Is there any scientific process behind imagination?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Imagination is the process by which the mind creates images, possible outcomes, and other thoughts that have not been directly observed or experienced in reality. Imagination is key in most creative endeavors, from invention to art, and the biological process behind it is not fully known. In theory, the mind should only be able to think about things that it has directly experienced; the inference of other possible experiences (for example, imagining oneself climbing Mount Everest) is something that seems to be unique to the human mind. Imagination is almost certainly a process of the conscious mind, although dreams can be said to be uncontrolled imagination; most people who "imagine" specific events or things are deliberately making connections and using mental images -- either created or altered from real memories -- to envision that imagined place, person, or thing. There is not scientific measurement or biological process in place that fully explains imagination at this time, but it is definitely a mental process, controlled by the brain, that is unique to each individual.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial