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Famous people with aphantasia?

DiscussionsCategory: QuestionsFamous people with aphantasia?
Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff asked 4 months ago

Inspired by a post from reddit re: starting a public list of famous people with aphantasia. Here’s who we know so far:

  1. Blake Ross, Software Engineer, Founder of Mozilla FireFox Internet Browser
  2. Craig Venter, Biochemist/Geneticist (known for leading the first draft sequence of the human genome)
  3. Ed Catmull, Computer Scientist, Former President of Pixar (known for his work on Toy Story, Bugs Life, Finding Nemo, Inside Out & many more)
  4. Brian Froud, Fantasy Illustrator (conceptual designer for the Jim Henson films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth)
  5. John Wood Campbell Jr, Science Fiction Writer and Editor (known for Astounding Science Fiction later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact)
  6. Oliver Sacks, Neurologist, Naturalist, Historian of Science and Author (known for Awakenings, Mind’s Eye, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat)
  7. William James, Philosopher and Psychologist (known for Principles of Psychology)
José Eduardo Porcher replied 4 months ago

Oliver Sacks talks about his lack of mental imagery in this video. https://youtu.be/gkTYY_izhJE?t=247

William James reports, in his Principles of Psychology, that "I can seldom call to mind even a single letter of the alphabet in purely retinal terms. I must trace the letter by running my mental eye over its contour in order that the image of it shall have any distinctness at all." https://books.google.com/books?id=mgd-AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA61

Re: Aldous Huxley, he seemed to be at the negative part of the spectrum, if not fully aphantasic. He says, in pp. 15/17 of *The Doors of Perception*: "I am and, for as long as I can remember, I have always been a poor visualizer. Words, even the pregnant words of poets, do not evoke pictures in my mind. No hypnagogic visions greet me on the verge of sleep. When I recall something, the memory does not present itself to me as a vividly seen event or object. By an effort of the will, I can evoke a not very vivid image of what happened yesterday afternoon, of how the Lungarno used to look before the bridges were destroyed, of the Bayswater Road when the only buses were green and tiny and drawn by aged horses at three and a half miles an hour. But when images have little substance and absolutely no autonomous life of their own." http://www.herbmuseum.ca/content/doors-perception-aldous-huxley-1954

3 Answers
Christoph BackhausChristoph Backhaus answered 4 months ago

Aldous Huxley

Seungho ChoiSeungho Choi answered 4 months ago

Nice work!

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