Some thoughts on Aphantasia

DiscussionCategory: IntroductionsSome thoughts on Aphantasia
Max BarberMax Barber asked 7 months ago

Hi there,

So I have just found this site, after having found I was Aphantasic in 2015. It was about the same time my daughter came home from school one day quite upset, they had had an art class and had to sit back to back with their best friends and draw each other. Her friend drew a great picture, my daughter could barely manage more that an outline, saying she had no idea what her friend looked like. So there we have it, both suffering the same thing, is it in herited I wondered at the time?

I found the article ‘picture a horse’ spot on, it reflects exactly how I feel. When I describe my ‘condition’ (what do we call it?), I always ask people to imagine a web page, then tell them that the way I think is akin to me seeing the raw HTML code that makes up the webpage, but not the web page itself. I guess you have to be a bit geeky to understand that.

I also find that I am less shocked by gruesome or disturbing videos. It has been pointed out to me by friends that maybe this is because when it is over, I can no longer ‘see’ it. This led me to wondering if there was any coalation between violent people, maybe even murders and aphantasia, maybe they find it less abnormal as they cannot remember the details of what they have done.

I must say I think a lot about aphantasia and what I am missing, but as a person can not imagine not imagining, similarily I really can’t imagine imagining! Also, as touched upon in the horse article, there are other parts too, recalling sounds, smells, tastes that we miss too.

It makes me sad, but in a way also happy knowing that I (we) are different, but I feel it should be discussed more…

1 Answers
Tom EbeyerTom Ebeyer Staff answered 7 months ago

Some great thoughts here, Max. I’m very interested to hear that your daughter might also experience aphantasia. It’s too early to say if Aphantasia is hereditary. There can be great strenghts of Aphantasia (something I’m working on exploring/writing about atm) and I wonder if a greater focus on those strengths at a young age can lead to great outcomes?

I’m happy to hear the horse article resonated with you. I get the webpage idea as well… nerd alert. Finding an analogy that works for you/ helps you explain it is key!

A lot more to learn / explore on this topic! I can’t ‘imagine’ what we might learn…

Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff replied 7 months ago

While it might be too early to say if Aphantasia is hereditary there are some interesting new developments in the research that suggest this could very well be the case!

This article was posted yesterday. Zeeman is quoted saying that it does seem to be heritable to 'some degree;' that aphantastics are more likely to have children who are aphantastic:

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