Can you picture your first grade classroom? How about that restaurant where you had your first date? For many of us, it would be easy, but for some, it is extremely difficult.
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These individuals have a rare condition called aphantasia, which prevents them from easily recreating images in their mind’s eye—in fact, the phrase “mind’s eye” may be meaningless to them.
“Some individuals with aphantasia have reported that they don’t understand what it means to ‘count sheep’ before going to bed,” said Wilma Bainbridge, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Chicago who recently led a study of the condition, which can be congenital or acquired through trauma. “They thought it was merely an expression, and had never realized until adulthood that other people could actually visualize sheep without seeing them.”
What goes inside the mind of an individual who has aphantasia? Bainbridge’s study, published in the journal Cortex, sheds some light on the topic. More about this over at MedicalXpress.
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