Mental Imagery and Creative Thought


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

Mental Imagery and Creative Thought

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Mental imagery is the quasi-perceptual state of consciousness in which the mind appears to be able to create sensory-like experience. It is often cited as having a crucial role in creative thought; it is often associated with successful acts and performances across a wide range of creative tasks, including the development of scientific models, the conceptualization of architectural design, and the aspects of everyday problem-solving. Despite its assumed role in creative thought, its exact contribution remains a debated issue. This chapter outlines some of the anecdotal evidence that supports the link between imagery and creative thought. It also reviews evidence garnered from a number of experimental studies that have examined the use of imagery under controlled conditions. It also discusses the extent to which representational theories of imagery have failed to directly account for the phenomenology that is associated with imagery.

Keywords: mental imagery; creative thought; imagery; use of imagery; theories of imagery; phenomenology

Chapter.  9502 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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