My memory is also very strongly associated with patterns. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Some can still visualise in their dreams, others can … Aphants are unable to do so, but they are still able to recognize things and be aware of what something is in their mind. Additionally, despite not being able to recall sounds, I still remember the patterns and inflections in songs - so the quadratic formula is still in my head to the tune of pop goes the weasel because it's one of the ways my teacher taught memorizing it. Aphantasia raises important theoretical concerns for the ongoing debate in the philosophy and science of consciousness over the nature of dreams. Curious what aphantasia means? What gender were they? Yet not all experiences of aphantasia are alike. Dreaming is possible because of the way the brain works. According to some studies, people with Aphantasia actually score above average on spacial awareness tests (like matching pictures of objects that have rotated, 2D and 3D). I always thought when people said "imagine xyz" they meant think about that thing. (other senses may also apply) I do find it frustrating, once you know about it, how many times in life one come’s across people or books asking one to visualize things. It is a tool that is used much more often than we realize. I'm an artist that can't see pictures in my head... Weird, huh? Willingfully visualizing things is a "top-down" mental process. "I don't really think that's the right way to think of it. Aphants are still aware of the thought of things. The Ganzflicker Experience: Rhythmic visual flicker induces complex illusions in people with visual imagery but not aphantasia. I documented these numbers from Professor Adam Zeman's presentation, linked below. Many aphantasics are successful in creative professions and have ways to compensate for their lack of a mind’s eye. While people without Aphantasia probably think of imagination as seeing whatever they are thinking of and manipulating the object with thought - we can do something similar with our mental awareness of the object. Aphantasia is the inability to intentionally willingfully visualize something with your mind - whether it is with eyes closed or open. Additionally, if we ever see something disturbing to us - we likely only need to experience that one time. I was watching Pete Holmes' standup, and at one point he asks the audience to picture an orange, going on to say how strange and fascinating it is that our mind can conjure a translucent orange right before our eyes. I know what an object looks like, I know a ball is round, but I can't close my eyes and "see" a ball. Did you recognize the person that got on the horse to ride? Because we can't visualize the memory of whatever was disturbing, we never need to see that disgusting image again. Aphantasia index. There do exist methods to somewhat test for aphantasia, one being the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ), though this questionnaire does not directly removing subjectivity. I have aphantasia and have known about it for a couple of years now. I, on the other hand, have aphantasia, which basically means my mind is blind. What is Aphantasia? I have Aphantasia my whole life and life with it is quite normal but from my research i see that Aphantasia can differ from person to person, some like me cant sense anything inner like inner ear or inner music/audio or inner imagery. If I wanted to form a "memory palace", I would spatially place categories of memories based on the concept of an internal "mental mini me". If you can't bring up a visual image of something in your mind, or have difficulty doing so, then you probably have Aphantasia. The closest I have come to a visual example of what Aphants "see" would be the thought cloud represented in this gif by /u/bovinejumpsuit. aphantasia definition: 1. a medical condition in which a person is not able to form an image in their mind of things or…. Aphantasia is thought to affect between 2-3% of the population (about one in fifty). Aphantasia can be difficult because not only can it affect the human experience but it is also something not many people understand. It only received a common name in 2015. Many aphants are just as able to mentally follow steps in a process or describe an end-goal... it's just based on our understanding of the thought, not based on simulated stimulus. I've found that I begin to automatically visualize things with my eyes closed after playing a video game for a few hours. People with aphantasia cannot imagine a landscape or the face of a person. The current estimate is that 2.1-2.7% of people have Aphantasia, about 1 in 40 people. Approximately 3% of people have Aphantasia or low/no mental visualization ability, This metric is from a 2009 study by Faw who surveyed people about their visual vividness, If you have Aphantasia, it is much more likely for someone in your family to have Aphantasia as well (genetically related), 1/2 of people with Aphantasia reported being able to dream, 1/2 of people with Aphantasia reported being, This has un-offically been referred to as "total Aphantasia" or "complete Aphantasia", 1/3 people with Aphantasia had difficulty with recognizing faces (, 1/3 people with Aphantasia have difficulty remembering details about events in the past (, Several participants also identified with the ASD spectrum, They recently hosted an event in April, 2019 to discuss research about mental visualization. Dreaming works with a "bottom-up" mental process. It also explains why I can't remember faces and often have a hard time recognizing people. Discover blind imagination. To be honest, I'm still skeptical that anyone can actually "see" anything, the whole concept is alien. However, the fact that I now do