Mental imagery is a fundamental part of human cognition that bridges cognition with sensory representations. This paper introduces a novel technique to measure the sensory capacity of mental imagery using binocular-rivalry (BR)- removing the need for memory or subjective reports.
Index Tags: Visual Imagery
Visual working memory performance is assessed in aphantasic individual. Study finds while participant performs significantly worse than controls on the most difficult visual working memory trials, surprisingly, their performance on a task designed to involve mental imagery did not differ from controls.
Personal account of a physicist with aphantasia and SDAM. The paper summarizes the long-appreciated role of imagery in mathematics and the physical sciences, and contrast it with the evidence that some scientists have had limited or zero mental imagery.
Neurologist Adam Zeman of the University of Exeter publishes study involving a patient, known as MX, who reported losing his ability to visualize in the mind. Zeman refers to the inability to generate mental imagery as aphantasia.
New methods in behavioural psychophysics (the binocular-rivalry technique) and brain imaging (decoding techniques) have been developed and utilized to uncover many new insights into the mechanisms and brain areas involved in mental imagery.
Performance in visual working memory can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry. Findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage.
Patient MX reports losing the ability to generate visual images. MX experienced almost no imagery on standard questionnaires, yet performed normally on standard tests of perception, visual imagery and visual memory. These unexpected findings were explored using fMRI scanning.
From early imagery interviews of Francis Galton through many modern surveys, a consistent diversity of self-reports on one’s own mental imagery abilities suggests that some 2-5% of people are very poor- or non-visual- imagers. Comparable estimates have been made in auditory and other imagery modalities.