Sex differences in event-related potentials were examined in 23 women and 24 men during a mental rotation task. We found an early (130-400 ms) and a late (400-700 ms) ERP mental rotation effect. The late rotation effect, which is thought to indicate the onset of the cognitive process of mental rotation, emerged about 100 ms earlier in men than in women. Moreover, men showed about 100 ms shorter response latencies to the task than women. These findings suggest that the faster response in men can be explained as a result of actual mental rotation taking place earlier. Furthermore, we found increased involvement of the right hemisphere specifically in men, probably pointing at a holistic strategy in men during mental rotation.

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Keywords Event-related potentials, Hemispheric differences, Mental rotation, Sex differences
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Journal NeuroReport: for rapid communication of neuroscience research
Gootjes, L, Bruggeling, E.C, Magnée, I, & van Strien, J.W. (2008). Sex differences in the latency of the late event-related potential mental rotation effect. NeuroReport: for rapid communication of neuroscience research, 19(3), 349–353. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f519b3