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2. Seeing: Hacks 13–33 > 31. Minimize Imaginary Distances

Minimize Imaginary Distances

If you imagine an inner space, the movements you make in it take up time according to how large they are. Reducing the imaginary distances involved makes manipulating mental objects easier and quicker.

Mental imagery requires the same brain regions that are used to represent real sensations. If you ask someone to imagine hearing the first lines to the song “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, the activity in her auditory cortex increases. If you ask someone to imagine what the inside of a teapot looks like, his visual cortex works harder. If you put a schizophrenic who is hearing voices into a brain scanner, when she hears voices, the parts of the brain that represent language sounds really are active—she’s not lying; she really is hearing voices.


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