Study finds that aphantasic individuals report decreased imagery in other sensory domains, although not all report a complete lack of multi-sensory imagery. They also report less vivid and phenomenologically rich autobiographical memories and imagined future scenarios, as well as fewer dreams.
Index Type: Journal article
The strength of a person’s mental imagery is linked to the excitability of different brain regions. Exactly how this network controls the strength of visual imagery remains unknown.
Aphantasia and hyperphantasia appear to be widespread but neglected features of human experience with informative psychological associations.
Neuropsychological data from an architect (PL518) who lost his ability for visual imagery following a bilateral posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke.
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.
Insights into the neural mechanisms that underlie visual imagery, how imagery can be objectively and reliably measured, and how it affects general cognition.
Study of aphantasics (n=22) is designed to test how image-based thoughts might amplify emotion. Participants read a series of fictitious fearful scenarios while their skin conductance level (SCL) was continuously recorded.
Researchers used fMRI to examine brain activation while participants looked at, or later imagined, famous faces and famous buildings. Group comparison revealed low-vividness group activated a more widespread set of brain regions while visualizing than the high-vividness group.
Study using binocular rivalry and self-rated object and spatial imagery (VVIQ, SUIS and OSIQ) finds people with aphantasia show almost no imagery-based rivalry priming. Findings suggest aphantasia is a condition involving a lack of sensory and phenomenal imagery and not a lack of metacognition.
Mental imagery is a fundamental part of human cognition that bridges cognition with sensory representations. This paper introduces a novel technique to measure the sensory capacity of mental imagery while removing the need for memory and any direct subjective reports.