Auditory Imagery: Empirical Findings

  • Hubbard T
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Abstract

The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d) auditory imagery's relationship to perception and memory (detection, encoding, recall, mnemonic properties, phonological loop), and (e) individual differences in auditory imagery (in vividness, musical ability and experience, synesthesia, musical hallucinosis, schizophrenia, amusia) are considered. It is concluded that auditory imagery (a) preserves many structural and temporal properties of auditory stimuli, (b) can facilitate auditory discrimination but interfere with auditory detection, (c) involves many of the same brain areas as auditory perception, (d) is often but not necessarily influenced by subvocalization, (e) involves semantically interpreted information and expectancies, (f) involves depictive components and descriptive components, (g) can function as a mnemonic but is distinct from rehearsal, and (h) is related to musical ability and experience (although the mechanisms of that relationship are not clear).

Author-supplied keywords

  • audition
  • cognition
  • imagery
  • language
  • music

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Authors

  • Timothy L. Hubbard

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