What sense(s) does your Aphantasia impact?

DiscussionCategory: QuestionsWhat sense(s) does your Aphantasia impact?
Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff asked 4 weeks ago

Some aphantasics report an inability to produce other sensory experience, beyond mental imagery in the mind’s eye. For example, one aphantasic wrote about not experiencing any musical imagery or mental audio; they describe the phenomenon “ear worms” or having a song stuck in your head as metaphorical, not literal. What sense(s) are impacted by your Aphantasia? Is it just mental imagery or all sensory experience?

2 Answers
Rachel CicconeRachel C answered 4 weeks ago

I think aphantasia effects all of my internal senses. I don’t see anything when I visualize, but I also can’t hear anything, either. I can have words or phrases from songs "stuck in my head", but I can’t actually hear the audio in my head.

Blake Ross, the co-creator of FireFox, calls it the ‘milk voice’. It’s a textureless, voiceless voice that ‘reminds you to get milk’. Which is how I would consider my mind’s ear. Compared to one of my coworkers, who is constantly tapping to a song stuck in his head, one that he could hear pretty much perfectly like it was right next to him playing.

Camden SnyderCamden Snyder answered 2 weeks ago

My aphantasia affects all of my senses. However, my sense of hearing is less affected than my others. I can occasionally get a song or tune "stuck in my head" but it will only be there for a short time, and will be very distorted and "off," so most of the time I struggle to determine what song it is if it doesn’t have words with it (sidenote: in middle school, when I was in band, I would have one of the songs we had been practicing, about once per week, but I could never figure out which song it was, and it quickly became very infuriating, and soon I was spending days trying to determine which song it may have been, when the song was never in my head more than an hour). I can also imagine sounds intentionally, but only if I concentrate and focus extremely hard, and they too will be extremely distorted.

Aside from sound, though, i have absolutely no internal senses whatsoever.

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