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Mental Imagery What is our Imagination Imagine that you are fishing by a lake sitting on the soft green grass looking into the clear blue water and drinking a cold beer It is possible for humans to explicitly imagine and describe this situation even down to the colors of the beer can but there is one problem how does the brain allow the description of tangible objects that are not in the actual perception field Many debates within the cognitive science realm have concerned the problem of representation namely how mental images are represented within the mind In the following paper mental images are identified as the visual representations in the mind when the image does not exist in the actual visual field Two possible explanations exist for the way in which mental images are represented they can be represented in the mind depictively as a picture or like sentences of descriptions in a syntactic language The Pictorialist theory of mental imagery which has been widely argued by Stephen Kosslyn states that mental images are similar to pictures being somewhat spatial and the parts of the mental image corresponding to the parts of the object represented Visual imagery involves having entities in the mind which are like or functionally equivalent to inner pictures Some inner pictures are remnants of earlier impressions but the brain also allows the capability to create mental images that are not conceivable in real life for example most humans can mentally imagine the appearance of a green giraffe on roller skates even though it is very unlikely that one will ever witness this In contrast to the Pictorialist theory Descriptionism states that mental images are more resemblant to language structure rather than being structured as a picture Description theorists consider the language-like content of the mental representations involved in imagery to be perceptual but do not feel that the format of these representations are perceptual in the mind the brain has
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