Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Visual imagery is not always like visual perception

Martha E. Arterberry a1, Catherine Craver-Lemley a2 and Adam Reeves a3
a1 Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325
a2 Department of Psychology, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022
a3 Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115


The “Perky effect” is the interference of visual imagery with vision. Studies of this effect show that visual imagery has more than symbolic properties, but these properties differ both spatially (including “pictorially”) and temporally from those of vision. We therefore reject both the literal picture-in-the-head view and the entirely symbolic view.