Disentangling mental imagery and perceptual expectation

Ellis, Andrew William; Preuss, Nora; Mast, Fred (8 September 2015). Disentangling mental imagery and perceptual expectation (Unpublished). In: 14th congress of the Swiss Psychological Society (SSP/SGP) - "The future of psychology". Geneva. 08.-09.09.2015.

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Mental imagery and perception are thought to rely on similar neural circuits, and many recent behavioral studies have attempted to demonstrate interactions between actual physical stimulation and sensory imagery in the corresponding sensory modality. However, there has been a lack of theoretical understanding of the nature of these interactions, and both interferential and facilitatory effects have been found. Facilitatory effects appear strikingly similar to those that arise due to experimental manipulations of expectation. Using a self-motion discrimination task, we try to disentangle the effects of mental imagery from those of expectation by using a hierarchical drift diffusion model to investigate both choice data and response times. Manipulations of expectation are reasonably well understood in terms of their selective influence on parameters of the drift diffusion model, and in this study, we make the first attempt to similarly characterize the effects of mental imagery. We investigate mental imagery within the computational framework of control theory and state estimation. • Mental imagery and perception are thought to rely on similar neural circuits; however, on more theoretical grounds, imagery seems to be closely related to the output of forward models (sensory predictions). • We reanalyzed data from a study of imagined self-motion. • Bayesian modeling of response times may allow us to disentangle the effects of mental imagery on behavior from other cognitive (top-down) effects, such as expectation.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Ellis, Andrew William; Preuss, Nora and Mast, Fred


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Andrew William Ellis

Date Deposited:

02 May 2016 15:24

Last Modified:

09 Sep 2017 17:48





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