Memory images are defined as those deriving directly from previous personal experience. After-images must, and hallucinations may, of course, also derive directly from previous experience, but memory images are under more control. Memory images include not only those from long-term memory, but those generated and used in short-term memory as well.
Memory images vary in intensity but are usually less vivid than after-images or eidetic images. Memory images range in vividness from clear, detailed, full-colored, multi-sensory experiences to vague, suggestive, colorless outlines or shapes, but they are generally unmistakable, at least in that they can be called up under direct conscious control, and in that they are not assigned a location in the perceptual field.
Although it has been a matter of much historical comment and speculation (particularly by the British Empiricists) as to what, precisely, differentiates memory images from imagination images, it appears that memory images differ from imagination images not in any predicable degree of vividness or clarity, but primarily simply in that while memory images are held to be accountable to previous experience, imagination images are not.
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