Image and Brain: The Resolution of the Imagery Debate
"Image and Brain attempts what is rarely seen in cognitive neuroscience: The Big Picture. To be sure, it is Kosslyn's Big Picture, but that is probably the best there is."
-- Irving Biederman, William M. Keck Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Southern California. This long-awaited work by prominent Harvard psychologist Stephen Kosslyn integrates a twenty-year research program on the nature of high-level vision and mental imagery. Image and Brain marshals insights and empirical results from computer vision, neuroscience, and cognitive science to develop a general theory of visual mental imagery, its relation to visual perception, and its implementation in the human brain. It offers a definitive resolution to the long-standing debate about the nature of the internal representation of visual mental imagery.
Kosslyn reviews evidence that perception and representation are inextricably linked, and goes on to show how "quasi-pictorial" events in the brain are generated, interpreted, and used in cognition. The theory is tested with brain- scanning techniques that provide stronger evidence than has been possible in the past.
Known for his work in high-level vision, one of the most empirically successful areas of experimental psychology, Kosslyn uses a highly interdisciplinary approach. He reviews and integrates an extensive amount of literature in a coherent presentation, and reports a wide range of new findings using a host of techniques.
A Bradford Book