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Pearson, David G. (2007). Mental imagery and creative thought. Proceedings of the British Academy, 147, 187-212.

  author = 	 {Pearson, David G.},
  title = 	 {Mental Imagery and Creative Thought},
  journal = 	 {Proceedings of the British Academy},
  year = 	 {2007},
  volume = 	 {147},
  pages = 	 {187--212}

Author of the summary: Michael Forceno, 2010, mforceno@connect.carleton.ca

Cite this paper for:

In this paper, Pearson reviews a variety of experiments relating to mental imagery and creative thought and discusses the extent that representational theories of imagery have failed to account for the phenomenlogical experience of these images. Mental imagery has long played a part in creative thought including scientists such as Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Friedrich August von Kekule, and Stephen Hawking. "If imagery facilitates creative discovery then it is able be studied under controlled conditions."

Finke et al (1989) Guided Mental Synthesis

Finke and Slayton (1988) Creative Synthesis Task

Working Memory Models

Pearson et al (1999) Towards a model of Creative Synthesis

Pearson's Model of Creative Synthesis

The Phenomenology of Imagery

  • Controversy in Psychology over the "causal role played by imagery during cognition" [205]
  • Kosslyn (1980, 1994, 2005) developed a theory that mental images rely on representations that are distinct from the representations of language
  • Pylyshyn 1978: argued instead that there is nothing special or unique about mental images, and they are constrained by propositional language-based representations as all other forms of reasoning [206]
  • Relationship found between theoretical belief and personal experience - those who experienced vivid images were more likely to support depictive theories [207]
  • Function of Phenomenology in creatie thought:
  • "ability to create simulations of the conscious experience of perception"

    The actual paper can be found at http://www.proc.britac.ac.uk/tfiles//147p187-001.pdf

    Summary author's notes:

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