People who are unable to visualize mental images may have an advantage when working in scientific and mathematical industries, a study led by the University of Exeter (n=2200) shows. The phenomenon is the opposite of hyperphantasia which has been shown to be more common in creative professions.
Index Tags: Creativity
A survey of 181 authors showed 63% actually “heard their characters speak” while writing, with 61% reporting characters were capable of acting independently.
Fantasy novelist Mark Lawrence, author of The Broken Empire series, has no problem with imagination. It was a shock to realize he couldn’t picture anything in his mind.
Online art exhibition – Extreme Imagination: Inside the Mind’s Eye – the digital counterpart of twin exhibitions hosted by Tramway, Glasgow, and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, in 2019. Exhibition features works by aphantasic and hyperhpantasic artists and invites us to consider the critical role of mental imagery in making art.
Aphantasia and hyperphantasia appear to be widespread but neglected features of human experience with informative psychological associations.
Online study of aphantasics (n=63) and controls required participants to draw real-world scenes from memory. Study found those without visual imagery show deficits in object but not spatial memory.
Writer and editor Robert Wood makes a compelling case for why authors need to know about aphantasia, explaining how the best writing advice deals with perception – the ability to understand how someone else will process your art.
Tom Ebeyer doesn’t have a mind’s eye, and for the first 20 years of his life he didn’t even know that others did! This radio documentary explores the beginning discovery of aphanatsia through Tom’s journey, and the weaving connection to Professor Adam Zeman, who coined the word.
When Sheri Bakes was 29, she had a stroke that resulted in the loss of her ability to imagine things visually. While it might be tempting to see aphantasia as a challenge, Bakes has turned the process of painting into a meditative act.
Oscar-winner Glen Keane, who illustrated Ariel from The Little Mermaid, has no visual imagery. Keane is among the ~3% of the population with aphantasia, a little-known condition leaving them without mental imagery.