"Illusory" illusory conjunctions: The conjoining of features of visual and imagined stimuli
The question of whether illusory conjunctions would occur with visual mental imagery was investigated. In 4 experiments, participants were tachistoscopically presented displays of geometrical figures (varying in shape, color, and solidity) flanked by 2 digits. For half of the trials, participants imagined one of the figures in the display. Illusory conjunctions occurred between the features of the physical (cued) and imagined figures, which suggests that imagery influences perception at the level of visual processing at which features are combined. Moreover, the conjunction errors induced by an imagined figure were similar to those induced by a physical figure with the same features. The pattern of errors could not be accounted for by guessing. Together, these findings support the view that there can be correspondence between visual imagery and visual perception.