Can electrical stimulation modify your imagery?
I recently wrote an article on new research that uses electrical stimulation to see what’s different in the brains of people who see vivid imagery versus those of aphantasics. The researchers were seemingly able to change how vividly people pictured images. I’m curious what folks think about the research – was imagery vividness really changed? What are the implications of this? The stimulation was only enough to slightly change the vividness, but do you think this same technology could drastically change someone’s imagery? And could it make someone visualize even if they are fully aphantasic? If it could, would you use electrical stimulation to change your imagery? Would you make it more vivid or less vivid? What about for mental imagery in senses other than vision?
Would someone who was profoundly aphantasic be able to experience a visual image for the first time this way? Would that be a dramatic experience for them? Or would it be something like the faintest tremour of a hitherto paralysed muscle, so subtle that they wouldn’t be able to tell for sure they’d experienced anything at all? And at the other extreme, do we think that perhaps it might be possible to make a hyperphantasic ‘suffer’ by over-stimulating to the point where they found it unpleasant?
I’m fully aphantasic. I got that perhaps electrical stimulation could be used to change mental imagery, but what about mental scents, tastes, or sounds?