The definition of aphantasia is quite simple at first glance.
Aphantasia is a condition where a person is unable to visualise images in their minds eye.
However, we should break that down a bit further.
Is aphantasia a condition?
Aphantasia is a different way of experiencing thought and memories, to label it a condition could lead to it being perceived as a disability, when in reality it is more of an occasional difficulty.
Dr Adam Zeman himself made it clear that it isn't a disability, however, to visualisers it seems a disability. Let's look at the definition of a medical condition.
"A disease, illness or injury; any physiologic, mental or psychological condition or disorder. A biological or psychological state which is within the range of normal human variation is not a medical condition."
The last sentence is the key part, as the majority of people can visualise, aphantasia does not fall within the range of normal human variation, so aphantasia is a medical condition.
However, it must be made clear it is not a disability.
Is aphantasia just limited to imagery?
People with aphantasia vary in their ability to synthesise senses in their mind. The majority are unable to reproduce anything within their mind, be it visual, sound, smell, taste, touch. It is noted that even for people who can visualise in their minds eye, not everyone can achieve the other abilities, or even to the same degree.
The ability to harness your minds eye varies amongst the general population, the difference is, people with aphantasia are unable to create any synthesised senses in their mind.
What is the minds eye?
The minds eye is a term used to describe the human ability to visualise.
Does this apply to dreams?
No, some people with aphantasia can dream vividly, some dream in a limited way, some don't really dream at all. There appears to be no link between having aphantasia and your ability to dream. Aphantasia is related to your conscious state only.
So how would you define aphantasia?
Aphantasia is where a person is unable to experience their conscious thoughts or memories beyond their internal monologue.
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Updated to reflect that aphantasia refers to a conscious state only.