Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Mental images: Always present, never there

Fred W. Mast a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Cognitive Neuroscience, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland


Recent research on visual mental imagery plays an important role for the study of visual hallucinations. Not only are mental images involved in various cognitive processes, but they also share many processes with visual perception. However, we rarely confuse mental images with percepts, and recent neuroimaging studies shed light on the mechanisms that are differently activated in imagery and perception.