University of Auckland

Aphantasia: the condition for people who can't create mental images

Posted by Admin on Thursday, April 28, 2016 Under: Interesting!

The co-founder of internet browser Mozilla Firefox has revealed in a viral personal essay published on Facebook that he is unable to see mental images.

The essay, which has been shared more than 9000 times, details writer and programmer Blake Ross's experience with aphantasia, a condition that prevents a person from being able to visualise images in their "mind's eye", essentially rendering them "mentally blind".

Sufferers struggle to visualise items such as the face of a relative on demand. However, they rarely have trouble placing names to faces they see in real life, only struggling to put faces to names in their mind.

Ross discovered he had the condition after reading a New York Times article published last year, covering the publication of a study by researchers at the University of Exeter which first coined the term "aphantasia" (from the Greek, meaning the "absence of fantasy").


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