This question already has an answer here:
Say we have a sentence like, "Yesterday, I saw a giant mammal." Or, "The monkey ate a piece of fruit".
These things are impossible to visualise. Because, for example, a mammal could be a big yellow giraffe, or a small grey mouse. A fruit, likewise could be a yellow banana, or a purple grape.
Have there been any experiements to see what people visualise when the sentence is generic like this?
I think the alternatives are:
- No visualisation, the brain just hears the words.
- The brain visualises some sort of blurry combination of all mammal types.
- The brain jumps between visualisations of different mammal types.
- The brain chooses a random mammal type and sticks with it until further notice.
Or something else.
I think for me "mammal" conjures up some sort of medium sized furry creature much like a giant wombat. For fruit it conjures up a round, juicy object, with no specific colour. (I don't think I can imagine colours). Probably closest to a plum.