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Remembering the past and imagining the future: A role for nonvisual imagery in the everyday cognition of blind and sighted people

Eardley, Alison F. and Pring, Linda (2006) Remembering the past and imagining the future: A role for nonvisual imagery in the everyday cognition of blind and sighted people. Memory, 14 (8). pp. 925-936. ISSN 0965-8211

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658210600859582

Abstract

Images can be generated in all sensory modalities. Nevertheless, research on the everyday use of mental imagery, for example in autobiographical memory tasks, has suggested that it is only visual images that facilitate memory retrieval (e.g., Williams, Healy, & Ellis, 1999). If this is the case, individuals born without sight may be forced to rely more on verbal encoding (Goddard & Pring, 2001). This paper explores the presence and everyday role of nonvisual sensory imagery in 16 individuals with and 16 without sight. Using a cue word paradigm, contrary to previous research, Experiment 1 suggested that for both blind and sighted people, nonvisual imageries have a significant role to play in the generation of autobiographical memories. These results were reinforced by similar findings in Experiment 2, which used the same cue word method to explore the role of visual and nonvisual (auditory) imagery when generating future events. The results refute the claim that "useful" imagery in everyday tasks is exclusively visual.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:4517
Deposited On:31 Oct 2007
Last Modified:05 Nov 2009 09:40

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