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Seminar: 3/23 - Stephen Kosslyn, Stanford University

11:00 to 12:30 PM      at:  5101 Tolman

Self Knowledge, Mental Imagery, and the Brain: Using the Reality Simulation Principle

Mental imagery was once dismissed as impossible to study scientifically. In spite of such pronouncements, an enormous amount is now known about mental imagery. This talk will have three parts. In the first, I briefly summarize key aspects of what we know about the ways mental images represent information and are used in memory and reasoning. In the second, I show how these findings can be explained by appeal to specific properties of the brain. Finally, in the third part I show how the neural theory illuminates the use of mental imagery to simulate actual events, which in turn can allow us to discover unsuspected properties of our attitudes and beliefs.