About the network
Aphantasia Network is on a mission to shape a new, global conversation on the power of image-free thinking. We’re run by a Canadian Non-profit organization, Aphantasia Society.
Our goal is to create a place to discover and learn about aphantasia, and build a bridge between new scientific discoveries and our unique human experience — to uncover new insight into how we learn, create, dream and remember with blind imagination.
Our founder, Tom Ebeyer was among the first 21 reported cases of ‘congenital aphantasia’ mentioned in the original scientific paper by Dr. Adam Zeman in 2015. The paper was picked up by media outlets, including the New York Times, which led to an outpouring of new discoverers who also identified with having aphantasia.
Tom quickly realized there was no available support or information for people with a ‘blind mind’s eye,’ so he began building the foundations for a Network. Tom’s story was picked up by CBC’s Doc Project in 2019, and the episode Think of a Horse aired several times across Canada on CBC Radio.
In January of 2019, interest in extreme imagination, aphantasia and it’s opposite hyperphantasia, or extremely vivid mental imagery, grew considerably when Ed Catmull, founder and former CEO of Pixar with Steve Jobs, was profiled on BBC News as also being ‘blind in the mind’s eye’.
In a surprising survey of Ed’s former employees, Catmull discovered so too do some of the world’s best Disney animators like Glen Keane, the creator of The Little Mermaid. Since the discovery of aphantasia, media attention has been growing steadily including receiving a mention in the Netflix original series, Space Force with Steve Carell. Dr. Zeman’s original paper now scores in the top 5% of all research interests on Altmetric.
It became apparent to co-founders of the Network, Tom and Jennie that people across the spectrum of imagination needed a place to discover and learn about aphantasia. To explore some of the latest science and share stories about this unique variation in human experience. The pair began building Aphantasia Network in Sept 2019. Aphantasia Network is now the #1 place for discovering aphantasia, a condition impacting more than 3% of people worldwide.
Since launch, the Network has grown beyond their imagination. Even if Tom could picture it. The Network is sustained by a dedicated team of volunteers, is supported by humble patrons and strengthened by members from across the globe. Guided by world-leading scientists, Aphantasia Network aims to be at the forefront of new discoveries around imagery extremes and the impacts these invisible differences can have on our life, work and wellbeing.
Tom is a social entrepreneur and founder of the Aphantasia Network. Tom’s unique vision is shaping the global conversation around the power of image-free thinking.
Jennie is an experience designer and co-founder of the Aphantasia Network. Jennie’s leading the design of the Imagination Spectrum, a new multi-sensory assessment for quantifying the spectrum of imagination.
Fiona is a research consultant with a PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour from McMaster University. Her expertise is centred on sensory integration and its impact on human cognitive processes. Fiona is currently advising the validation of the Imagination Spectrum psychometric and supporting our Research Collaborations.
Paul Aflalo is a storyteller, documentary filmmaker and radio producer who has a deep curiosity into the human experience. Paul is the executive producer of Imagine That!, the Network’s premeir podcast and co-producer of the Think of Horse, CBC Doc Project.
Zach is a builder, with a passion and drive for building community and connecting with other like minds. He’s currently exploring techniques for strengthening community engagement and outreach strategies to connect the global aphantasia community in a more meaningful way.
Mike is neuroscientist at Neosensory as well as a software engineer and science writer. Mike spends his time meditating, brewing kombucha, and climbing rocks.
Liana M. Scott
Liana is a semi-retired writer. She recently discovered she has aphantasia. Despite her lifelong inability to visualize – or perhaps because of it – Liana has learned to adapt, bending her capabilities in imaginative ways to service her creativity.
Mónica has over 15 years experience in the hospitality industry. Her mission is to help raise awareness about the diversity of thought processes, aphantasia, hyperphantasia and everything in-between. Mónica is on the organizing committee for the Extreme Imagination conference.
Emma is an aphantasic Graphic Design student at Oklahoma State University studying toward her bachelors degree. She is passionate about art and design as well as her discovery of aphantasia. She is joining the team as a volunteer designer to assist in all things graphic while also learning more about aphantasia along the way.
Dr. Joel Pearson
Joel is the founder and director of the UNSW Future Minds Lab. A hands on empirical lab that develops new methods to scientifically study all related aspects of innovation using Psychology and Neuroscience. Joel studies the mechanisms and application of mental imagery, by using behavioural, human brain imaging and brain stimulation techniques.
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We’re always looking for new collaborators.
Are you working on a project related to aphantasia, hyperphantasia, researching extreme imagination, or interested in media?
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