Re: Mental Images Vs. Brain Images

From: HARNAD Stevan (
Date: Tue Jun 04 1996 - 16:55:19 BST

> From: "Silcock, Caroline" <>
> Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 14:35:59 GMT
> A mental image is a private subjective experience which cannot
> actually be directly observed.

Except by introspection, by the subject of the experience...
It cannot be observed by anyone else, because of the other-minds

> Mental images are the images that we
> can picture inside our heads: by seeing real objects in front of us,
> or by picturing the objects in our minds. This also incorporates the
> notion of imagination, as we can also imagine images in our minds.

A little repetitious, and seems to contradict the opening sentence.

> A mental image does not have to be visual, it can be created by any
> one of our senses, or even by a mood or feeling. Any one of these
> senses can conjure up an image in our minds which cannot be observed
> by others.


> Many theories of mental images are inadequate, since the only way they
> can be explained is to refer to something inside the head looking at
> them (ie. the homunculus )

Kid-sib could not figure out what you mean from this.

> Brain imaging is one method of explaining mental thought and
> processes which does not incorporate the problem of the homunculus.

EXPLAINING? Does a brain image explain anything? It is a way of
invetestigating mental processes, perhaps...

> Common brain imaging techniques are PET and functional MRI; both of
> which allow the brain to be directly observed through computer
> scanning and X-rays.

Not X-rays.

> Brain images show increased blood flow during
> mental effort and thought, due to increased chemical and electrical
> activity. By looking at images of the brain, while subjects are
> involved in certain thought tasks, the mental processes being
> undertaken can be related to specific areas of the brain.

Give examples. Discuss the WHEN/WHERE/HOW question.

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