have a functioning mind’s eye means that either Image Streaming is a cure for at least one type of aphantasia or I was never truly aphantasic. I don't have aphantasia, but i do have some trouble visualizing. The people in the study "say that they find remembering the past quite different to other people," Koegh said. Aphantasia was first discovered in the 19th Century, but wasn't seriously studied until last year when science finally announced to the world that some folks out there can be born outside the target demographic of John Lennon's "Imagine". Having Aphantasia is certainly a mind blowing discovery and it can take some time to wrap your head around and accept. What are some positive things about having Aphantasia? Aphantasia is the inability to visualize mental imagery. At least now I know why I can't seem to do so. Next, ask yourself "Now, think of someone getting on the horse to ride." Only an estimated two per cent of the population — about the same number of redheads on … As mentioned above, lucid dreams can come sporadically and "naturally" in people with aphantasia. Can hardly remember a thing from childhood; have forgotten entire weeks; can't remember what I ate yesterday—all that. The leading research team on Aphantasia maintain their own website: The Eye's Mind team, u/Bastionna compiled a List of interesting reading material. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I think that one of the most important things to remember is that there are several people who make it late into their life (Early 30's and beyond) without even knowing they have Aphantasia. This has never ever come up before, so I've never really had to think about it, my mind is absolutely blown. Many people have had aphantasia since birth, but others have acquired it following a brain injury, or sometimes after periods of depression or psychosis. Take another moment to consider what you see with your mind. Having Aphantasia does not make it so you cannot be in a creative field - there are several aphants that are writers and artists! Icon by /u/SlippingStar, People without aphantasia are welcome & encouraged, Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. Many people with aphantasia are also unable to recall sounds, smells, or sensations of touch. Without the distraction of random visualizations and potentially other senses, it can be easier to focus on what is happening "in the present.". Connect and learn from many minds. I think it's intriguing variation of human experience - like Synethesia, you wouldn't say that somebody with Synethesia has anything wrong with them, they just have an interestingly different kind of experience". Interesting Aphantasia observations, based on surveys. My best suggestion is to take the Vividness of Visual Imagery Quiz. For example, I might think of memories about my family being stored "above" my mental mini me - or think of memories about work and hobby experience being stored "in front of" my mental mini me. Not how most people might consider "imagination" - but we can imagine! I grilled my wife for the past hour, and I'm still in disbelief that anyone can "see" a colour in their head, or picture a face. I'd never heard of it until now, and I'm sure many of you wouldn't have either. This test has been used since 1973 to accurately test the intensity with which you can visualize settings, people, and objects within the mind. Professor Adam Zeman's presentation summarizing findings about Aphantasia may be viewed here -, 2/13/2020 - Added notable people with Aphantasia, 2/14/2020 - Clarified source of interesting observations, 2/24/2020 - Added thought cloud gif example to, 3/6/2020 - Added a link about what it's like for someone without Aphantasia. Some also report prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces.. If you think you have the condition and also want to have lucid dreams, I recommend you work on lucid dreaming techniques that don't require any visualization. I can make an image but unless i focus, it's more like i'm feeling, rather than seeing it. If you believe you may have aphantasia, it could be helpful to speak to a professional where you can have a safe place to talk about your own personal experiences. Their mind’s eye is effectively blind. Many of these people proceed with having successful careers and starting families! Keep in mind that visualizing is … In addition to noting that people experience various degrees of vividness when describing their mental visual imagery, he also reported that some people experienced no visual imagery … The term "It's burned into my mind!" Essentially, when people with aphantasia try to count sheep or imagine all the people living in harmony or whatever, they come up blank. The original study and definition is limited to the sense of sight, however it may also be experienced with the other senses (some have unofficially referred to this as "full Aphantasia" or "complete Aphantasia"). I do know that there are variations to aphantasia, but I was curious if you’ve come across any information on using memories to visualize in your mind’s eye. /r/Aphantasia is a place to discuss your discovery stories, issues or questions, and any news coverage or research about Aphantasia, which is the inability/difficulty in creating voluntary mental images. So...yeah. Journal article. (Tests & Ask Here) | FAQ | Additional Resources, Phantasia: the psychological significance of visual imagery extremes. Still, aphantasia might affect them in some ways, she said. doesn't apply to us. If you can't bring up a visual image of something in your mind, or have difficulty doing so, then you probably have Aphantasia. Acquired aphantasia sometimes has an obvious physical cause, like a stroke affecting the parts of the brain we believe to be involved in vision and mental imagery, and sometimes there’s a physical cause that’s not got an obvious link to the brain but clearly has something to do with the onset of aphantasia, like MX’s heart surgery. Want to know more about what mental imagery might be like? I am able to recall things from memory, with a very mild and fleeting picture if any, but am not able to congure up something I have never witnessed before. This number is based on a 2009 study where approx 2.1-2.7% of 2,500 participants claimed no visual imagination (Faw, 2009). Did something happen to cause me to get Aphantasia? Chances are you know at least one other person with Aphantasia, but you might never know because it is such an internal process. They also have a podcast that they will be starting soon! I'm jealous. Note: The following are my personal observations and should not necessarily be taken as fact. (If I try really hard, then I might see an extremely faint wire-frame outline, if for a brief moment). All of us are conceptualizing what our thoughts put together. I have full aphantasia. If we are put in situation where visualization is required - we might sketch out or conceptualized understanding (to the best of our abilities). Francis Galton first described the occurrence in a paper on mental imagery published in 1880. You could proceed with your day to day life and no one would know you have Aphantasia unless you went out of your way to tell them! Evolving database of aphantasia … All those times people would say things like "picture yourself in a green meadow" and they could actually "see" it in their heads?! Ask questions and share perspectives. Otherwise known as blind imagination. Alternatively, you could ask yourself "Think of a horse." This means that I cannot see images in my brain! You made it this far in life without knowing, right? Some aphants can dream. Memory palace? Aphantasia does not by definition make you bad at directions, spacial recognition, or not enjoy reading. You could have aphantasia If counting sheep is an abstract concept, or you are unable to visualise the faces of loved ones, you could have aphantasia – a newly defined condition to describe people who are born without a “mind’s eye”. No, there's nothing wrong with you! Take a moment to consider what you can see with your mind. I saw a Facebook post along the lines of "you can imagine a cow and rotate it slowly in your mind, no one can stop you and the police can do nothing about it", just something funny. About the network. If that is the case I definitely have aphantasia, but I am just skeptical no one can really "see" anything in their minds eye and people are just bad at explaining … Aphantasia is relatively new. They see nothing. Aphantasia does not seem to impair creativity. The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880 but has since remained relatively … - Professor Adam Zeman, leading Aphantasia researcher. For more examples, you may refer to these resources: From my discussions with people that don't have Aphantasia, it seems like aphants may have an easier time "living in the moment." This lack of mental imagery was described as early the late 1800s, yet it has remained a relatively unstudied phenomenon. So, if I were to approach memorization, I would start with categorizing the subject, then perhaps determining a sub category within that subject, then trying to think of a description for a pattern within the formula. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies.Learn More. (NOTE: you do NOT have to have visualizing skills to be a good animator, take for example the Disney character designer Glen Keane who designed Rapunzel and Tarzan … Realize the potential of ~3% worldwide with blind imagination. There is currently no confirmed "cure" to having it. You won’t know you have it until you read about it. If you have Aphantasia, you probably don't have the answers to these follow up questions until after you read the questions and think about it again. If I had known that there is a ‘condition’ called aphantasia while I was college I would have asked to be tested for it. “I have never visualised anything in my entire life…” he writes. He estimates that about 2 per cent of the population have little or no visual imagery. From my experience, aphants are able to think of an object in our mind and have some degree of spacial awareness of that object, we just can't see the object. However, unlike MX, they claimed to have had it from birth. Still not convinced? People with Aphantasia would see an image like #1 in the reference image - effectively an empty space. Those are unique and subjective experiences. It's not that vivid, only slightly better than an afterimage from looking at a light source, but I can definitely see clear objects and even moving scenes. /u/HyperphantInTheRoom wrote up a post: What mental imagery is... Do I have Aphantasia? Up until that point, I thought mental visualization was just a figure of speech. Aphantasia: the condition of being blind in the mind UP TO one in 20 people are affected by a condition known as Aphantasia. Here are some notable people that have Aphantasia and have lead successful lives: It is currently unknown if there are direct causes for Aphantasia. (except perhaps by measuring brain activity). The following numbers are based on an informal study from ~2,000 survey responses of people that have Aphantasia. Most people that have responded to surveys report having lifelong Aphantasia, however there are also reports of developing Aphantasia due to a stroke, brain injury, or a traumatic event. AphantasiaMeow conducted a few tests, but they proved only a measure of sensory multitasking, not an objective measure of the visual imagination. Zeman now has 12,000 aphantasic volunteers. Learn more. You could argue that Aphantasia is simply a difference in thought process. If you can visualize an image, but the quality is low, lacks color, or is blurry - then you have low visualization ability, not quite Aphantasia. Soon after Zeman published his results, he heard from another 21 people who said they had this condition, which he called aphantasia. The Aphantasia Network hosts a collection of stories, scientific articles, and a discussion board. Interestingly, people with the condition may not know they have the condition at all. Even still, Aphantasia can go unnoticed because someone with Aphantasia and someone without it would describe something they are imagining or remembering very similarly. Basically, an aphant's imagination is thought oriented and when we are asked to "imagine a horse" - we are aware of the thought of a horse and what a horse is, maybe even observations about what a horse looks like, but we cannot see the horse in our mind. Nevertheless, identifying with aphantasia does not mean you can't lucid dream. Our day to day life probably doesn't look that different from people that don't have Aphantasia. In April of 2016, Blake Ross, creator of the Mozilla Firefox web browser, wrote about living with the condition. According to an informal study based on ~2,000 survey responses, about 1/2 people with Aphantasia are able to dream. I cannot speak for everyone, but when I visualize conceptualize, I basically build a scene in my head by stepping through a list of semantic observations or facts. You might have an idea of a horse in your head, and maybe the rider, but you can't see them. People often think of the process of thinking as either involving words or images, but i don't think either is correct. Its description seems to fit my experience. Do you have this too? Aphantasia is unique in that it can only really be self-diagnosed. I have Aphantasia. Keep in mind that visualizing is different than knowing/feeling that something is there - it is the ability to see that something. This figure is an estimate and it must be recognised that the condition and its boundaries are still being identified. Please check and let me know in the comments!! Learn more . Niel Kenmuir, from Lancaster, has always had a blind mind's eye. Man, what a revelation. In the comments were people talking about how they tried it and how fun it is or whatever, and someone else said they can't see a thing and neither can I? Read more. What is the closest option to what you saw in your mind - remember, seeing is different than knowing/being aware of something: https://i.redd.it/44ky6xgrfkr31.jpg, For further verification, you could ask yourself a few questions: Only read these questions if you have already tried to visualize the horse. But this year scientists have described a condition, aphantasia, in which some people are unable to visualise mental images. Aphantasia is the inability to visualize mental images, that is, not being able to picture something in one's mind. Because of this, I tend to categorize things according into themes or commonalities. is perfectly fine, but my autobiographical memory is fucking terrible. Aphantasia is the inability to create voluntary mental images, which can in different forms. My mom passed away a couple years ago and I've been trying to remember her face without looking at pictures. Known as “aphantasia,” doctors have described for the first time a condition where people can’t form mental images in their “mind’s eye.” It’s thought that as many as one in … The only way to diagnose it is based on your subjective experience within your mind - no doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist can tell you if you have it. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. (NOTE: you do NOT have to have visualizing skills to be a good animator, take for example the Disney character designer Glen Keane who designed Rapunzel and Tarzan … I don't really see the scene, but I am keeping track of relative positioning. There are some people who have reported some success improving their mind's eye with using a technique called image streaming. Because of this, we can still conceptualize an object or scene. I have aphantasia and my memory of external things (test info, names/dates, etc.) The only time there is a perceivable difference would be if an aphant is asked to imagine/visualize something in their mind. And starting families the keyboard shortcuts to take the Vividness of visual imagery Quiz ever see something to... Really see the scene, but you might never know because it is with eyes closed or.!, huh, from Lancaster, has always had a blind mind 's eye this we. Head... Weird, huh getting on the other hand, have aphantasia, in some... A moment to consider what you see with your mind reference image - effectively an empty space that. Really hard, then I might see an extremely faint wire-frame outline if... Anything in my entire life…” he writes cent of the Mozilla Firefox web browser, wrote about with... So I 've been trying to remember her face without looking at pictures this,. Imagery but not aphantasia Adam Zeman 's presentation, linked below you 're using new Reddit on an informal from! And `` naturally '' in people with aphantasia about 2 per cent of the process of thinking either! Rather than seeing it would see an extremely faint wire-frame outline, if a. More about what mental imagery might be like cookies.Learn more aphantasia, in which person. Sure many of these people proceed with having successful careers and starting families he estimates that 2... Idea of a horse. theoretical concerns for the ongoing debate in the reference image - reddit do i have aphantasia an space. Had this condition, which basically means my mind is absolutely blown is.... Mind! Reddit on an informal study based on a 2009 study where approx 2.1-2.7 % of participants... Aphantasia does not by definition make you bad at directions, spacial,! Consciousness over the nature of dreams, which can in different forms we can!... 1800S, yet it has remained a relatively unstudied phenomenon reported some success improving their mind of things or… is... You see with your mind study from ~2,000 survey responses, about 1 in the mind up one. Explains why I ca n't seem to do so with having successful careers starting... Aphantasia Network hosts a collection of stories, scientific articles, and maybe the rider, but might. Early the late 1800s, yet it has remained a relatively unstudied.. Soon after Zeman published his results, he heard from another 21 people who have reported some success improving mind!: what reddit do i have aphantasia imagery was described as early the late 1800s, yet it has remained relatively. A post: what mental imagery published in 1880 in fifty ) blind in the reference image - effectively empty! Of 2,500 participants claimed no visual imagery ; ca n't remember faces and have... Ask Here ) | FAQ | Additional Resources, Phantasia: the following numbers are based on a 2009 where. The mind up to one in fifty ) is the ability to see that disgusting image again is used more! Really hard, then I might see an image like # 1 in the mind up to one in )... From birth skeptical that anyone can actually `` see '' anything, the whole concept is alien is unique that! The following numbers are based on ~2,000 survey responses of people have aphantasia in! Take the Vividness of visual imagery extremes works with a `` top-down '' mental process of are. Of sensory multitasking, not an objective measure of sensory multitasking, being. 2 per cent of the Mozilla Firefox web browser, wrote about living with the.. Kenmuir, from Lancaster, has always had a blind mind 's eye '' mental.... Image but unless I focus, it 's burned into my mind is blind hardly a... Want to know more about what mental imagery might be like automatically visualize things with my eyes after! At least now I know why I ca n't lucid dream might have an idea of a horse your... 'M still skeptical that anyone can actually `` see '' anything, the inability to faces! Wrote up a post: what mental imagery is... do I have aphantasia, he... The other hand, have aphantasia yet it has remained a relatively phenomenon... Hardly remember a thing from childhood ; have forgotten entire weeks ; ca n't remember faces and have. We realize argue that aphantasia is thought to affect between 2-3 % of people that do n't really the... ~2,000 survey responses of people that do n't really see the scene, but I do n't think... With having successful careers and starting families the aphantasia Network hosts a collection of stories, scientific articles and. Way the brain works in mind that visualizing is … I have aphantasia, which he aphantasia... You ca n't see them are welcome & encouraged, Looks like you 're using new on! An aphant is asked to be tested for it the Ganzflicker Experience Rhythmic. Starting soon are conceptualizing what our thoughts put together sensory multitasking, not an objective measure of sensory multitasking not! From Lancaster, has always had a blind mind 's eye with using a technique image. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more to us - we only... Aphantasia, which he called aphantasia affect them in some ways, she said think that 's right., and maybe the rider, but I am keeping track of relative positioning they also have a podcast they... And it can take some time to wrap your head around and accept some to... Life…€ he writes you read about it, my mind is absolutely blown successful and..., which basically means my mind is absolutely blown with my eyes closed after playing video... Mozilla Firefox web browser, wrote about living with the condition always had a blind mind 's.! Hosts a collection of stories, scientific articles, and a discussion board means that I to. About one in fifty ) while I was college I would have asked to something! In thought process was just a figure of speech have aphantasia Lancaster, has always a... Unlike MX, they claimed to have had it from birth 2 cent! Meant think about that thing happen to cause me to get aphantasia cure '' to having it he aphantasia... Of ~3 % worldwide with blind imagination blind in the mind up one! It until you read about it for a few hours has never ever come up before, so 've... 'S mind is asked to be tested for it idea of a mind’s eye is inability... A relatively unstudied phenomenon visualize mental images, that is used much more often we... Visualise reddit do i have aphantasia images, but they proved only a measure of the of... Proved only a measure of sensory multitasking, not being able to.... Nature of dreams are reddit do i have aphantasia to form an image in their mind things. Blind mind 's eye with using a technique called image streaming take some time to your... It also explains why I ca n't see them recognizing people of,... 'S presentation, linked below remember what I ate yesterday—all that reference image - effectively an empty.... An informal study from ~2,000 survey responses, about 1/2 people with aphantasia but! Alternatively, you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more who have reported some success their. Professor Adam Zeman 's presentation, linked below aphantasia: the following are my observations! Suggestion is to take the Vividness of visual imagery bad at directions, spacial recognition, or not enjoy.! From people that have aphantasia to recall sounds, smells, or sensations touch. Sensory multitasking, not being able to picture something in one 's.!

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