About the network
Aphantasia Network is on a mission to shape a new, global conversation. We’re building 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 think, create, and dream with blind imagination.
Our vision is to realize the potential of the ~3% worldwide with blind imagination by providing a space to share stories, ask questions, explore the science and discover practical strategies for improving the life and work of people living with aphantasia.
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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 produced by the network’s Creative Director, Paul Aflalo, aired several times across Canada on CBC Radio.
In January of 2019, interest in the extremes of human imagination both aphantasia and it’s opposite, hyperphantasia, or hyper-vivid imagination, grew considerably when Ed Catmull, the founder and former CEO of Pixar, 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, Space Force with Steve Carell. Dr. Zeman’s paper now scores in the top 5% of all research interests on Altmetric.
It became apparent to co-founders of the Aphantasia Network, Tom and Jennie that people across the spectrum of imagination needed a place to discover and learn about aphantasia, and share stories about their unique imaginative experiences. The pair began building the Aphantasia Network in Sept 2019. Aphantasia Network is now the #1 place to discover and learn about aphantasia, a condition impacting more than 3% of people worldwide.
In early 2020, Tom and Jennie began working on Imagination Spectrum, the world’s first cognitive assessment measuring the vividness of mental imagery across all senses. Imagination Spectrum provides personalized insight into your unique imaginative experience and explores the real-world impacts mental imagery (or lack thereof) can have in our lives and work. The platform is set to launch mid-2021.
Kelly holds a BSc, MSc, M.D., and is currently pursuing her neurology residency at Dalhousie University. Kelly played a foundational role in the development of the Imagination Spectrum psychometric, and is currently advising platform developments. She is also an award-winning harpist with aphantasia.
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, and is currently advising the research and development of Imagination Spectrum.
Mónica is a highly motivated professional with in-house event organisation, international office and luxury hotel management experience with over 15 years in the hospitality and private investments. Her mission is to raise awareness about the diversity of thought processes, aphantasia, hyperphantasia and everything in-between. Mónica is currently leading the planning and organizing of the first *virtual* Extreme Imagination conference taking place in October 2021.
Dr. Adam Zeman
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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