Let your imagination run wild...

Does your imagination affect how you see the world? New research from Vanderbilt University suggests it does.

Joel Pearson, research associate in the Vanderbilt Department of Psychology, observed:

'We found that imagery leads to a short-term memory trace that can bias future perception... This is the first research to definitively show that imagining something changes vision both while you are imagining it and later on.'

'These findings are important because they suggest a potential mechanism by which top-down expectations or recollections of previous experiences might shape perception itself.'

And your imagination only need run away with you the once to affect your perception.

Frank Tong, associate professor of psychology and co-author of the findings with Joel Pearson, noted: 'You might think you need to imagine something 10 times or 100 times before it has an impact… Our results show that even a single instance of imagery can tilt how you see the world one way or another, dramatically, if the conditions are right.'

Pearson concludes: 'Our work shows that not only are imagery and vision related, but imagery directly influences what we see.'

Find out more at ScienceDaily.com here.

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