Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 757 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.

The memory image almost without exception, when first recalled, was located in the direction and at the distance of the object presented.

In moving from the center to right and left the image remained in the same plane with a few exceptions; in moving up and down it moved on an arc whose center was at the eye.  This was especially true of the downward motion, which was almost always to a greater distance than any of the other motions.

C., D., F. and H. felt the need of a support for the image in any except the central position.  This was true especially of the position above the center, but was entirely overcome by practice by C., F. and H., and partially by D. In movements where time was to be recorded, the distance was from six to eighteen inches, but the image could be carried by all the eleven subjects to any part of the room or beyond the room.  Usually the method followed was to fix the attention on the suggested position and then the image appeared there, sometimes complete at the outset, but usually in part at first, then developing instantly to completion.  When the subject was requested to trace the image in transitu, this could usually be accomplished, but the time was much longer.  Frequently, in such a case, the image was lost during the last third or fifth of its journey.  J. “felt conscious of a something that went in the suggested direction but did not develop details out of this material; had to await development of the image at the new locality.”  “At times forced this development out of the vague something that seemed to go over.”  G. had ’no feeling of transition in space.’  K. did not perceive the image in transitu.  I. perceived the image in transitu when the movement was away from the center but when the image was to return to the center its passage was too quick to be followed; ‘it came out at the center.’

J. noticed that in moving from the center the image took a curved path towards himself, and that the position to which the image moved always seemed further away than the position from which it came, but the new position seemed to be readjusted when the next movement occurred.

The return to the center seemed easier to all the subjects except G., who was conscious of no difference between the movements with respect to ease.  Several described the return to the center as like the return of a small ball snapped back by a stretched elastic cord.

With D. a suggestion of weight in the perception of the object was a hindrance to moving its memory image.  Also the image of a short piece of brass tubing persisted in rolling off the table and along the floor and could not be held stationary.  Other objects rotated rapidly, and much effort was needed to ‘slow down’ the rotation and to bring the objects to rest and keep them at rest.


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Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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