Mental image

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Mental faculties according to Robert Fludd (1574–1637).

A mental image or mental picture is the representation in a person's mind of the physical world outside of that person. It is an experience that, on most occasions, significantly resembles the experience of perceiving some object, event, or scene, but occurs when the relevant object, event, or scene is not actually present to the senses.

CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links

Quotes[edit]

Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F[edit]

  • For a musician, visualization is the process of picturing in our minds eye what we hear in our mind's ear. Visualization is something we all do. In fact, putting a visual form before the mind's eye or forming a mental image is something that precedes most things that we do.
  • The conception of lines of force was introduced by Faraday to form a mental picture of the processes going on in the electric field. To him these lines were not mere mathematical abstractions. He ascribed to them properties that gave them a real physical significance.
  • In medical science arguments are going on between behaviorists who perceive the function of brain as a multitude of simple and unconscious conditioned reflexes, and cognitivists who insist that humans sensing the surrounding world create its mental image which can be considered as memory of facts.
I do not intend to argue the essence of these processes, all the more so because it has been proved that both types of memory function in the brain. However, I am convinced that those who once saw a nuclear explosion or imagined the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will forever maintain the mental picture of horror-stricken and dust-covered Earth, burned bodies of the dead and wounded and people slowly dying of radiation disease. Prompted by the sense of responsibility for the fortunes of the human race, Einstein addressed the following warning to his colleagues: "Since we, scientists, face the tragic lot of further increasing the murderous effectiveness of the means of destruction, it is our most solemn and noble duty to prevent the use of these weapons for the cruel ends they were designed to achieve".
  • Yevgeniy Chazov Tragedy and Triumph of Reason (1985), Nobel Lecture (11 December 1985)

G - L[edit]

Anamorphic painting in the hallway of the rooms at Salvator hospital in Marseille.
Painting from another point of view.
  • During the late 1970s and early 1980s there was vigorous debate about the nature of visual mental imagery. One position (championed primarily by Pylyshyn, 1973, 1981) held that representations that underlie the experience of mental imagery are the same type as those used in language; the other position (which my colleagues and I supported, e.g., Kosslyn, 1980, 1994) held that these representations serve to depict, not describe, objects. The debate evolved over time... but always centred on the nature of the internal representations that underlie the experience of visualisation.
    • Stephen M. Kosslyn, "Mental images and the brain." Cognitive Neuropsychology 22.3-4 (2005): p. 333

M - R[edit]

  • Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture. Never think of yourself as failing; never doubt the reality of the mental image.
  • Suppose the reasoning centers of the brain can get their hands on the mechanisms that plop shapes into the array and that read their locations out of it. Those reasoning demons can exploit the geometry of the array as a surrogate for keeping certain logical constraints in mind. Wealth, like location on a line, is transitive: if A is richer than B, and B is richer than C, then A is richer than C. By using location in an image to symbolize wealth, the thinker takes advantage of the transitivity of location built into the array, and does not have to enter it into a chain of deductive steps. The problem becomes a matter of plop down and look up. It is a fine example of how the form of a mental representation determines what is easy or hard to think.
  • A conceptual model is a mental image of a system, its components, its interactions. It lays the foundation for more elaborate models, such as physical or numerical models. A conceptual model provides a framework in which to think about the workings of a system or about problem solving in general. An ensuing operational model can be no better than its underlying conceptualization.
  • We never have any understanding of any subject matter except in terms of our own mental constructs of "things" and "happenings" of that subject matter.
    • Douglas T. Ross, "Structured analysis (SA): A language for communicating ideas" in: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering Vol. 3, No. 1, Jan 1977. pp. 16-34; p. 19.

S - Z[edit]

  • Imagery played a central role in theories of the mind for centuries. For example, the British Associationists conceptualizes thought itself as sequences of images. And, Wilhelm Wundt, the founder of scientific psychology, emphasized the analysis of images. However, the central role of imagery in theories of mental activity was undermined when Kulpe, in 1904, pointed out that some thoughts are not accompanied by imagery (e.g., one is not aware of the processes that allow one to decide which of two objects is heavier).
    • Robert Andrew Wilson, ‎Frank C. Keil (2001), The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. p. 387
  • As a brain researcher, I'd started out simply accepting the strictly objective principles of the behaviorist position. In the 1950s and early 1960s, all respectable neuroscientists thought in these terms. In those days, we wouldn't have been caught dead implying that consciousness or subjective experience can affect physical brain processing.
    My first break with this thinking — although I certainly didn't see it that way at the time — came in a 1952 discussion of mind-brain theory in which I proposed a fundamentally new way of looking at consciousness. In it, I suggested that when we focus consciously on an object — and create a mental image for example — it's not because the brain pattern is a copy or neural representation of the perceived object, but because the brain experiences a special kind of interaction with that object, preparing the brain to deal with it.
    I maintained that an identical feeling or thought on two separate occasions did not necessarily involve the identical nerve cells each time. Instead, it is the operational impact of the neural activity pattern as a whole that counts, and this depends on context — just as the word "lead" can mean different things, depending on the rest of the sentence.
  • When we focus consciously on an object — and create a mental image for example — it's not because the brain pattern is a copy or neural representation of the perceived object, but because the brain experiences a special kind of interaction with that object, preparing the brain to deal with it.
    I maintained that an identical feeling or thought on two separate occasions did not necessarily involve the identical nerve cells each time. Instead, it is the operational impact of the neural activity pattern as a whole that counts, and this depends on context — just as the word "lead" can mean different things, depending on the rest of the sentence.
  • I often told the fanatics of realism that there is no such thing as realism in art: it only exists in the mind of the observer. Art is a symbol, a thing conjuring up reality in our mental image. That is why I don't see any contradiction between abstract and figurative art either.
    • Antoni Tàpies, Tàpies, Werke auf Papier 1943 – 2003, (2004) p. 25.
  • Acting is the physical representation of a mental picture and the projection of an emotional concept.
    • Laurette Taylor The Quality You Need Most, from Green Book Magazine (April 1914)
  • Here it's worth briefly noting, however, that pictorialism is only one of two major representationalist theories of vision and imagination (or mental imagery), the other being propositionalism.
    • Emily Troscianko (2014). Kafka’s Cognitive Realism, p. 40

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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