Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about aphantasia and membership with our unique community.

Give this a shot… think of a horse.  Does some kind of visual representation of a horse come to mind? What color is the horse? What is it doing? Most people can create a mental representation of a horse in their mind’s eye. People with aphantasia don’t create mental images. Not for thoughts, memories, or images of the future. Learn more about aphantasia.

VVIQ, the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire, is the go-to psychometric for initially identifying aphantasia. It’s proven to be an accurate test of the vividness for which you can imagine people, objects, or settings in your mind’s eye. Take the VVIQ.

Aphantasia is often described as a visual condition but can be multisensory. People who experience a lack of mental imagery can have a reduced capacity or total absence of other mental senses (imagining sound, movement, smell, taste, and touch). Learn more about multisensory aphantasia.

Imagination Spectrum Questionnaire (ISQ) was created by Aphantasia Network in collaboration with multiple doctorates spanning psychology, cognition and neuroscience. It has been rigorously tested through multiple pilot studies, and is used to identify sensory imagination; visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, and motor imagery. Discover your Imagery Profile.

People have taken various physiological and behavioral tests in a research lab. Researchers have observed that people who report vivid imagery respond differently to these more objective measures than aphantasics. Although this doesn’t let us know definitively that they vividly see an image, it all points to the fact that something is truly different between people who claim to see vividly and those who don’t. We can also see activation in the visual cortex, the area in the brain that processes images from the eyes, further suggesting actual visualization. For more information about the known neurodifferences in imagery experience, check out these shocking insights.

Aphantasia is both a congenital and developmental condition. The majority of people have aphantasia since birth, sometimes referred to as “lifelong aphantasia.” Rarely can it result from a stroke or head injury. It may also occur as a result of an episode of depression. For more information about probable cause of aphantasia, check out these shocking insights.

Hyperphantasia is characterized by having abundant or extremely vivid mental imagery. It is the opposite of aphantasia, where mental imagery is absent. Hyperphantasia is more common and has been described as being “as vivid as the actual sensory experience.” Discover and learn more about hyperphantasia.

Researchers do have evidence that aphantasia and hyperphantasia is hereditary. If you have aphantasia, then it’s likely your first-degree relatives may also have aphantasia or hyperphantasia, indicating a possible genetic or hereditary link. Watch this interview with Dr. Adam Zeman.

For most, aphantasia is a congenital condition. Meaning, from birth. It is occasionally a symptom of other disorders. Aphantasia can, rarely, result from a stroke, head injury or an episode of depression. So if someone who has previously had imagery loses it suddenly, it’s reasonable to ask and attempt to learn why. Research also suggests that vividness may decline across lifespans, indicating we may become more aphantasic with age. Check out these resources for more information on acquired aphantasia

Some aphantasics dream visually but are unable to do so while awake. Others dream with the knowledge they’re experiencing something without mental pictures or sound. Most experience fewer and less vivid dreams. Discover more about aphantasia and dreams.

Estimates vary according to core definition and sampling methodology. Current population estimates range anywhere from 1-5% of people have visual aphantasia, and 2-12% have visual hyperphantasia. Multisensory variations of imagery extremes are not yet known. However, one study concluded that as many as 26% of aphantasics will experience aphantasia in all senses.

Aphantasia is a natural variation in human experience and not a disability, mental disorder, or defect. However, discovering one’s aphantasia can be a psychological stressor for some individuals. If you or someone you know is struggling with aphantasia, please seek professional support. For more information watch this interview with Merlin Monzel.

For those with congenital aphantasia, there is no known “cure.” Some cases with acquired aphantasia, however, have described experiences of regaining imagery abilities through various kinds of interventions. Importantly, aphantasia is a unique variation in human experience with its own set of cognitive strengths and challenges, many with aphantasia do not want a “cure.”

Aphantasia is not a barrier to leading a rich, creative and fulfilling life. Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar with Steve Jobs and former president of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Craig Venter, biologist who first sequenced the Human Genome. Blake Ross, creator of Mozilla Firefox. Glen Keane, Disney Animator and Creator of The Little Mermaid. Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller. All have aphantasia.

