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Chapter 10

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University of Toronto St. George
Gillian Rowe

PSY270 Lecture 9 Chapter 10 Visual Imagery Visual imagery: seeing in the absence of a visual stimulus Experience of being able to visually remember seeing the Pacific Ocean, whats in your kitchen, etc. Mental imagery: ability to recreate the sensory world in the absence of physical stimuli, also occurs in senses other than vision. ability to imagine tastes, smells, tactile experiences, melodies of familiar songs Imagery provides a way of thinking that adds another dimension to the verbal techniques usually associated with thinking. Imagery is associated with everyday experiences. Imagery in the History of Psychology Early images about imagery Wundt: proposed images were one of three basic elements of consciousness, along with sensations and feelings. o Because images accompany thought, studying images was a way of studying thinking. Debate: imageless thought debate Artistotle: thought is impossible without an image Galton: imagery not required for thinking observed people who had great difficulty forming visual images still capable of thinking. Behaviorists: images are invisible to everyone except the person experiencing them, therefore should not waste time studying. This changed when cognition was reborn. Imagery and the cognitive revolution Cognitive psychologists developed ways to measure behaviour used to infer cognitive processes Paivio: showed it was easier to remember concrete nouns than abstracts (truthjustice), which are hard to image. o Technique: Paired-associate learning o Hypothesis: conceptual peg hypothesis: concrete nouns create images that other words can hang onto. Shepard & Metzler: inferred cognitive processes by using mental chronometry, which determined amount of time needed to carry out various cognitive tasks. o Coglab: mental shape rotation experiment o Time took to decide that two views were same directly related to how different angles were between the two views. o Participants were mentally rotating one of the views to see if it matched the other. o First study to apply quantitative methods to study imagery and suggest imagery and perception may share same mechanisms. Imagery and perception: do they share the same mechanism? this assumption is based on observation that although mental images differ from perception (not as vividlong lasting), imagery shares many properties with perception Shepard & Metzler results: mental and perceptual images involve spatial representation of stimulus. Kosslyns mental scanning experiments participants create mental images and then scan them in their minds participants memorize picture of object (boat) and focus on one part of the boast (anchor) then asked to look for another part of boat (motor) and press true button when they found this part or false if they couldnt find it. Reasoned that if imagery (like perception) is spatial, then take longer for participants to find images located farther from initial point of focus (since they are scanning) o This is what happened. o Lea: proposed that participants may have encountered interesting parts (cabin) or distracted o Kosslyn et al: repeated this experiment by using a map. Reconfirmed Pylyshyn: proposed idea imagery debate: whether imagery is based on spatial mechanisms (like perception) or based on mechanisms related to language (propositional mechanisms) www.notesolution.com
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