Visual mental images can be ambiguous: insights from individual differences in spatial transformation abilities

Mast, Fred W.; Kosslyn, Stephen M. (2002). Visual mental images can be ambiguous: insights from individual differences in spatial transformation abilities. Cognition, 86(1), pp. 57-70. Elsevier 10.1016/S0010-0277(02)00137-3

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The debate about whether objects in mental images can be ambiguous has produced ambiguousresults. In some studies, participants could not reinterpret objects in images, but even in the studieswhere participants could reinterpret visualized patterns, the results are not conclusive. The presentstudy used a novel task to investigate the reinterpretation of ambiguous figures in imagery, whichrequired the participants to mentally rotate a figure 180 degrees before attempting to “see” analternate interpretation. In addition, the participants did not know the purpose of the study inadvance, nor did they see alternate interpretations of the stimuli; moreover, we explicitly measuredindividual differences in key mental imagery abilities. Eight of the 44 participants discovered thealternate version while they were memorizing the figure; 16 reported it after mentally rotating animage; and 20 were not able to “see” the alternate version. The ability to rotate images, assessed withan independent task, was highly associated with reports of image reversals, whereas measures ofother imagery abilities were not.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

UniBE Contributor:

Mast, Fred

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0010-0277

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeannette Gatschet

Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2020 17:38

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2020 17:38

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/S0010-0277(02)00137-3

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.147269

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/147269

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