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.
When we imagine the outcome of future events, two sub-networks of the brain become active. One of the sub-networks focuses on creating the new event in our imagination, the other evaluates whether the event is positive or negative.
60% of authors say they can hear their characters' voices as they write. Some even say they could enter into a dialogue with their characters, and sometimes their characters 'talk back'. Researchers explore why this phenomenon occurs.
Using artificial intelligence and neuroimaging, researchers have identified a link between mental imagery and vision. The brain uses similar visual areas for mental imagery and vision but uses low-level visual areas less precisely for mental imagery than vision.
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.