1% of the population experience aphantasia, or mind-blindness, which is an inability to visualize concepts or thoughts in their imagination. Researchers investigate this phenomenon and offer explanations as to how this may occur.
People who experience visual imagination have pupillary responses that optimize the amount of light hitting the retina and change in response to imagined items. This pupillary response does not occur in those with aphantasia.
People with hyperphantasia, the ability to visualize vividly, have stronger connections between their visual brain network and decision-making networks. By contrast, those with aphantasia, an inability to visualize, have weaker connections between the brain regions.
Horror writers may have a hard time attracting those with aphantasia to read their spooky stories. A new study reveals those with aphantasia, a disorder marked by an inability to visualize mental imagery, have a hard time getting spooked by creepy stories. Findings suggest mental imagery may have a closer link to emotional processing and expression than previously believed.
Aphantasia, a disorder in which people are lack the ability to mentally visualize imagery, is also associated with a widespread pattern of changes to other important cognitive processes. Many with aphantasia report a reduced ability to recall past events, imagine the future, and dream.
The strength of a person's mental imagery is associated with excitability in the prefrontal cortex and visual cortex. Highly excitable neurons in the visual cortex may reduce a person's ability to imagine mental images. The findings shed light on how aphantasia, a condition where a person can not imaging mental images, may occur.