Chapter 7 Imagery Memory and imagery Paivo’s dual-coding theory Images are a subjective phenomenon Image defined as the ease with which something elicits a mental image (mental picture or sound) Dual-coding theory : The theory that verbal and non-verbal systems are alternative ways of representing events. E.g. an event can be described with words (verbal) or it can be imagined (non-verbal). 1 . Incoming info can be either verbal or non-verbal, 2. It is picked up by the sensory systems, 3. Then info is represented by verbal or non-verbal system. Logogens : The units containing the information underlying our use of a word that comprise the verbal system. operate sequentially Imagens : The units containing information that generate mental images that make up the non-verbal system natural objects, holistic parts of objects, natural groupings of objects operate synchronously • Information in one system can give rise to info in the other system. They are interconnected: a verbal description of something can elicit a mental image and vice-versa. • Words that elicit images tend to be concrete (table). Words that do not elicit images tend to be abstract (justice). Concreteness : The degree to which a word refers to concrete objects/persons/places/things that can be heard, felt, touched, tasted. Refers to something that can be experienced by the senses. • Measurement of imagery and concreteness: give participants definitions of imagery and concreteness. Ask them to rate the two concepts (low or high). They are usually correlated. Paivo thinks that imagery and concreteness measure 2 aspects of the same process. Our experience of concrete events is necessarily saturated with images. • Some concepts can be caused by concrete things but are not themselves concrete (pain, love). Often refer to emotions. Research related to dual-coding theory Paivo (1965): role of imagery in learning. Paired associate learning task Participants asked to memorize pairs of words, then given the 1 st word and asked to write down the second Four groups of participants learned 16 pairs of words Results: clear differences between the groups. 1. concrete/concrete: learning is best 2. concrete/abstract 3.Abstract/concrete 4. abstract/abstract: learning is worse Then asked to rate imageability of each word • Results: concrete words higher in imagery than abstract words. • Concrete word coded by either verbal or non-verbal system, abstract word coded only by verbal system (tends to not elicit and image). Easy to recall a concrete word because it is present in both systems. • Dual-coding theory applied to ++ phenomena (figurative language and metaphor) and also used to understand literacy. Dual-coding theory and the brain
Left hemisphere : controls speech and is better at processing verbal material Right hemisphere : better at performing non-verbal tasks Hypothesis that LH dominant at verbal representation and RH is dominant at imagery challenged by fMRI.
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- Spring '09
- Mental image, Dual-coding theory