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Imagery

From Academic Kids

Imagery is any poetic reference to the five senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste). Essentially, imagery is a group of words that create a mental image. Such images can be created by using figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, personification, and assonance.

Edgar Allan Poe, Ezra Pound, and William Wordsworth were masters of imagery. The Fall of the House of Usher by Poe, for example, used such pictures of a "black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled luster by the dwelling" to create images in the mind of trepidation and gloom.

Imagery is also the term used to refer to the creation (or re-creation) of any experience in the mind – visual, kinaesthetic, or using any other sense. It is a cognitive process employed by most, if not all, humans. When thinking about a previous or upcoming event, people commonly use imagery. For example, one may ask, "What color are your living room walls?" The answer to this question is commonly retrieved by using imagery (i.e., by a person mentally "seeing" one's living room walls).

Research areas concerned with imagery include cognitive neuroscience, and sport/exercise/dance psychology.

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