Where is aphantasia research happening?

Aphantasia research is taking place at the following institutions globally (that we’re aware of):

  1. University of Exeter, UK, led by Dr. Adam Zeman and the Eye’s Mind Lab
  2. UNSW and Future Minds Lab, Sydney Australia led by cognitive scientist Prof Joel Pearson
  3. University of Westminster, UK
  4. Icelandic Vision Lab, Iceland
  5. The University of Sussex and The Imagery Lab, England
  6. Rotman Research Institute, Canada, The Levine Lab led by Dr. Brian Levine

Are we missing your institution or lab? Let us know in the comments below 👇

Are you a researcher or scientist currently studying aphantasia, hyperphantasia, or imagination science?
You might be interested to know we’re working on a new sensory imagination assessment for quantifying mental imagery across senses, Imagination Spectrum. We also host an annual Extreme Imagination conference to highlight new research/discoveries in this field. We’re now accepting submissions.

Looking to recruit participants for your next research study? Email jennie@aphantasia.com and we’ll be in touch to learn more about your imagination research and how we might be able to help!

Share this post

You must be signed in to comment
Total Comments (9)

I am a PhD student at Yale, studying visual perceptioin and cognition. I also have aphantaisia and I’m hoping to begin doing reserach on it. I’m currenlty trying to build a subject pool, so anyone interested in being contacted can email me at robert.walter@yale.edu

Thanks!

Robert…as i am new to aphantaisia/Hyperaphantaisia i really dont know if i have anything to contribute, but i am and have been Curious about myself and why i do things

that dont seem common,  I believe i am Hyper, which does not seem to be all that unusual, but my particular ability seems to be that i can remember musical notes and tunes perfectly 60 years after hearing them, i was recruited and trained as a SONAR technician in the U.S. submarine navy at 18 years old and was a budding audiophile at 10 years old.

i have always had a vivid imagination and have paid a hard price because of it. since i have retired i have spent a lot of time enjoying music of my youth and i find a lot to critique as/per digital representations of music that i know intimatlly from years ago

i dont know if this is unusual except that i suspect my other sence are heightend as well

the only diff. is i am proffesionally trained for sound recognition

i also occasionaly dream in colors

Duane

I am currently doing a research project at the University of Exeter looking at the relationship between extremes of visual imagery and autism.

There is a link to the survey in a separate discussion post.

Kath

@katherine jones

can you share the link here so others dont have have to search for the link you mentioned?

thanks

@Steve Allen

Of course! Here it is:

https://exetercles.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5grtHKtXCYF0nit

The survey title is ‘Extremes of visual imagery vividnes in people with high levels of autistic traits’.

“Aphantasia Research Project” in Bonn (Germany): https://www.psychologie.uni-bonn.de/de/unser-institut/abteilungen/differentielle-biologische-psychologie/%20%20Aphantasia%20Research%20Project%20Bonn%20 with the actual study “Neural correlates of aphantasia: assessments using functional magnetic resonance imaging.” https://www.dzne.de/en/research/studies/clinical-studies/aphantasia/

 

Hi everyone, my name is Henna Nazir and I am a student at the University of Westminster undertaking my third year Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience dissertation project in mental imagery. In this project, we are exploring face recognition abilities in aphantasia. 

If you have a spare 30 minutes, we would really appreciate your participation in our study, the study is open to everyone over the age of 18 with correct or normal to correct vision (e.g. if you wear glasses this is fine). If you plan to do the study, please can you do it on a computer/laptop (i.e. not a mobile phone), and use Google Chrome. You can access the study via this link:  

https://research.sc/participant/login/dynamic/1DF17198-68A6-4419-80B4-B3A2238B9AAC 

I’d appreciate it if you would share this link with anyone who may be interested (whether they have aphantasia or not)

If you have any questions, please email me w1728518@my.westminster.ac.uk or my supervisor z.pounder@westminster.ac.uk.

Thank you very much for your participation!

Jennifer, I would love to participate in research into people who’ve LOST their ability to visualize, as suddenly happened to me about 10 years ago. I appreciate having this list of research institutions, and will look at their websites, but since most comments I’ve read on this site suggest participants were born aphantasic, I’m hoping someone is researching acquired aphantasia.  If you know of anyone doing this, I’d deeply appreciate your pointing me in the right direction. Thank you!

Hello Laurie, I’m sorry for your loss. We haven’t been directly contacted by researchers/institutions studying acquired cases. As I understand it, acquired cases are quite rare. However, Zeman Lab reported Patient MX in 2009 and the Icelandic Vision Lab reported a similar case with an Architect in 2019. Either may be worth contacting! You might also be interested in reaching out to Rebecca Brady who wrote this article for us on the experience of losing the mind’s eye in 2020. We’ll keep you posted if we catch wind of any new studies or publications.

Thank you so much for your compassion and the links, Jennifer!  I will definitely contact the Zeman & Icelandic Vision Labs, and found Rebecca Brady’s comments intriguing, though in many respects so different from mine (e.g., I have not lost my ability to feel horror, alas, or strong emotion).

I posted my experience on the discussion page yesterday, and was thrilled you replied so quickly to my separate inquiry to you. I didn’t realize that “acquired aphantasia” was rare, so I hope some researcher will be interested in what’s happened to me.

I find it interesting that there are no research sites in the US.