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Psychology 2135A/B
Robert Brown

Lecture 10 - Imagery - are mental images different from propositional/verbal information as representations of the world? Evidence that we form and use mental images - problem is that some people argue forming images is like seeing; process that is very different from verbal processing; difference is like difference between analog and digital - analog has how much day is left encoded; digital does not - in image, always possible to see what we have not seen before; in verbal description, can only get what is written/spoken, nothing else - some people argue that it is all digital since it involves neurons and there are no actual pictures in brain; like a computer Brooks (1968) - 2 tasks - task 1: categorize each word as a noun or a non-noun in a sentence - task 2: look at a block letter and then, from memory, categorize each corner as a point on a) the extreme top or bottom or b) a point in between - 3 response methods: - a) say yes and no - b) tap with the left hand for each noun, and right hand for each non-noun - c) point to a Y for each noun and an N for each non-noun - Ys and Ns are staggered; makes visuo-spatial task harder - see if there is a different verbal and visual system - showed that when processing and response were both verbal or both visual, took longer response times; when processing and response were different, took less time Shepard and Metzler (1971) - studies using a mental rotation task - whether relationship between visual form of the mental image and reaction time is similar to what happens with actual visual stimulus - IV for same trials is number of degrees of rotation; DV is time to decide whether two stimuli are the same - as angle goes up, mean reaction time goes up - we rotate through all the degrees; just like physically rotating object Cooper and Shepard (1973) - used letters rotated by different amounts - task to determine if figure was mirror reversed - 180 degrees is the most difficult; further away from right-side-up means longer times Kosslyn (1973); Kosslyn et at. (1978) - imagery produced by many of same resources used for vision; so similar properties - one property of a visual percept is that it is limited in size; maximal size for visual image - moving closer causes object to fill more of the field and details are easier to see - had people imagine a rabbit next to an elephant; asked questions about features about rabbit like whiskers; people took a long time - then had people imagine a rabbit next to a fly; asked questions about features of rabbit; people took less time - it is as if they got closer to the rabbit so more details are available - 1978 task was to memorize imaginary island - island had 7 objects - after map was memorized one location was named, and then a second one named - when second location named, participant was to scan from first location to second one and press a button when they were done - reaction time was directly proportional to the actual distance; distance is by far the most important factor to determine reaction time - visual memory is stored using picture-like code; visual memory is like perception; relations are implicit; different kind of representation for each sense (i.e. visual images from visual system; comes from memory instead of sensation) Properties of visual images - Finke (1989) - 1) Implicit encoding - images give access to information not explicitly encoded e.g. Brooks (1968) - 2) Perceptual
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