[Neuroscience] Re: Source? Images seen and images imagined

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 11 07:15:14 EST 2006

"CppNewB" <cppnewb at noway.com> wrote in message 
news:l73xf.28943$0e.19700 at tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com...
>I believe that I first heard this factoid in the movie "What the <Bleep> do 
>we really Know".
> Is it true that for an image seen with the eye and the same image 
> imagined/visualized with the brain (eyes closed), if you were to look at 
> an MRI during these two processes, the same parts of the brain would be 
> stimulated?  Can anyone point me to any sources regarding this study?
> (As you can see, if the above holds up, then you can get into the weird 
> discussions of where does consiousness really exists; external reality or 
> internal fantasy).

This is actually an old, old issue, and most have decided it in a particular 
way. They have decided that seeing, hearing etc. is a matter of seeing, 
hearing etc. a "representation" of the world. One of the things that keeps 
this view alive is the brute fact of "mental imagery." If all we ever see is 
a "copy of the world in the brain," then imagining is just the occurrence of 
a "stored copy." Several thinkers through history have noticed that putting 
the world inside the head solves nothing, and simply raises the old question 
of what seeing (and hearing etc.) is.

The alternative view is that seeing and hearing etc. are actions - they are 
behavior. This view has always been championed by radical behaviorists, but 
it has gained some currency from within cognitive "science" in the form of 
"sensorimotor" views of vision (see O'Regan and Noe).


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