A concept born with Aristotle, imagery can be defined imagery as an internal ability to represent images. However, in truth, imagery is much more than that. It’s a way of thinking which involves your senses in your thought process. It’s the ability of creating an image in your mind that you can see, hear, feel, smell or taste.
It’s an implicit system of codification that you use as an instrument in order to recover information about physical properties and relationships among different objects.
There are several different areas of investigation in regards to imagery. Scientists have long been focused on: imagery as a material’s property or attribute, as a cognitive process, as a personal experience (due to the fact that the vivacity of the internal images differs from person to person) and even imagery as a mental representation.
You need former experiences to produce internal images from external stimuli and those will allow you to describe the object or place. Maybe even allow you to describe a more complex scene that you’re seeing in your mind.
But, since we’re talking about something so subjective, the data must of course be obtained through verbal reports from the study subjects.
This whole concept of imagery includes two types of representation: analogical and propositional. In analogical representation we’re talking about the perception, or in other words, the image that arrives at your retina with all of its sensory qualities. The propositional representation however, includes no perception, being the images’ descriptions of the different visual scenes.