Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Qualitative research complements laboratory studies and close readings by revealing individual differences in the ways that human minds respond to literary texts. This study compares the introspections of 34 prominent scientists, writers, designers, and scholars, including Temple Grandin and Salman Rushdie, about the visual mental imagery they form while thinking, reading, writing. Recent findings in cognitive neuroscience do not support a binary model of visual and verbal cognitive styles. Individuals vary in their inclinations toward object visualization (focused on shape, color, and texture) and spatial visualization (focused on distance, velocity, and direction of movement), and this discovery about distinct styles of visualization has great importance for literary studies. This interview-based study of visual mental imagery both affirms and troubles the notion of spatial, object, and verbal cognitive styles by showing how greatly individual experiences of reading vary. The results promise to be of value both to literary scholars and neuroscientists.

Keywords: cognitive neuroscience, cognitive styles, individual differences, object visualization, qualitative research, reading, Salman Rushdie, spatial visualization, Temple Grandin, visual mental imagery

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.