Vividness of visual imagery depends on the neural overlap with perception in visual areas


Research into the neural correlates of individual differences in imagery vividness point to an important role of the early visual cortex. However, there is also great fluctuation of vividness within individuals, such that only looking at differences between people necessarily obscures the picture. In this study, we show that variation in moment-to-moment experienced vividness of visual imagery, within human subjects, depends on the activity of a large network of brain areas, including frontal, parietal, and visual areas. Furthermore, using a novel multivariate analysis technique, we show that the neural overlap between imagery and perception in the entire visual system correlates with experienced imagery vividness. This shows that the neural basis of imagery vividness is much more complicated than studies of individual differences seemed to suggest.

Journal of Neuroscience