Pioneering Aphantasia Insights

Research Ambassador Program

The Aphantasia Network‘s Research Ambassador Program represents a pioneering initiative designed to bridge the gap between academic curiosity and groundbreaking research in aphantasia and its associated fields. This program is specifically tailored for researchers who possess a profound interest in exploring the mysteries of the human mind, particularly focusing on the phenomenon of aphantasia—the inability to voluntarily visualize mental images.

Our ambassadors are selected for their deep knowledge, innovative research skills, and unwavering commitment to advancing our understanding of aphantasia. They come from a diverse array of disciplines, ensuring a rich, interdisciplinary approach to research. From psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science to the humanities and arts, our ambassadors embody the multifaceted nature of aphantasia research. Their work is crucial in fostering a comprehensive understanding of how aphantasia affects various aspects of human life, including creativity, memory, emotional well-being, and more.

The objective of this initiative is to cultivate a vibrant research culture within the Aphantasia Network. Ambassadors serve as vital links between the academic community and the broader public interested in aphantasia. They engage in an array of activities, from conducting and presenting cutting-edge research, participating in formal and informal discussions, supporting the dissemination of new findings and resources and various outreach activities. These initiatives are designed not only to advance scientific knowledge but also to demystify aphantasia for the general public, thereby promoting wider awareness and understanding. 

If you’re interested in joining the Aphantasia Network Research Ambassador Program, please review the requirements below and submit an application to hello@aphantasia.com.

Meet Our Aphantasia Research Ambassadors

Merlin Monzel

Merlin Monzel

Merlin Monzel is researcher at the University of Bonn, specialized in multisensory imagery, and head of the Aphantasia Research Project. Among other things, he and his team are investigating the causes and consequences of aphantasia by using objective methods to measure mental imagery.

Some of his best-known publications deal with the memory and emotional processing of aphantasics. He believes that aphantasia is not a disorder, but a manifestation of neurodiversity.

He has given several talks for the Aphantasia Network and is also consulted by the network as a scientific advisor.

Contact: merlin.monzel@uni-bonn-diff.de

Exemplary publications:

  • Monzel, M.*, Leelaarporn, P.*, Lutz, T., Schultz, J., Brunheim, S., Reuter, M., & McCormick, C. (2024) Hippocampal-occipital connectivity reflects autobiographical memory deficits in aphantasia. eLife 13:RP94916. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.94916.1
  • Monzel, M., Keidel, K., & Reuter, M. (2023). Is it really empathy? The potential confounding role of visual imagery in self-reports of empathy. Journal of Research in Personality, e104354. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2023.104354
  • Monzel, M., Dance, C., Azañón, E., & Simner, J. (2023). Aphantasia within the framework of neurodivergence: Some preliminary data and the curse of the confidence gap. Consciousness and Cognition, 115, 103567. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2023.103567

Further publications by Merlin Monzel can be viewed here. 

Joining The Aphantasia Research Ambassador Program

To become a part of the Aphantasia Network Research Ambassador Program, candidates are expected to meet specific requirements that demonstrate their commitment and capability in advancing aphantasia research. These prerequisites ensure that ambassadors bring valuable knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to the program, contributing significantly to its objectives of promoting awareness, understanding, and engagement within the aphantasia community.

Requirements

  1. Research Publications: Applicants must have first authored a minimum of two exemplary research publications on aphantasia. These publications should contribute significantly to the field, demonstrating the candidate’s depth of knowledge, research skills, and commitment to advancing understanding of aphantasia.
  2. Project Involvement: While not mandatory, it is advantageous for applicants to have been part of an Aphantasia Project team at their university. This experience indicates a practical engagement with aphantasia research and shows the candidate’s ability to work collaboratively on projects related to the phenomenon.
  3. Referral by an Existing Ambassador: A recommendation or referral from a current ambassador of the Aphantasia Network Research Ambassador Program can significantly bolster an applicant’s candidacy. Such referrals underscore the applicant’s potential as a valuable contributor to the program and the aphantasia research community.

Roles and Responsibilities

Ambassadors of the Aphantasia Network Research Ambassador Program are expected to fulfill a variety of roles and responsibilities that support the program’s goals and the wider community’s needs. These include:

  1. Presentations and Discussions: Ambassadors are required to present their research findings and participate in both formal presentations and informal discussions. These engagements may occur in various settings, including academic conferences, community meetings, and online presentations, facilitating knowledge exchange and stimulating interest in aphantasia research.
  2. Community Engagement: Ambassadors should be open to interacting with community members of the Aphantasia Network, sharing insights, and answering questions. This is crucial for building a supportive and informed aphantasia community.
  3. Resource Feedback: Provide advice and feedback on aphantasia community resources. Ambassadors are expected to contribute their expertise to the development and refinement of community resources, such as informational materials, research tools, and educational programs. Their input can help ensure these resources are accurate, helpful, and reflective of the latest research in the field.

Through fulfilling these roles, ambassadors make a significant contribution to the Aphantasia Network’s mission of advancing research, promoting awareness, and supporting the community of individuals with aphantasia. Their efforts not only enrich the academic discourse on aphantasia but also provide valuable support and resources to those seeking to understand this fascinating cognitive phenomenon better.

🧠 For further information regarding the Research Ambassador Program with Aphantasia Network or to submit an application for your candidacy, please contact hello@aphantasia.com.