Imaging Imagination: Brain Scanning of the Imagined Future


in Imaginative Minds

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264195
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734540 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Imaging Imagination: Brain Scanning of the Imagined Future

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Imagination is believed to be made-up of two components. The first one suggests that acts of imagination engage similar networks in the brain to those used for motor and sensory processing during interactions with the real world. The second component purports that the selection processes used in the subcomponents of imagination such as mindedness, anticipation, and counterfactual thinking rely on the subcortical and cortical networks of the brain which consist of components such as the cerebellum, orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and cingulate cortex. This chapter reviews the emerging literature on neuroimaging of various components of imagination. Imaging and other neuroscientific techniques offer various possibilities in the architecture of the imaginative mind. It shows how the neural bases of the imaginative activities are organized. Imaginative processes are distributed activities which recruit several brain areas and networks. These complex relations within and between these various networks are illustrated by the Dynamic Workspace Hypothesis. However it is expected that the precise functional roles of these interacting networks can be accurately defined through the advent of brain scanning and neuroimaging, particularly through the technical breakthroughs imagined in a Coda.

Keywords: networks; selection processes; subcortical networks; cortical networks; neuroimaging; components of imagination; neuroscientific techniques; imaginative mind

Chapter.  7816 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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