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Dimensionality and Angular Disparity Influence Mental Rotation in Computer Gaming

Akanksha Tiwari1,*, Ram Bilas Pachori1,2, Premjit Khanganba Sanjram1,3,4

1 Department of Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Indore, 453552, India
2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Indore, 453552, India
3 Discipline of Psychology, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Indore, 453552, India
4 Center for Electric Vehicles and Intelligent Transport Systems, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Indore, 453552, India

* Corresponding Author: Akanksha Tiwari. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Emergent Computer-Based Methods and Internet of Things Technologies for Physical Therapy, Dentistry, Medicine, and Engineering)

Computers, Materials & Continua 2022, 72(1), 887-905.


Computer gaming is one of the most common activities that individuals are indulged in their usual activities concerning interactive system-based entertainment. Visuospatial processing is an essential aspect of mental rotation (MR) in playing computer-games. Previous studies have explored how objects’ features affect the MR process; however, non-isomorphic 2D and 3D objects lack a fair comparison. In addition, the effects of these features on brain activation during the MR in computer-games have been less investigated. This study investigates how dimensionality and angular disparity affect brain activation during MR in computer-games. EEG (electroencephalogram) data were recorded from sixty healthy adults while playing an MR-based computer game. Isomorphic 2D and 3D visual objects with convex and reflex angular disparity were presented in the game. Cluster-based permutation tests were applied on EEG spectral power for frequency range 3.5–30 Hz to identify significant spatio-spectral changes. Also, the band-specific hemispheric lateralization was evaluated to investigate task-specific asymmetry. The results indicated higher alpha desynchronization in the left hemisphere during MR compared to baseline. The fronto-parietal areas showed neural activations during the game with convex angular disparities and 3D objects, for a frequency range of 7.8–14.2 Hz and 7.8–10.5 Hz, respectively. These areas also showed activations during the game with reflex angular disparities and 2D objects, but for narrower frequency bands, i.e., 8.0–10.0 Hz and 11.0–11.7 Hz, respectively. Left hemispheric dominance was observed for alpha and beta frequencies. However, the right parietal region was notably more dominant for convex angular disparity and 3D objects. Overall, the results showed higher neural activities elicited by convex angular disparities and 3D objects in the game compared to the reflex angles and 2D objects. The findings suggest future applications, such as cognitive modeling and controlled MR training using computer games.


Cite This Article

A. Tiwari, R. Bilas Pachori and P. Khanganba Sanjram, "Dimensionality and angular disparity influence mental rotation in computer gaming," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 72, no.1, pp. 887–905, 2022.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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