Working Paper Concept Paper Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Physical Features of Visual Imagery

Version 1 : Received: 21 November 2019 / Approved: 22 November 2019 / Online: 22 November 2019 (06:46:57 CET)

How to cite: Tozzi, A. The Physical Features of Visual Imagery. Preprints 2019, 2019110256 Tozzi, A. The Physical Features of Visual Imagery. Preprints 2019, 2019110256


Visual imagery, i.e., the mental experience of an object occurring in the absence of external visual stimulus, might encompass diverse content according to different observers. Further, subjectively experienced time is encoded in the later entorhinal cortex. Starting from these two observations, and considering Einstein’s account of spacetime, we show how, in terms of special relativity, the content of visual imagery is not stationary and fixed, rather depends on the standpoint of the observer. We elucidate how the subjective definition of time (perceived by our mind as static) might give rise to modifications in the length of the imagined object which are experimentally assessable and quantifiable. In particular, based on recent neuroscientific literature, we show how changes in our mental time windows are able to squeeze the visual content of mental imagery.


brain; nervous system; Einstein; relativity; spacetime; mind


Biology and Life Sciences, Biophysics

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