This study sought evidence for the independence of two classes of mental spatial transformation: object-based spatial transformations and egocentric perspective transforma- tions. Two tasks were designed to selectively elicit these two transformations using the same materials, participants, and task parameters: one required same-different judgments about pairs of pictures, while the other required left-right judgments about single pictures. For pictures of human bodies, the two tasks showed strikingly different patterns of response time as a function of stimulus orientation. Moreover, across individuals, the two tasks had different relationships to psychometric tests of spatial ability. The chronometric and individual difference data converge with neuropsychological and neuroimaging data in suggesting that different mental spatial transformations are performed by dissociable neural systems.
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