Image-dependent interaction of imagery and vision

American Journal of Psychology:343-366 (2003)
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The influence of imagery on perception depends on the content of the mental image. Sixty-three students responded to the location of the 2 hands of a clock while visualizing the correct or an incorrect clock. Reaction time was shorter with valid cueing. Could this have resulted from visual acquisition strategies such as planning visual saccades or shifting covert attention? No. in this study, a crucial control condition made participants look at rather than visualize the cue. Acquisition strategies should have affected equally both types of cueing, but we observed that the effect of the visual cue was smaller and limited to a particular subcase in which one expects visual acquisition strategies. Thus, what matters is the similarity of the content of the mental image with the visual scene. In addition, an interaction involving the hand used for responding supports the notion that composite imagery is lateralized.

Author's Profile

David Kirsh
University of California, San Diego


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