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Conceptual imagery is the mental representation of concepts in the conscious mind. The classic example of such imagery is the story told by Friedreich Kekule when he spoke of the creation of his benzene theory. He said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail. This vision, he said, came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds in a moment of scientific insight.
Conceptual images should be contrasted with the mental image of real objects.