Benefit of Noticing that I have Basic, Fleeting Visualization Ability


Thank you for the Aphantasia Network!

I've maybe been a member for over a year. In that time, not only have I loved the humour, but I have learnt about myself and about this particular deviation from boring bog standard. I wanted for many years to connect with others with similar 'wiring'.

One benefit I've derived from this network is that I have become aware of when I DO visualize. Maybe once a week, for less than a second, I do actually see something – mostly a colour of something I know or have known, even colour AND a pattern sometimes, such as a fabric pattern. It is faint, fleeting fuzzy and tiny BUT I now understand that, even so, it plays a role in my memory, just a very small role. It is a positive thing to be aware of this.

I think, possibly, that my visualization ability hasn't developed properly because I haven't needed it: on here, we know it isn't strictly necessary, though very useful for avoiding getting lost! I think that if I did need it in the future, it could improved to meet any pressing needs.

I also want to share that I have mixed feelings about the current term: 'aphantasia'. it is a nice word; it is positive and interesting. However, as a music-lover, I have previously only known the word 'phantasia' as the name of my very favourite classical music form! And, if I have been listening to a phantasia I can hear it in my head for days! I absolutely love phantasias. Therefore, personally, I find the rather nice term 'aphantasia' inappropriate.

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It’s wonderful to hear about your experiences with the Aphantasia Network and how it has helped you learn more about yourself and connect with others who share similar cognitive experiences. Your observation about your occasional moments of visualization is interesting. Are these visual experiences something that happens out of the blue, or do you find you have some control over when they occur?

The potential to further develop visualization abilities, especially for those with some degree of visualization (even if very low), is a fascinating area for future research and personal discovery. However, the question of whether these visualization abilities can be developed in congenital cases of aphantasia—where the individual has never experienced voluntary or spontaneous visualization—remains a topic of ongoing research and debate.

Regarding the naming of ‘aphantasia,’ there’s a historical context for the term a-phantasia. You can learn more about it here: