What's the difference in your brain between seeing an object, thinking about that object, and visualizing an object?

When you see an object, such as a wooden cube, your brain processes visual information from your eyes to create a mental representation of the object. This process involves several different brain regions, including the primary visual cortex, which is located at the back of the brain.

When you think about an object, such as the wooden cube, without visualizing it, your brain activates the regions involved in memory, language, and conceptual processing. These regions include the hippocampus, which is important for forming and storing memories, and the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in decision making and planning.

When you visualize an object, such as the wooden cube, without actually seeing it, your brain activates many of the same regions that are involved in visual perception. This includes the primary visual cortex and other brain regions involved in creating a mental image of the object. However, because you are not actually seeing the object, the visual information being processed by the brain is not coming from your eyes, but rather from your imagination. This process can help to activate and strengthen the neural connections involved in visual perception, memory, and mental imagery.

/r/askscience Thread