Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 709–716 | Cite as

Gender-Related Strategies for Solving Visuospatial Tasks

  • A. V. Slavutskaya
  • N. Yu. Gerasimenko
  • E. S. Mikhailova

Studies of 34 subjects (of which 16 were men) using a gender-related differences model addressed the mechanisms forming two strategies for solution of a visuospatial construction task. While there were no gender-related differences in the effectiveness of performing the construction task, the patterns of evoked activity in men and women were different. In men, the early response in the parietal cortex was linked with spatial transformation of the figure: the greater the rotation of the constituent parts, the greater the amplitude of the P1 wave, while errors were associated with decreases in P1 amplitude. In women, no cortical correlates of the rotation of parts were seen, though there was an increase in the negativity of N150 in EP in the occipital and inferior temporal areas of the cortex on transformation of the whole figure into the set of its component parts. These data are assessed in the light of concepts of the gender specificity of representations of the visual space and the cerebral organization of different strategies of visuospatial activity.


human gender-related differences visuospatial activity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    A. R. Luriya, Higher Cortical Functions and Their Impairments in Local Brain Lesions [in Russian], Moscow State University Press, Moscow (1969).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. S. Mikhailova, A. V. Slavutskaya, N. Yu. Gerasimenko, and V. A. Chicherov, “Perception of whole figures and their component elements in men and women. Analysis of evoked potentials,” Sensor. Sistemy, 25, No. 1, 65–77 (2011).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. V. Slavutskaya and E. S. Mikhailova, “Evoked potentials in the human visual cortex on perception of whole figures and their component elements,” Zh. Vyssh. Nerv. Deyat., 60, No. 4, 397–408 (2010).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    D. Capruso and K. S. Hamsher, “Constructional ability in two versus three dimensions: Relationship to spatial vision and locus of cerebrovascular lesion,” Cortex, 47, 696–705 (2011).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. V. Chafee, D. A. Crowe, B. B. Averbeck, and A. P. Georgopoulos, “Neural correlates of spatial judgement during object construction in parietal cortex,” Cereb. Cortex., 15, 1393–1413 (2005).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. W. Collins and D. A. Kimura, “Large sex difference on a twodimensional mental rotation task,” Behav. Neurosci., 111, No. 4, 845–849 (1997).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. M. Dabbs, E. L. Chang, R. A. Strong, and R. Milun, “Spatial ability, navigation strategy, and geographic knowledge among men and women,” Evolut. Hum. Behav., 19, 89–98 (1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. E. Descrocher, M. L. Smith, and M. J. Taylor, “Stimulus and sex differences in performance of mental rotation: evidence from eventrelated potentials,” Brain Cogn., 28, 14–38 (1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. J. Duff and E. Hampson, “A sex difference on a novel spatial working memory task in humans,” Brain Cogn., 47, 470–493 (2001).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    P. E. Eme and J. Marquer, “Individual strategies in a spatial task and how they relate to aptitudes,” Eur. J. Psychol. Edu., 14, 89–108 (1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    A. P. Georgopoulos, K. Whang, M. A. Georgopoulos, et al., “Functional magnetic resonance imaging of visual object construction and shape discrimination: relations among task, hemispheric lateralization, and gender,” J. Cogn. Neurosci., 13, No. 1, 72–89 (2001).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    L. Gootjes, E. C. Bruggeling, T. Magnee, and J. W. van Strien, “Sex differences in the latency of the late event-related potential mental rotation effect,” Neuroreport, 19, 349–353 (2008).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    N. Hahn, P. Jansen, and M. Heil, “Preschooler’s mental rotation: Sex differences in hemispheric asymmetry,” J. Cogn. Neurosci., 22, 1244–1250 (2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    M. Heil, “The functional significance of ERP effects during mental rotation,” Psychophysiology, 39, 535–545 (2002).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    C. B. Holroyd, K. L. Pakzad-Vaezi, and O. E. Krigolson, “The feedback correct-related positivity: Sensitivity of the event-related brain potential to unexpected positive feedback,” Psychophysiology, 45, 688–697 (2008).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    T. Iachini, I. Sergi, G. Ruggiero, and A. Gnisci, “Gender differences in object location memory in a real three-dimensional environment,” Brain Cogn., 59, 52–59 (2005).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    S. M. Kosslyn, “Seeing and imagining in the cerebral hemispheres: A computational approach,” Psychol. Rev., 94, 148–175 (1987).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    C. A. Lawton, “Strategies for indoor way findings: The role of orientation,” J. Env. Psychol., 16, 137–145 (1996).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    C. D. Lefebvre, Y. Marchand, G. A. Eskes, and J. F. Connolly, “Assessment of working memory abilities using an event-related brain potential (ERP)-compatible digit span backward task,” Clin. Neurophysiol., 116, 1665–1680 (2005).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    S. C. Levene, J. Huttenlocker, A. Taylor, and A. Langrock, “Early sex differences in spatial skill,” Dev. Psychol., 35, No. 4, 940–949 (1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    L. J. Levy, R. S. Astur, and K. M. Frick, “Men and women differ in object memory but not performance of a virtual radial maze,” Behav. Neurosci., 119, No. 4, 853–862 (2005).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    G. F. Potts, L. E. Martin, P. Burton, and P. R. Montague, “When things are better or worse than expected: The medial frontal cortex and the allocation of processing,” J. Cogn. Neurosci., 18, No. 7, 1112–1119 (2006).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    H. E. Schendan and L. C. Lucia, “visual object cognition precedes but also temporally overlaps mental rotation,” Brain Res., 1294, 91–105 (2009).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    K. Schultz, “The construction of solution strategy to spatial performance,” Can. J. Psychol., 45, 474–491 (1991).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    X. Shen, “Sex differences in perceptual processing: performance on the color-Kanji stroop task of visual stimuli,” Int. J. Neurosci., 115, 1631–1641 (2005).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    S. C. Stefferson, A. J. Ohran, D. N. Shipp, et al., “Gender-selective effects of the P300 and N400 components of the visual evoked potential,” Vision Res., 48, 917–925 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    D. Tzuriel and G. Egozi, “Gender differences in spatial ability of young children: the effects of training and processing strategies,” Child Dev., 81, No. 5, 1417–1430 (2010).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    E. Vaquero, M. J. Cardoso, M. Vazquez, and C. M. Gomez, “Gender differences in event related potential during visual-spatial attention,” Int. J. Neurosci., 114, 541–557 (2004).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    E. K. Vogel and S. J. Luck, “The visual N1 component as an index of a discrimination process,” Psychophysiology, 37, 190–193 (2000).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Q. Yu, Y. Tang, J. Li, Q. Lu, et al., “Sex differences of event-related potential effects during three-dimensional mental rotation,” Neuro-Report, 20, No. 1, 43–47 (2009).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Slavutskaya
    • 1
  • N. Yu. Gerasimenko
    • 1
  • E. S. Mikhailova
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and NeurophysiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations