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Ask questions and share perspectives. Because of this, I tend to categorize things according into themes or commonalities. Keep in mind that visualizing is different than knowing/feeling that something is there - it is the ability to see that something. Aphantasia: the condition of being blind in the mind UP TO one in 20 people are affected by a condition known as Aphantasia. I have Aphantasia. The term "It's burned into my mind!" Aphantasia does not seem to impair creativity. Curious what aphantasia means? Do you have this too? In April of 2016, Blake Ross, creator of the Mozilla Firefox web browser, wrote about living with the condition. 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. Man, what a revelation. 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. Niel Kenmuir, from Lancaster, has always had a blind mind's eye. Learn more . Having Aphantasia is certainly a mind blowing discovery and it can take some time to wrap your head around and accept. What gender were they? "I don't really think that's the right way to think of it. Aphantasia is the inability to create voluntary mental images, which can in different forms. 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. What is Aphantasia? Francis Galton first described the occurrence in a paper on mental imagery published in 1880. Icon by /u/SlippingStar, People without aphantasia are welcome & encouraged, Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. Read more. It is a tool that is used much more often than we realize. I've found that I begin to automatically visualize things with my eyes closed after playing a video game for a few hours. 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 … Still, aphantasia might affect them in some ways, she said. 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. The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880 but has since remained relatively … 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". This number is based on a 2009 study where approx 2.1-2.7% of 2,500 participants claimed no visual imagination (Faw, 2009). Yet not all experiences of aphantasia are alike. It only received a common name in 2015. Chances are you know at least one other person with Aphantasia, but you might never know because it is such an internal process. About the network. Up until that point, I thought mental visualization was just a figure of speech. 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 … 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". Zeman now has 12,000 aphantasic volunteers. 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 have aphantasia and have known about it for a couple of years now. There is currently no confirmed "cure" to having it. Many aphantasics are successful in creative professions and have ways to compensate for their lack of a mind’s eye. However, unlike MX, they claimed to have had it from birth. 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. Aphantasia is thought to affect between 2-3% of the population (about one in fifty). 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 have never visualised anything in my entire life…” he writes. The current estimate is that 2.1-2.7% of people have Aphantasia, about 1 in 40 people. Realize the potential of ~3% worldwide with blind imagination. 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. 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 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. 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. You won’t know you have it until you read about it. My mom passed away a couple years ago and I've been trying to remember her face without looking at pictures. Connect and learn from many minds. 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. I documented these numbers from Professor Adam Zeman's presentation, linked below. (other senses may also apply) 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. Did something happen to cause me to get Aphantasia? (If I try really hard, then I might see an extremely faint wire-frame outline, if for a brief moment). Even still, Aphantasia can go unnoticed because someone with Aphantasia and someone without it would describe something they are imagining or remembering very similarly. Did you recognize the person that got on the horse to ride? 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. Those are unique and subjective experiences. Discover blind imagination. This test has been used since 1973 to accurately test the intensity with which you can visualize settings, people, and objects within the mind. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies.Learn More. I know what an object looks like, I know a ball is round, but I can't close my eyes and "see" a ball. Evolving database of aphantasia … The following numbers are based on an informal study from ~2,000 survey responses of people that have Aphantasia. 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! The only time there is a perceivable difference would be if an aphant is asked to imagine/visualize something in their mind. 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 … Can hardly remember a thing from childhood; have forgotten entire weeks; can't remember what I ate yesterday—all that. It also explains why I can't remember faces and often have a hard time recognizing people. My memory is also very strongly associated with patterns. AphantasiaMeow conducted a few tests, but they proved only a measure of sensory multitasking, not an objective measure of the visual imagination. You might have an idea of a horse in your head, and maybe the rider, but you can't see them. Learn more. Because we can't visualize the memory of whatever was disturbing, we never need to see that disgusting image again. He estimates that about 2 per cent of the population have little or no visual imagery. All those times people would say things like "picture yourself in a green meadow" and they could actually "see" it in their heads?! 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. Some can still visualise in their dreams, others can … If you can't bring up a visual image of something in your mind, or have difficulty doing so, then you probably have Aphantasia. According to an informal study based on ~2,000 survey responses, about 1/2 people with Aphantasia are able to dream. Aphantasia is relatively new. All of us are conceptualizing what our thoughts put together. I don't really see the scene, but I am keeping track of relative positioning. Keep in mind that visualizing is … I always thought when people said "imagine xyz" they meant think about that thing. Soon after Zeman published his results, he heard from another 21 people who said they had this condition, which he called aphantasia. Dreaming works with a "bottom-up" mental process. Note: The following are my personal observations and should not necessarily be taken as fact. Here are some notable people that have Aphantasia and have lead successful lives: It is currently unknown if there are direct causes for Aphantasia. Still not convinced? If we are put in situation where visualization is required - we might sketch out or conceptualized understanding (to the best of our abilities). But this year scientists have described a condition, aphantasia, in which some people are unable to visualise mental images. I have full aphantasia. Aphantasia does not by definition make you bad at directions, spacial recognition, or not enjoy reading. Many of these people proceed with having successful careers and starting families! 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. The leading research team on Aphantasia maintain their own website: The Eye's Mind team, u/Bastionna compiled a List of interesting reading material. I'm an artist that can't see pictures in my head... Weird, huh? Alternatively, you could ask yourself "Think of a horse." I don't have aphantasia, but i do have some trouble visualizing. Take another moment to consider what you see with your mind. I can make an image but unless i focus, it's more like i'm feeling, rather than seeing it. 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