Using a myocardial tagging technique, normal left ventricular wall motion was studied in 3 true short axis views and a double oblique 4-chamber view in 14 and 11 volunteers, respectively. Three orthogonal directions of left ventricular motion were observed throughout the systole; a concentric contraction towards the center of the left ventricle, a motion of the base of the heart towards the apex, and a rotation of the left ventricle around its long axis. the direction of left ventricular rotation changed from early systole to late systole. the base and middle levels of the left ventricle rotated counterclockwise (CCW) at early systole and clockwise (CW) at late systole, whereas the apex of the heart rotated CW at early systole and CCW at late systole. the different directions of the rotation of base and apex resulted in a myocardial twisting that changed direction from early to late systole. We conclude that MR imaging with myocardial tagging is a method that can be used to study normal left ventricular wall motion, and that is promising for future use in patient groups.