From Mental Imagery to Spatial Cognition and Language : Essays in Honour of Michel Denis book cover
1st Edition

From Mental Imagery to Spatial Cognition and Language
Essays in Honour of Michel Denis

ISBN 9781138107724
Published June 16, 2017 by Psychology Press
296 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The nature of mental images and their relation to language has caused controversy amongst psychologists for years, and the so-called "imagery debate" is still unresolved. Fresh light is now being shed on this topic using recent findings in neuroscience and the development of behavioural studies. Reviewing state-of-the-art research in the field of imagery, visuo-spatial memory, spatial representation and language, with special emphasis on their interactions, the volume shows how, and to what extent, findings from the studies on imagery can positively influence and enrich other psychological areas such as:

  • Working memory
  • Space and time representation
  • Language and embodiment

Chapter 9, written by Michel Denis, to whom this book is dedicated, analyses more than three decades of research, and outlines the shared scientific journey of friendship and discovery that has developed across various cognitive topics, all of which are linked to, and inspired by, imagery conceptualization.

This is the only book to present a critical outline of research on these topics in a single volume, and as such will be invaluable to advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in such fields as cognitive psychology, neuroscience, computer science and neuropsychology.


Table of Contents

V. Gyselinck, F. Pazzaglia, Introduction Part 1. Visual Imagery and Imagery Processes B. Tversky, Telling Tales, or Journeys  G. Borst, S. M. Kosslyn, Scanning Visual Mental Images: Some Structural Implications, Revisited H. D. Zimmer, Visual Imagery in the Brain: Modality-Specific and Spatial, But May Be Without Space Part 2. Working Memory and Imagery R.H. Logie, E. H. Niven, Working Memory: An Ensemble of Functions in Online Cognition J. Gerry Quinn, Theories and Debate in Visuo-Spatial Working Memory: The Questions of Access and Rehearsal Part 3. Language, Space and Action F. Pazzaglia, V. Gyselinck, C. Cornoldi, R. De Beni, Individual Differences in Spatial Text Processing M. L. Noordzij, A. Postma, Language of Space: A Comparison Between Blind and Sighted Individuals M. De Vega, Language and Action: An Approach to Embodied Cognition Part 4. Decades of Images M. Denis, Decades of Images: Subjective Reminiscences of a Shared Scientific Journey.

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Valérie Gyselinck is Professor of Psychology at Université Paris Descartes, France. Her main research interest is visual-spatial working memory  in the construction of spatial representations.

Francesca Pazzaglia is Professor of Psychology at University of Padua, Italy. Her research interests are individual differences in spatial cognition.


"A scholarly work, a go-to reference for several topics in imagery, spatial cognition, visuospatial working memory, and mental models. ... It is rare to have a comprehensive overview of so many of these topics collected into a single volume, and there is plenty new here. Worthy of the exemplary scientist it honors." - Nancy Franklin, Stony Brook University, US,  in PsycCRITIQUES

"This book presents a diverse set of chapters, providing a wide ranging review of current issues in visuo-spatial cogniton. It is refreshing to find such a range of material presented together, and I am sure this strategy will continue to foster debate and discussion of these important issues. The book provides both a survey of recent and not so recent research, as well as  recounting a particular route taken through a range of topics by Denis and co-workers. It is invaluable reading both for those with a clear sense of direction, as well as those who prefer a more meandering course through a range of related topics, gaining inspiration along the way." - Kevin Dent, Department of Psychology, University of Essex, UK

"This timely edited collection is a joy to read. The chapters are approachable and clearly written, and cover every major area of the field of mental imagery and its place in cognition." - Trevor Harley, School of Psychology, University of Dundee, UK

"Overall, this book is something of a curate's egg. In some respects it seems like a very niche collection, and yet it actually represents a very broad array of ideas. ... Denis has been instrumental in showing how imagery, spatial cognition and language are interrelated processes, and there are many groups currently exploring these ideas. ... This book represents an important collection of ideas that may help scientists to draw their own paths to places that they had previously feared to tread." - Alastair D. Smith, Perception, Vol. 42