Aphantasia Research

Digital library of aphantasia research. Explore blind imagination and share the latest knowledge. 

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Journal article

Imagine, and you will find – Lack of attentional guidance through visual imagery in aphantasics

Merlin Monzel, Kristof Keidel & Martin Reuter in SpringerLink
New study finds visual imagery directly influences how we process information and is not simply a byproduct of cognitive priming. Revealing new evidence in the imagery debate.
Journal article

Aphantasia: The science of visual imagery extremes

Rebecca Keogh, Joel Pearson, Adam Zeman in ScienceDirect
A large network of brain activity spanning frontal, parietal, temporal, and visual cortex is involved in generating and maintain images in mind. The anatomy and functionality of visual cortex, including primary visual cortex, have been associated with individual differences in visual imagery ability, pointing to a potential correlate for both aphantasia and hyperphantasia.
Journal article

The critical role of mental imagery in human emotion: insights from fear-based imagery and aphantasia

Dr Rebecca Keogh, Joel Pearson in Proceedings of the Royal Society B
People with aphantasia – that is, the inability to visualise mental images – are harder to spook with scary stories, a new UNSW Sydney study shows. According to the findings, scary stories lost their fear factor when the readers couldn’t visually imagine the scene – suggesting imagery may have a closer link to emotions than scientists previously thought.
Journal article

Aphantasia, imagination and dreaming

Cecily M. K. Whiteley in Springer
The majority of aphantasics retain the capacity to experience rich visual dreams, despite being unable to produce visual imagery while awake. Aphantasia raises important theoretical concerns for the ongoing debate in the philosophy and science of consciousness over the nature of dreams.
Journal article

The Ganzflicker Experience: Rhythmic visual flicker induces complex illusions in people with visual imagery but not aphantasia

Varg Königsmark, Johanna Bergmann, Reshanne Reeder in PsyArXiv
Rhythmic visual flicker is known to induce illusions and altered states of consciousness. Study finds people with visual imagery were more susceptible to flicker-induced illusions (FII) than people with aphantasia.
Journal article

A cognitive profile of multi-sensory imagery, memory and dreaming in aphantasia

Alexei J. Dawes, Rebecca Keogh, Thomas Andrillon, Joel Pearson in natureresearch
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.
Journal article

Cortical excitability controls the strength of mental imagery

Rebecca Keogh, Johanna Bergmann, Joel Pearson in eLife
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.
Journal article

Phantasia - the psychological significance of lifelong visual imagery vividness extremes

Adam Zeman, Fraser Milton, Sergio Della Sala et al in PsyArXiv
Aphantasia and hyperphantasia appear to be widespread but neglected features of human experience with informative psychological associations.
Journal article

The architect who lost the ability to imagine: The cerebral basis of visual imagery

Sandra Thorudottir, Heida M Sigurdardottir, Grace E Rice et al in National Library of Medicine
Neuropsychological data from an architect (PL518) who lost his ability for visual imagery following a bilateral posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke.
Journal article

Quantifying aphantasia through drawing

Wilma A. Bainbridge, Zoë Pounder, Alison F. Eardley, Chris I. Baker in bioRxiv
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.
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