Aphantasia – This girl is officially a part of a scientific study

Aphantasia – the inability to make images within your mind.

There’s really not much, if anything known about this beyond that it happens, and probably to about 2-3% of the population. In fact, the name was only coined in 2015 (find more information at this BBC article) I’m definitely excited about this research because this is something I’ve dealt with my whole life.

Imagine yourself on a sandy beach, the wind blowing through the trees behind you, the ocean moving lazily in and out…

I can’t. At all. All of that is just words to me. I don’t know what it looks like. I can’t explain what the water looks like, or the trees. I can’t see anything other than the back of my eyelids.

Do you wonder what R or my babies look like? Unless I’m looking directly at them when you ask me, you’re never going to know, because outside of basic words, I can’t remember them in images, can’t pull anything visual up in my head to remember them.

It makes for an interesting way to remember things though. I connect words with everything. If I don’t, I don’t remember. You know, basic descriptors. Like so and so has dark colored hair, lots of tattoos, is about chin height to me… Things like that, but details? Nope. Zip. Nada. I just can’t do it, it’s just not there.

I would be interested if there is anything I could do to help be able to see images, but yeah… There’s not much (if really anything) in research when it comes to this *sigh*

Thank you for reading sunshines and have a beautiful day!



20 thoughts on “Aphantasia – This girl is officially a part of a scientific study

  1. Two weeks ago I tried to imagine a duck on a discussion forum, couldn’t. Then thought lets google ‘people who can’t see images in their mind. I then discovered Aphantasia. I’m 59 now, for me a mind without images seemed perfectly normal. Until this moment. Been asking my kids if they see images, they do. I also cannot imagine taste, smell, touch.
    I’m a keen learner, I want to know ‘everything’. Also a jack of all trades. When i reflect on the process, it’s all just thoughts I hear. To learn anything, I break stuff down into, sort of, purpose, function, mechanics, etc. A whole lot of details about it. Not being boastful but I havent met people who are capable of the wide field of knowledge and capabilities I possess. In my work environment i was pretty much left alone to do as i please as the man with all the ideas.
    On reflection I’m sure this condition began in childhood. There were certain distressing events which took place then. I must have switched of the images to cope. Right now, I dont feel any distress regarding this condition yes curious to discover how I’m able to do and learn so much. A bit concerned if I do discover the process to unlock the condition, will it cause me problems.
    Thank you for allowing me to talk about my experience with Aphantasia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t imagine how to explain it to you. I think in words. I explain everything in words. If I have to remember where something is, if I can’t remember street names, then it’s got “XYZ restaurant on this corner and a yellow stucco building on the other corner” etc. I didn’t know it was “odd” for a very, very long time (like a year or two ago long time)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course! How could you know that the way you think/see things in your mind is different. You don’t know what you don’t know – unless you discuss it with someone and they’re like, “Ummmm… That’s not how it works for me.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Can you picture things in your mind when you read? (Just curious) That’s really interesting, but I can imagine it can be difficult for you and from reading the comments, I’m sorry you suffer from night terrors. Unfortunately, I’m no expert and I can’t really help you, but I hope you find a solution soon. There’s meant to be lots of things out there that can help x

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I had never seen this comment! It got past me when I was going through things, I’m sorry sunshine.
          That’s the weird thing is, while I’m reading a book, I’ll “see” this… movie, is the best way that I have to put it. As soon as I look away, it’s gone. I don’t have any concept of making pictures, but I do get that one visual when I’m reading, that’s it. Don’t know how it works.


      1. Well I see no images or movies when reading, anyway.:P

        I came to the realization that people actually see images in their head when I was 28 and I am 36 now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I dream incredibly vividly which sucks because I pretty much only ever have night terrors.
          What I wrote in this post is pretty much the sum up. I can’t retain images, I can’t recall images, I can’t create images. Every single thing I remember in visual terms, is remembered based off words.
          I remember sounds very easily, smells fairly well, and touch sometimes.
          I’m able to work really well with stats, numbers, research, because they are all based on words and symbols that I can remind myself of in my head. Whatever it is that I learn, I really kind of need non-visually based tangible work to be able to retain it.


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