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Outline: Mental Imagery When do we use Imagery? Subcomponents of Imagery. Relation to perception Types of Imagery: Spatial vs. Visual Oral Presentations:

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Presentation on theme: "Outline: Mental Imagery When do we use Imagery? Subcomponents of Imagery. Relation to perception Types of Imagery: Spatial vs. Visual Oral Presentations:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Outline: Mental Imagery When do we use Imagery? Subcomponents of Imagery. Relation to perception Types of Imagery: Spatial vs. Visual Oral Presentations: Info

2 Mental Imagery

3 –Which one is bigger, a tennis ball or a 100-watt light bulb? –Do monkey’s ears protrude from their head? –Do robins lay eggs? (no imagery needed)

4 When do we use imagery? when the following three conditions are met: –The information is a subtle visual property –The property has no verbal label (has not been considered before) –The property cannot be inferred from other information We also use imagery to anticipate trajectories –Would the bilard go into the socket? These two functions (memory recognition, visual tracking) are also the primary functions of visual perception

5 Sub-components of Visual Imagery Generating Scanning (inspection) Retaining Mental Rotation (transformation) Zoom (transformation)

6 Generate Imagine an elephant skating This occurs in a piecemeal fashion: First, an ‘image frame’ is generated (global shape) Next, parts and details are added to the the global shape, based on needs and imager preference Example: Imagine a letter F

7 Mental Scanning Map is displayed Subjects memorize it Map is removed (imagery) Task: “Imagine black speck moving from straw hut to well. Press the key when you arrive” Independent variable: The distance Dependent variable: Response Time Main Finding: Distance scanned in a mental image is directly related to the time it takes to complete the scan

8 Image Retention Note that in visual perception the very rapid decay is a virtue (but it is a burden for imagery)

9 Mental Rotation Stimulus: A pair of 3-D objects Task: Are the two shapes the same but viewed from a different perspective? Or are they different? Independent variables: –Rotation type (in 2-D, in depth) –Same/different –Angle of rotation (0 --> 180º) Dependent variable: Response Time Main Findings: –Imagined movement resembles actual movement (linear relation between RT and angle of rotation) –This is true for both plane and depth rotations 2-D yes no yes Are they the same shape?Rotation depth

10 Mental Rotation: What is the nature of mental imagery? Hypothesis: - ‘Moving’ mental images is like moving real objects. Assumptions: –Obviously, real objects move in a continuous fashion –to judge whether the letters are normal or mirror reversed requires rotating image to “upright” positions Prediction: RT: fastslow Fast RT Slower RT Slowest RT

11 Results The greater the angle the letter had to be rotated to get back to upright…the longer it took subjects to judge whether they were mirror reversed or not.

12 Zoom-in Instructions: “Imagine a mouse next to an elephant…” “Do the mouse’s whiskers point up or down? Inspection of whiskers requires zooming-in Such zoom-in process is time consuming (slow RT)

13 Zoom-in (cont’d) Instructions: “Imagine a mouse next to a paper clip…” “Do the mouse’s whiskers point up or down? Inspection of whiskers does NOT require zooming-in Faster RT than when paired to the elephant

14 Overlap of Imagery and Perception Hypothesis: –Imagery uses the same machinery as perception Evidence –Behavioral (interference) –Neuroimaging –Brain Lesion

15 Primary Task: –Detect a weak perceptual signal Secondary Task: –Imagery Independent variable: –Modality across tasks Same (high interference): –visual-visual, –auditory-auditory Different (low interference): –visual-auditory, –auditory-visual Dependent variable: Perceptual Sensitivity (hit - FA) Finding: There is interference Thought question:Predict result when perceptual and imaged stimuli are the same Behavioral Evidence (‘inspection’ interference)

16 Neuroimaging Evidence: Similar Brain Areas Activated by Imagery and Perception

17 Neuroimaging Evidence: Topographic correspondence between perception and Imagery Background: - Primary visual cortex has a retinotopic map, that is, - peripheral visual field is represented in anterior part of BA17 - fovea is represented in posterior part of BA17 Task: Letter Imagery Independent Variable: Size of image Result: Image of small letters activates more posterior parts of primary visual cortex than image large letters.

18 Neuropsychological Evidence Subject: Patient with occipital lesion and reduced visual field (vs. Normal controls) Instructions: “Imagine an elephant, start walking toward it until it covers all visual field. How far away is it?” Normal Visual field Reduced Visual field

19 Neuropsychological Evidence

20 Visual vs. Spatial Imagery Visuo-spatial imagery can be divided into: –Visual Imagery proper Unavailable to blind people Possibly related to introspective ‘vividness’ of image Disrupted by secondary visual task (but not by spatial task) –Spatial Imagery Evident in blind people Unrelated to ‘vividness’ of image Disrupted by non-visual spatial task Probably more dependent on parietal cortex Individual differences data argue for independence among subcomponents (also between visual and spatial aspects)

21 Imagery: Conclusions Mental imagery can be studied in the lab Visual Imagery is not a monolithic concept. Instead, many sub-components exist (rotate, zoom, scan, generate) Mental images are a little bit like pictures (analogical) Imagery seems to rely in perceptual neural substrates


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