Note: Image psychologists are not directly concerned with the issues of whether computers can process imagery, and in fact some would the claim that images can be represented as filled cells an array. However the imagery debate in psychology is relevant to the computational issue, so is represented here.
Postulates of Image Psychology
1) Verbal processing cannot explain all cognitive processing. Imagery is necessary as well.
2) Imagery and verbal processing are alternative coding systems or "modes of symbolic representation".
3) Behaviourism puts emphasis on linguistic phenomena because it claims that only verbal reports are empirically accessible. However, experiments can be designed that make mental imagery empirically accessible as well.
4) The more concrete or "thing-like" a stimulus is, the more likely it will be associated with an image, rather than with a verbal, process.
5) Imagery is a parallel processing system that stores and manipulates spatial information. Verbal processing, by contrast, specialises in serial tasks.
6) Chains of symbolic transformation can involve images, words, or both. These chains mediate perception, learning, memory, and language.
7)Basc concepts ike "image", "mediation", "words", "processing", and so forth should be defined operationally in order to give them precise experimental significance.
These postulates are adapted from Alan Paivio (1971). Other proponents—whose opinions may differ on specific points—include Rudolph Arnheim, Bergin Bugelski, Gordon Bower, Roger Shepard,Arthur Staats and others. Stephenn Kosslyn's work grew out of image psychology.
Operational definition: a definition of a concept in terms of a repeatable operation. For example, anger can be operationally defined in terms of the number of times a subject hits a dummy in a controlled environment. Also, see the "Is the test, behaviourally or operationally construed, a legitimate intelligence test?" arguments on Map 2.