June 25 – Imagery
Visual imagery and memory:
History of mental imagery: Aristotle, Descartes, Locke – mental images are essential
part of thought. Wundt – mental images are essential part of thought, studied
imagery in lab with introspective methods. Behaviorist – thought there was no such
thing, no way to study it, scientifically. During the cognitive revolution, there started
to be experimental studies done and computational modeling.
Mnemonics – various techniques are used to increase chances of remembering,
many but not all use imagery
Method of Loci (location) – imagine a series of places that have a specific order to
them, imagine the items that you have to remember in those locations. Binding the
item you want to recall is binding it to a place you know. Singular items onto
singular things. You need to really know the place you are binding them onto.
Ross and Lawrence: when trained with method of Loci, students could recall 38/40.
Technique of interacting images: paired associate learning, imagery better than
non-imagery, interacting images better than non-interacting images. Non-imagery:
just words. Imagery: pictures, interacting imagery: goat-smoking pipe.
Words goat and pipe < pictures of a goat and a pipe separately < Picture of goat
Interactive images are recalled better, bizarreness had no effect.
The peg word method: Create an image of memory items with another set of
ordered cues, create an easily recalled list of nouns (ordered cues) then picture each
memory item interacting with one of the nouns. Only works up to 10. Not practical,
what about proactive interference? If we keep using the 2 rhyming part exactly the
same, it will interfere.
Ex. Dentist appointment – one bun = first rhyme one and bun and then imagine
someone in the waiting room holding a bun.
Dual code hypothesis: memory contains two distinct coding systems
Having a dual code improves memory over having only a single code. Pavio – body
Made 4 lists:
CC =Or 2 concrete words (book table) REMEMBER BEST
CA = Or one concrete and one abstract (book, justice) THEN THIS
AC = Or one abstract and one concrete (freedom, dress) Harder to remember
because the first noun in the pair acts as a conceptual peg on which the second noun
is hooked, but how can we hook properly on an abstract? THEN THIS
AA = Or 2 abstracts (beauty, truth) LASTLY THIS
* First thing that predicts memory is the image ability of the word. (Abstract <
concrete) People spontaneously make images for concrete nouns, imagery varies
with concreteness and concrete nouns are dual coded whereas abstract are only
coded verbally. And there is more strength when dual coded. Who remembers best? Individual differences in memory would. Visual imagery can
also give us benefits for memory but if you’re too good then you might over imagine
and confuse real things (percepts) with images.
Mental rotation: Transformations –
Metzler: participants were asked to compare 2 objects and decide if they are the
same but the objects presented at different orientations. The time to compare is
related to the degree of rotation (the more different the rotation is from the initial
state, the longer it should take)
Picture plane pairs (less rotation) vs depth pairs (more rotation)
60 degrees per second = rotation rate.
Scanning images: Kosslyn: If imagery like perception is spatial, then it should take
longer for participants to find parts that are located further from the initial point of
focus. (Percepts and images are basically the same) The further apart things are on
island, the longer it takes people to traverse that distance mentally. If there are less
intervening characteristic (the rocks, the hut etc.) then we will get there faster. The
added reaction time was due to physical distance.
Properties of visual images:
1. Implicit encoding = images give access to information not explicitly encoded.
(Ex. How many cabinet doors are in your kitchen?) we don’t explicitly know,
but imaging it in your mind you could add it up. Imagery encoded much more
than we consciously know.
2. Perceptual equivalence: imagery activates similar systems, as does
perception, People are sometimes unable to distinguish between their own
mental images and faint pictures on a s