« السابقةمتابعة »
will to feel before his mind's nose' the odor of roast beef as a clear exact correspondent of the real sensation. Another may be utterly unable to feel it at all unless it is there. The following cases illustrate extreme cases of imagery of various sorts :
(1) “This morning's breakfast-table is both dim and bright; it is dim if I try to think of it when my eyes are open upon any object; it is perfectly clear and bright if I think of it with my eyes closed.......All the objects are clear at once, yet when I confine my attention to any one object it becomes far more distinct....... I have more power to recall color than any other one thing; if, for example, I were to recall a plate decorated with flowers, I could reproduce in a drawing the exact tone, etc. The color of anything that was on the table was perfectly vivid.—There is very little limitation to the extent of my images : I can see all four sides of a room, I can see all four sides of two, three, four, even more rooms with such distinctness that if you should ask me what was in any particular place in any one, or ask me to count the chairs, etc., I could do it without the least hesitation.—The more I learn by heart, the more clearly do I see images of my pages. Even before I can recite the lines, I can see them so that I could give them very slowly word for word, but my mind is so occupied in looking at my printed image that I have no idea of what I am saying, of the sense of it, etc. When I first found myself doing this, I used to think it was merely because I knew the lines imperfectly; but I have quite convinced myself that I really do see an image. The strongest proof that such is really the fact is I think, the following:
“I can look down the mentally seen page and see the words that commence all the lines, and from any one of these words I can continue the line. I find this much
easier to do if the words begin in a straight line than if there are breaks. Example:
Étant fait ...
(La Fontaine 8. IV.)”1 (2) "I am unable to form in my mind's eye any visual likeness of the table whatever. After many trials I can only get a hazy surface, with nothing on it or about it. I can see no variety in color, and no positive limitations in extent, while I cannot see what I see well enough to determine its position in respect to my eye, or to endow it with any quality of size. I am in the same position as to the word dog. I cannot see it in my mind's eye at all; and so cannot tell whether I should have to run my eye along it, if I did see it.”1
(3) "Imagination also takes the auditory form. 'When I write a scene,' said Legouvé to Scribe, 'I hear; but you see. In each phrase which I write, the voice of the personage strikes my ear. Vous, qui êtes le théâtre même, your actors walk, gesticulate before your eyes; I am a listener, you a spectator.'......‘Nothing more true,' said Scribe. 'Do you know where I am when I write a piece? In the middle of the parterre.'1
(4) "If I wish to imagine that I am walking, I have to combine feelings in the parts of the body concerned in walking. This feeling is in my case most vivid in the upper part of the thigh. For every step, which I wish to image, I have to revive expressly such a feeling in the upper part of the thigh, just as if I wished to really move it forward, to make a real step.”......
"If I try to call up in memory the walking movement of another person, say of a soldier marching, and in such
but roersonageactors walk' spectatori where te pare
"James, Principles of Psychology, vol. II., pp. 57-60.
wish to 11 in the upper his rig
wise as to imagine him first in one position (for instance with both legs on the ground and then as lifting his leg at the order March and putting it forward so as to take a step), I notice that I am thinking of the upper part of one of my own thighs.
"If I wish to imagine him lifting his left leg, I am aware of something in the upper part of my left thigh; if I seek to imagine him as lifting his right leg, the feeling passes back to my right thigh.”......
“My memories of the movements of all inanimate objects are for the most part connected with feelings in the eye muscles. If I wish to represent to myself the motion of the clouds, I have to add the feeling of my eyes following the clouds. If I try to suppress this feeling, the image of the movement is at once inhibited, the clouds seem unable to move. The case is the same with my images of the flight of a bird, of smoke rising, of a wagon passing by.
“I cannot imagine the sound b without feelings in my lips. No more can I call up the feeling in my lips of b without thinking of the sound.”1
(5) “Auditory Mental Imagery. I find the auditory mental imagery in my case to be almost as important a factor in my mental life as is the visual, being a mental reproduction of the sounds I have heard—musical or otherwise. They are comparable with real sounds, not so much in intensity, but perfectly in timbre, pitch and duration. I can estimate a minute with much greater exactness mentally if I listen to the auditory mental imagery of a piece of music which takes about a minute to perform.
"The auditory mental imagery, I would say, includes all the actual word thinking that I do, which is almost always done by means of writing.
“Olfactory Mental Imagery. These are in my own case extremely numerous, probably because to me so many things have a smell, often a distinctive smell. . . . These mental images have to me, like those of the other senses,
S. Stricker, Bewegungsvorstellungen, pp. 12-14, and Sprachvorstellungen, pp. 9-10.
quite distinctive qualities. The mental image of the smell of new-mown hay is totally unlike, even as a purely mental occurrence, that of the aroma of forest leaf-mold. And the words 'tea' and 'coffee' are represented in my mind by two mental images, totally unlike.”1
Types of Imagination.—Individuals may often be classified under types according to the kind of imagery which predominates in their streams of thought. Thus Dr. Stricker, the author of the fourth quotation given above, would be put under the motor type, while the author of the first quotation would be called a visualizer. So would Dr. Lay, who found that 2,500 recorded mental images of his own were distributed as follows: Per Cent. Per Cent.
Per Cent. Visual ..... 57.4 Gustatory .. .6 Organic .... 1.1 Auditory ... 28.8 Thermal ... 2.0 Motor ..... 3 Olfactory .. 5.9 Tactile ..... 3.8 Emotional ., .I
The majority of individuals do not, however, show so emphatic a predominance of one kind of imagery as to be put surely in any one class. They are mixed types. For instance the reader will probably find that he or she has visual images most frequently, auditory next and motor next, as do the majority ; that in his class or among his friends cases of the almost exclusive use of any one kind of imagery are rare.
Image and Percept.—The image, as defined, is never the exact duplicate of the sensation or percept to which it corresponds. If it were, one would feel the thing as present and act as if it were. Indeed the most useful characteristic of an image is that it does not duplicate the sensation or percept. Otherwise we should all be like sleep-walkers and madmen, confusing fact with fancy in the most absurd and dangerous ways.
1 Wilfrid Lay, Mental Imagery, pp. 36-37.
Images, like percepts, are the result of a process of acquisition. At the start of life we have neither, and for some time the two are confused,—at least in memory, as is witnessed by the innocent lies of three year olds who tell of lions running down the street and of dogs as big as houses or as small as mice.
Productive Imagination.-So far only those images have been described which at least roughly correspond to real things and conditions. There also occur images which correspond to nothing real, but are new combinations. One can picture a beast with an elephant's head, a lion's body and a giraffe's legs. There is in these cases a correspondence not of the total image with some real thing, but only of parts of the image with parts or elements of real things. In our fancies and dreams we thus make the most extraordinary and elaborate combinations of the old familiar elements. The names (1) Reproductive Imagination and (2) Productive Imagination are used for (1) the capacity of getting images that repeat whole things experienced and (2) the capacity of getting images of things never experienced on a basis of old elements and parts.
The capacity to thus create a new world from the ruins of past experiences is one of the primary sources of human achievement. When directed by wise insight it becomes a part of the creative genius of poets, inventors and men of science. On the basis of the same experiences one man imagines the steam engine, another man nothing ; out of the same stuff one man creates a tawdry play of revenge, another a Hamlet.
§ 10. Memories Definitions.—In the common usage of language the