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Tall Tales about the Mind and BrainSeparating fact from fiction$
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Sergio Della Sala

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.001.0001

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Imagery and blindness

Imagery and blindness

Chapter:
(p.369) Chapter 22 Imagery and blindness
Source:
Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain
Author(s):

Cesare Cornoldi

Rossana DeBeni

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.003.0023

The notion that blind people cannot have mental images is a myth. In this chapter's view, mental images can be generated from different sources of information which do not necessarily have to include the results of actual visual experiences. These mental images are representations with specific features and cognitive effects which differentiate them from other non-imaginal representations. Congenitally blind people generate mental images which show the same cognitive effects as those created by sighted people. However, the opposite notion, that blind people compensate for their sensory deficits by generating images superior to those of sighted people, is also a myth. In general, blind people's mental images present a series of limitations related to those cases where a prior visual experience could be useful in their production. This does not exclude that, in particular cases, blind people may have visuospatial images superior to those of sighted people.

Keywords:   imagery, blindness, mental image, visuospatial images

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