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By Faye-Isaac Jul 17, 2014 1180 Words
PSY- 356
How mental imagery and Cognitive maps applies to our daily life
Memory is the key and foundation of everyday living for everyone, it is an essential part of our life with out it one might say they lose apart of themselves. Scientists and psychologists have been studying the brain for centuries in understanding how it functions. The thought of not recalling simple things like names, streets, your childhood memories and so forth can be a detrimental to someone life. Our own memories are what set us apart form each other, no two person has the exact memories. Today I am going to be writing about two memory strategies that have both positive and negative effects relevant to our everyday life, such as mental imagery and Cognitive maps.

According to (Matlin, 2013, p. 208) mental imagery is the “ (also called imagery), which is the mental representation of stimuli when those stimuli are not physically present (Kosslyn et al., 2010)”. They are numerous of study done on mental perception today. Now psychologist has use techniques, which were originally for visual imagery in understanding mental imagery (Matlin, 2013). An example for me of how I apply mental imagery to my everyday life is when someone is describing to me how an object looks and inside my head I think of how this an objects looks putting everything to detail as describe to the best of my ability. I remember in a past art class I took my art teacher told us she was going to describe what we were going to be making a picture and us splitting as a team giving all different colors to find and tear them to shreds and apply it to a huge construction paper, when finish the picture was a picture of a lion, just the various colors giving we had to mental picture what it would be which was a little bit hard to do.

There are few positive affects of mental imagery in our daily life such as the classroom. One is as student of any level it is stated, “students apply mental imagery to learning tasks and the "double duty" characteristics of mental imagery make it the ideal teaching/learning tool for both teachers and students to add to their repertoire of effective strategies” (Douville, 2004, p. 39).

An negative effects of mental imagery is individuals who suffers from anxiety but specifically social anxiety. An example of this is “that high Social anxiety individuals, who believe that they are socially awkward and undesirable across a number of different domains…would be negatively affected by mental image intrusions in which they appear socially incompetent or visibly anxious” (David A. Moscovitch, Caitlin A. Chiupka, Dubravka L. Gavric, 2013, p. 427).

Cognitive mapping refers to the mental and visual representation of our surroundings information geographically (Matlin, 2013). We mainly use cognitive mapping and heuristics when following directions to an area, which is unfamiliar (Matlin, 2013). One time I can recall I had to give my friend direction to my grandmother house from her parents house which was 30 minutes a way I failed to tell her that she what side of the friars road exit she had to get off since they were two a north and a west because I was picturing it in my head as driving the opposite direction.

According to (Matlin, 2013, p. 233) A cognitive map can also represent
larger geographic areas, such as a neighborhood, a city, or a country. In general, our cognitive maps represent areas that are too large to be seen in a single glance (Bower, 2008; Poirel et al., 2010; Wagner, 2006). As a result, we create a cognitive map by integrating the information that we have acquired from many

successive views (Shelton, 2004; Spence & Feng, 2010).
My example of this would be traveling to and unknown place where I have no experience of the name of streets or where anything is and you have to find your way about. I would say this would be me going to college for the first time and was giving direction to my first class since I did not know where it was located. After the directions was given to me I headed to wards where I was told to go and low and behold I was sent o the wrong building, because of a slight information which was not given to me to make two rights instead of only one.

A positive outcome of cognitive maps in our life is the fact we can remember certain routes to get where we want to go without having to use a smart device. We can use our cognitive map just by listening to verbal descriptions of where various things are situated without even being there, an example of this is Franklin and Tversky they had a research done were they gave the participants various description (verbal) with different scenes and was ask to say where the various items where located, to their surprise everyone answers were quick (Matlin, 2013). They knew where majority of the items where located at the end of the research. This is saying that we as human can simply listening to a verbal instruction and picture it in our head and relay the instruction back in returned.

A negative effect of cognitive maps is that, heuristics can sometimes cause you to incorrectly estimate geographical locations such as thinking that a certain place is closer than you thought. Another effect is as you grow older is into an elderly individuals you began to develop a strategy which let you cope in avoiding unfamiliar places and routes on a hold (Iaria, 2009).

In conclusion we as humans go through so much on a day-to-day basis. For instance having a memory is a very vital part of us knowing who we are ant other, from the way we function everyday. With out our memory is just like someone with amnesia, having our own memories is what makes us different from each other. Everything mention about these two strategy both positive and negative about mental imagery and cognitive mapping today has made me aware of the many extraordinary thing our mind (brain) can do for us in relocation of both the present and the past.

David A. Moscovitch, Caitlin A. Chiupka, Dubravka L. Gavric, Within the mind's eye: Negative mental imagery activates different emotion regulation strategies in high versus low socially anxious individuals, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Volume 44, Issue 4, December 2013, Pages 426-432, ISSN 0005-7916,

Retrieved from:
( 91613000372 Douville, P., & Algozzine, B. (2004). Use Mental Imagery Across the Curriculum. Preventing School Failure, 49(1), 36-39.

Retrieved from Iaria, Giuseppe, (2009-02-01). Age differences in the formation and use of cognitive

maps.. Behavioural brain research, 196(2), 187-191.
Retrieved from irect=true&db=psyh&AN=2009-00248-005&site=ehost-live&scope=site Matlin, M. W. (2013). Cognition (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ, United States of America: John

Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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