Minds Eye - The Imagery of Remembered Scenes

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Even after the Exeter study, I was certain that what we had here was a failure to communicate. You say potato, I say potato. Let me be clear: I know nobody can see fantastical images through their actual eyes. But I have now taken this journey with 74 friends and relatives, and I am certain the difference transcends language.

Fully 71 of them described—in terms quite similar to one another—the experience of creating a mental image in their mind. I have never heard a better sign of the times. Of course it is—because the beach I visited was in color. But the very foundation of the question does not compute in my brain. What puppy? I found three other people who shared my experience. I know facts about the characteristics of your face. If you have radiant blue eyes, I may have stored that information.

In programming parlance, I have a hash table. How about picturing something simpler, like a red triangle, or the table right in front of you? I can think about the idea of a red triangle.


Blackness next to my ears. Blackness in every nook and kindle of my brain. Virtual reality also seems redundant now. More generally, I have no sensory experience in my mind of any discernible nature.

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  • Statistics of Mental Imagery?

In my surveys, mental imagery and audio were most common, followed by the ability to trigger a feeling in response the joie de vivre of the beach, or spider shivers. Taste, touch, and smell trailed. What is going through your mind all day, if not sights and sounds? All narration, all the time. An infinite script of milk voice dialogue. When you read a sarcastic essay from me, it is a transcript of this voice. This is also how I digest fiction. First I think of a noun in my milk voice: cupcake. Then I think of a verb: cough.

Tony Blair’s eyes

Finally an adjective: hairy. What if there was a hairy monster that coughs out cupcakes? Now I wonder how he feels about that. Does he wish he was scarier? Is he regulated by the FDA? Does he get to subtract Weight Watchers points whenever he coughs? Are his sneezes savory or sweet? Is the flu delicious?

Guided Imagery

Welp, I just learned a lot about how you masturbate. Did you ever have surgery or an injury? I slipped, hit my head and blacked out. My 10th birthday was spent in the hospital watching O.

Simpson speed away innocently in a white Ford Bronco. Take an abridged survey in this BBC article. Apparently geneticist Craig Venter is aphantasiac. Also check out Penn of Penn and Teller discussing his experience on his podcast last year. His experience matches mine perfectly. It is somewhat amazing to learn that I have given people an experience I myself have never accessed:. Same with the Theranos parody. Save to Library. Create Alert. Share This Paper. Figures and Topics from this paper. Citations Publications citing this paper.

Imagination links with schizotypal beliefs, not with creativity or learning. Sophie von Stumm , Hannah Scott. Motion prediction at low contrast Claudio de'Sperati , Ian M. However, some people are able to perceive colorful, dynamic imagery.

Mental Imagery (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The use of hallucinogenic drugs increases the subject's ability to consciously access visual and auditory, and other sense percepts. Furthermore, the pineal gland is a hypothetical candidate for producing a mind's eye; Rick Strassman and others have postulated that during near-death experiences NDEs and dreaming , the gland might secrete a hallucinogenic chemical N , N -Dimethyltryptamine DMT to produce internal visuals when external sensory data is occluded. The hypothesized condition where a person lacks a mind's eye is called aphantasia.

The term was first suggested in a study. Common examples of mental images include daydreaming and the mental visualization that occurs while reading a book. Another is of the pictures summoned by athletes during training or before a competition, outlining each step they will take to accomplish their goal.

Is It Really Obvious?

Calling up an image in our minds can be a voluntary act, so it can be characterized as being under various degrees of conscious control. According to psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker , [33] our experiences of the world are represented in our minds as mental images. These mental images can then be associated and compared with others, and can be used to synthesize completely new images. In this view, mental images allow us to form useful theories of how the world works by formulating likely sequences of mental images in our heads without having to directly experience that outcome.

Whether other creatures have this capability is debatable. There are several theories as to how mental images are formed in the mind. These include the dual-code theory , the propositional theory, and the functional-equivalency hypothesis. The dual-code theory, created by Allan Paivio in , is the theory that we use two separate codes to represent information in our brains: image codes and verbal codes.

Image codes are things like thinking of a picture of a dog when you are thinking of a dog, whereas a verbal code would be to think of the word "dog".

Picture this: first exhibition of artists who lack “mind’s eye”

When abstract words are thought of, it is easier to think of them in terms of verbal codes—finding words that define them or describe them. With concrete words, it is often easier to use image codes and bring up a picture of a human or chair in your mind rather than words associated or descriptive of them. The propositional theory involves storing images in the form of a generic propositional code that stores the meaning of the concept not the image itself. The propositional codes can either be descriptive of the image or symbolic.

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They are then transferred back into verbal and visual code to form the mental image.