I have aphantasia – lifelong – in all senses  – very little episodic memory.  And yet I dream vividly.  I can’t picture my Mother, or my son as a child – but they appeared in my dream last night as vivid as reality.  Also, I am going deaf ( i am very old) and in what my neurologist believes is a side effect of this I have started to have musical hallucinations.  I hear music playing at low volume which isn’t there,  I could not consciously play the simplest tune in my head but my unconscious is creating symphonies.

If my brain was lacking the ability to create visual imagery how can it create such visual dreams?  If I lack the ability to create auditory sounds how can I hallucinate them?  I obviously have the same abilities of imagery others have – so why is my consciousness cut off from them?

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I’d have to do some digging to find the study, but it was theorized (I won’t say proven because I’m not entirely certain that it was, and as I said I don’t have the study) that conscious imagination works “top-down” and unconscious imagination works “bottom-up”. I personally think this would explain why dreams are so complex. They’ve been built from the bottom up. 

Of course, this model fails to explain some things, but to be honest, the answer is that we don’t know. The real problem I’ve found with connecting it to anything is that we don’t have anything that correlates with it other than things we either already don’t understand or things we theorize come from it.