The use of mental images provides an easy and quick process of the essential elements of a situation with schematics visual representations.
The initial stage of problem solving not only depends on the identification of its elements, but also in changes in its internal organization. Visual imagery facilitates these changes because it permits free transformation of the problem structure. Logie & Denis (1991) stated that mental images are a set of actions that allow subjects to avoid the logical thinking from the verbal formulation of the problem. Also, mental images are flexible representations that permit the manipulation of problems in an uncommon way.
Imagery provides benefits in the process of problem solving: “The ideas that imagery’s richness may deliver interrelationships less apparent in language and that the nature of images makes them particularly amenable to integration and manipulation” (Roskos-Ewoldsen, Intons-Peterson & Anderson, 1993, p. 9). Imagery is more likely to engage affective and motivational systems than verbal productions.
Visual imagery can be another powerful tool to generate visual ideas from our inner world. Allowing our imagination to bring back visual representations from our memory can give us a new combination of visual concepts full with colors and patters.
By Ana Castelan
Logie, R.H. & Denis, M. (1991). Mental Images in Human Cognition. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Roskos-Ewoldsen, B., Intons-Peterson, M. J., & Anderson, R. E. (1993). Imagery, creativity, and discovery: A cognitive perspective. Amsterdam: North-Holland.