Research into aphantasia spans many disciples from neuroscience to psychology, cognitive science, and more. And interest is growing! The original scientific paper coining the term congential aphantasia scores in the top percentile of new research interest on Altmetric. Check out our aphantasia research database for some of the latest knowledge.

If you’re interested in participating in new research into imagery differences, be sure to check out our assessments page for a current list of research opportunities. Want to get notified of future studies? Opt-in to get email notifications about new research opportunities in your profile settings.

In this section you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about premium membership. You can manage almost everything by yourself including changing your credit card info, cancelling your membership, etc. Read more below.

Discord is a text/chat app that is used by millions of online communities just like ours. Discord will be your main communication channel between other premium members and the Aphantasia Network.

Discord provides an ideal platform for our Aphantasia Network premium members to seamlessly communicate, share updates, and explore various topics related to aphantasia. It’s more than just a chat app; it’s a vibrant community space where members can have real-time conversations, offering immediate support and insights to each other.

Members can dive deep into specific topics in dedicated channels, allowing for focused discussions and exchanges. Whether it’s sharing the latest research, discussing personal experiences, or exploring resources, Discord makes these interactions accessible and engaging. The platform’s user-friendly nature ensures that everyone, regardless of their tech-savvy level, can participate.

When you first sign-up to become a premium member, you will receive a welcome email. In this email is a link to join the Aphantasia Network Discord community. Can’t locate the email? No problem! Go to your account settings. In the menu bar, select Discord then “Connect with Discord.”

Once you Connect to Discord, you will be redirected to the Discord log in page. Please be advised that Discord is a third-party service provider. It is separate from our main site.

If you already have a Discord account log in. If this is your first time using Discord, select Register to create an account. You’ll need to enter the following:

  1. A username
  2. Email address or phone number
  3. Password

Once you’ve entered this account information, you can press “Create an account” and will automatically be re-directed. Select Authorize on the “Aphantasia Bot” to connect and join the Aphantasia Network Discord server.

If you are having trouble setting up your new account on Discord, it could be that the username is invalid or that you already have an account associated with that email address. Try inputting a different username or following the lost password prompts on Discord. 

Welcome! Our Aphantasia Network Discord server is organized into channels. From the main menu you will find various channels that are organized into common discussion topics around aphantasia. Jump into the channels that most interest you. You can write a new post by typing a message or reply directly to other posts in the channel. Be sure to pop into the #👋 | introductions channel and introduce yourself if you haven’t already! 

Yes, using Discord on mobile is a great way to keep updated on the current discussions happening! To start using the app on mobile, download Discord app from the Play Store if you’re on an Android device or App Store if you’re using iOS. Once the app is fully installed, tap on the app icon to launch the app. Login to your Discord account and you are all set. Enjoy the benefits of participating in the Aphantasia Network Discord community from your mobile device!

If you forgot your Discord password, follow the lost password prompts on Discord to rejoin our community.

As a premium member, you will receive invitations to join our live member events. This includes regular (virtual) community meetups and live presentations and Q&A sessions with researchers and leading thinkers. Events are posted weeks in advance in our Discord community in the “Events” channel. Here you can RSVP to get notified when the event is happening. You will also get email reminders leading up to the live events. Hope to see you at the next one! 

No problem! Our live presentation and Q&A sessions are recorded. Premium members enjoy early access to uneditted and ad-free recordings for the first 90 days. Head on over to our videos page to see the latest recordings and Q&A sessions. 

Have ideas for new content, resources, topics, events, etc.? Share in our Aphantasia Network Discord or at one of our regular community meetups. We frequently collaborate with our members on new projects. Take the Aphantasia Guide for example. The idea of a resource for new discoverers of aphantasia started right here (in our member community). The very DNA of this guide is imbued with the passion, stories, and insights that our members generously shared. This wasn’t just a team effort – it was a community endeavor. A testament to our shared commitment and vision. We can’t wait to see what else we’ll create together!

Sure. You can update your membership subscription in your account settings.

Sure. You can update your credit card info under account settings.

Please double check your card number, CVC code and zip/postal code is written correctly. We use fraud protection services to block suspicious cards, so they might flag one of your cards. If it still doesn’t work, try with a different card.

If you are still experiencing issues or have questions about your new membership, reach out to support at and we’d be happy to help!