Dear Ian: I found your story very interesting and highly meaningful is. Well detailed and fact based, it gave me a strong reference in the way my mind also works. All my life I was able to work mentally with very complex electronics and mechanical systems. Never had any problem designing, visualizing and constructing working mental models. I just discovered, about two years ago, that I have lost the ability to mentally visualize anything. I discovered that I have Aphantasia. If I close my eyes and try to see an object, face or graphic, I do not see anything. I only see with my mind eyes a foggy colorless background. It is like the old TVs screen, when there was no signal, just visual noise. Also, what I “see” in my mind, seems to be what you see when you open your eyes underwater in your swimming pool. Merely, nothing.
I have dedicated several months to research, read and learn about Aphantasia, wich is exactly my newly discovered condition, about two years ago. It is very interesting.
Additionally, I have consulted a Neurology Doctor. I had an EGG and an MRI of my brain done recently. All results were “normal.” No medical recommendations were given. My Neurology Doctor was not very impressed and interested in my Aphantasia mental condition.
I have recently discovered that our minds work at several levels when working with ideas, concepts and graphical representations of the physical and intellectual world.
I have realized that, if I can not form a shape or form in my mind, due to Aphantasia, I can continue working with complex designs and shapes, not as mental images, but as concepts. I am able to work with “concepts.” I deal with them like they are “flash cards.” I can shuffle them, pick the ones that I want, I can combine them to develop a mechanism, design or system
I suffered a suddenly loss of consciousness during my visit to my older Son, on Father’s Day, in 2018. I was deeply unconscious for about FIVE minutes. The event is known as SYNCOPE. It is possible that this event is the cause of my Aphantasia, even no physical or physiological injury was caused, based on all the medical tests done.
My Son George, made an extensive research about the possible effects of the Syncope I had suffered. He found out, from reliable medical and scientific sources, that the Brain “resets”, in many ways, after the SYNCOPE event. You may lose or gain some mental abilities and capacities.
I noticeable gained improvement in mathematical, geometrical, graphical, musical, logical reasoning, verbal and written communication, etc. But, I possibly lost the ability to create images and see them with my “mind’s eyes”, and that is: Aphantasia.
I would like to establish a more one-to-one communication with you, via email, if you do not mind.
Your Aphantasia case is of special interest to me, having similar life backgrounds and a similar mental condition. I would like to share with you any new discoveries and resources.
George Frank Carrillo