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The computer has been viewed primarily as a symbol-manipulating machine. Yet, it is capable of generating and displaying visual images showing abstract form, shape, and dynamic process. Recent psychological research on perception suggests that pictures and symbols play important but very different roles in creative thought. By providing enactive and iconic modes of communication between man and machine, the computer can serve as a prosthetic device to assist man in giving public expression to his private mental images. By so doing, it may be possible to equalize in some measure the imbalance between man's great endowment for perceiving and very limited capability for producing visual images. By so doing, we may enhance the human use of the computer as an intellectual companion rather than as an economic competitor.