A meta-analytic review of multisensory imagery identifies the neural correlates of modality-specific and modality-general imagery

McNorgan, Chris (2012) A meta-analytic review of multisensory imagery identifies the neural correlates of modality-specific and modality-general imagery. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6: 285. ISSN 1662-5161

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The relationship between imagery and mental representations induced through perception has been the subject of philosophical discussion since antiquity and of vigorous scientific debate in the last century. The relatively recent advent of functional neuroimaging has allowed neuroscientists to look for brain-based evidence for or against the argument that perceptual processes underlie mental imagery. Recent investigations of imagery in many new domains and the parallel development of new meta-analytic techniques now afford us a clearer picture of the relationship between the neural processes underlying imagery and perception, and indeed between imagery and other cognitive processes. This meta-analysis surveyed 65 studies investigating modality-specific imagery in auditory, tactile, motor, gustatory, olfactory, and three visual sub-domains: form, color and motion. Activation likelihood estimate (ALE) analyses of activation foci reported within- and across sensorimotor modalities were conducted. The results indicate that modality-specific imagery activations generally overlap with—but are not confined to—corresponding somatosensory processing and motor execution areas, and suggest that there is a core network of brain regions recruited during imagery, regardless of task. These findings have important implications for investigations of imagery and theories of cognitive processes, such as perceptually-based representational systems.

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Journal Article
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Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
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Copyright © 2012 McNorgan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.
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20 Sep 2013 10:19
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03 Jan 2024 00:16