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Recent estimates suggest that 2-3% of the population are affected.
Cases range from only having mental blindness, to having total mental sensory deprivation, this is known as total Aphantasia.
No. Aphantasia specifically refers to the conscious inability to create mental visions.
No. We can still recognise people, places and objects meaning their visual memory is intact. However, we can't recall imagery of these memories, facts are remembered.
Technically no, as the phrase is created from the same root as image, however we are still capable of creating things in our mind. Some of us have even become artists. We can create scenarios or write stories, the only difference is we can't create an image in our mind, that grand scene that shows an overview of your idea.
We don't know. Most of us have had it for as long as we can remember, however there are cases of others getting it later in life. One particularly well documented case is a man who lost his after having surgery for blocked arteries.
I know, we were shocked you can visualise!
No. Our discussions with each other show that there are many variations to how those of us without mental images think.
In a recent facebook discussion, it seemed that everyone had difficulty with knowing how people looked when the person is not present. Even very familiar people can be difficult to describe as we can not see a picture of the person in our minds. We rely on describing the "facts" (verbal descriptions) we know about the person.
Until recently very little, however one recent study has begun to make progress in deepening our understanding of Aphantasia.
Describing the way people with aphantasia remember things is difficult, as it appears we all describe our way of getting to memories in our own individual way.
I can remember something from many years ago, describe it faithfully and draw it for you. I just can't see what I remember in my minds eye, the information is there, just not visually.
The definition of aphantasia is where a person is unable to synthesise senses in their mind. It isn't as simple as that, as some people can hear music in their head but not see images.
To simply define aphantasia, Aphantasia is where a person is unable to create imagery in their mind's eye.