. M., Sheridan, M. A., & Tversky, B. (2002). A parametric study of mental spatial transformations of bodies. NeuroImage, 16, 857-872.

Zacks, J. M., Mires, J., Tversky, B., & Hazeltine, E. (2002). Mental spatial transformations of objects and perspective. Spatial Cognition & Computation, 2, 315-322.

Michelon, P. & Zacks, J. M. (2003). What is primed in priming from imagery? Psychological Research, 67, 71-79.

Zacks, J. M., Vettel, J. M., Michelon, P. (2003). Imagined viewer and object rotations dissociated with event-related fMRI. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 1002-1018.

Zacks, J. M., Gilliam, F., & Ojemann, J. G. (2003). Selective disturbance of mental rotation by cortical stimulation. Neuropsychologia, 41, 1659-1667.

Zacks, J. M., Michelon, P., Vettel, J. M., & Ojemann, J. G. (2004). Functional reorganization of spatial transformations after a parietal lesion. Neurology, 63, 287-292. (supplementary materials)

Zacks, J. M., & Michelon, P. (2005). Transformations of visuospatial images. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 4, 96-118.

Zacks, J. M., & Tversky, B. (2005). Multiple systems for spatial imagery: Transformations of objects and bodies. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 5, 271-306.

Michelon, P., Vettel, J. M., & Zacks, J. M. (2006). Lateral somatotopic organization during imagined and prepared movements. Journal of Neurophysiology, 95, 811-822.

Michelon, P. & Zacks, J. M. (2006). Two kinds of visual perspective-taking. Perception and Psychophysics, 68, 327-337.

Zacks, J. M. (2008). Neuroimaging studies of mental rotation: A meta-analysis and review. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Yu, A.B. & Zacks, J.M. (2011). The role of animacy in spatial transformations. Memory & Cognition, 38 (7), 982-993.

Yu, A. B., Abrams, R. A., & Zacks, J. M. (2014). Limits on action priming by pictures of objects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40, 1861-1873.

Yu, A. B., & Zacks, J. M. (2017). Transformations and representations supporting spatial perspective taking. Spatial Cognition & Computation.

For a more complete list, download Jeff Zacks's curriculum vitae.