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Evolving database on extreme imagination. Explore aphantasia research and share knowledge. 

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Journal article

Aphantasia, imagination and dreaming

Cecily M. K. Whiteley in Springer
The majority of aphantasics retain the capacity to experience rich visual dreams, despite being unable to produce visual imagery while awake. Aphantasia raises important theoretical concerns for the ongoing debate in the philosophy and science of consciousness over the nature of dreams.
Journal article

The Ganzflicker Experience: Rhythmic visual flicker induces complex illusions in people with visual imagery but not aphantasia

Varg Königsmark, Johanna Bergmann, Reshanne Reeder in PsyArXiv
Rhythmic visual flicker is known to induce illusions and altered states of consciousness. Study finds people with visual imagery were more susceptible to flicker-induced illusions (FII) than people with aphantasia.
Journal article

A cognitive profile of multi-sensory imagery, memory and dreaming in aphantasia

Alexei J. Dawes, Rebecca Keogh, Thomas Andrillon, Joel Pearson in natureresearch
Study finds that aphantasic individuals report decreased imagery in other sensory domains, although not all report a complete lack of multi-sensory imagery. They also report less vivid and phenomenologically rich autobiographical memories and imagined future scenarios, as well as fewer dreams.
Journal article

Cortical excitability controls the strength of mental imagery

Rebecca Keogh, Johanna Bergmann, Joel Pearson in eLife
The strength of a person’s mental imagery is linked to the excitability of different brain regions. Exactly how this network controls the strength of visual imagery remains unknown.
News article

Being unable to visualise mental images gives you an advantage when working in science, study suggests

Telegraph Reporters in The Telegraph
People who are unable to visualize mental images may have an advantage when working in scientific and mathematical industries, a study led by the University of Exeter (n=2200) shows. The phenomenon is the opposite of hyperphantasia which has been shown to be more common in creative professions.
News article

Majority of authors 'hear' their characters speak, finds study

Alison Flood in The Guardian
A survey of 181 authors showed 63% actually "hear their characters speak" while writing, with 61% reporting characters are capable of acting independently in their minds.
Media content

Blind Mind's Eye

Sue Armstrong in BBC Radio 4
What if you couldn't evoke images of your children’s faces or the house you live in? Sue Armstrong investigates personal experiences of people with aphantasia, and the science behind it with a guest appearance from professor Adam Zeman.
News article

‘I have no mind’s eye’: what is it like being an author with aphantasia?

Mark Lawrence in The Guardian
Fantasy novelist Mark Lawrence, author of The Broken Empire series, has no problem with imagination. It was a shock to realize he couldn’t picture anything in his mind.
Media content

Extreme imagination exhibition

Eye's Mind Team, Susan Aldworth, Matthew MacKisack, Fiona Macpherson, Joanna Helfer in University of Glasgow
Online art exhibition feauturing works by aphantasic and hyperhpantasic artists invites us to consider the critical role of mental imagery in making art.
Journal article

Phantasia - the psychological significance of lifelong visual imagery vividness extremes

Adam Zeman, Fraser Milton, Sergio Della Sala et al in PsyArXiv
Aphantasia and hyperphantasia appear to be widespread but neglected features of human experience with informative psychological associations.
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