Marriage of imagination. Scientists have explained why some people are not able to fantasize
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Researchers have described a neural phenomenon that deprives people of the ability to “visualize” objects by closing their eyes.
head. Colors, lines, shapes and textures – we manage to reproduce all the details and keep them in our thoughts for some time, writes Forbes.
However, what seems simple to us may be an overwhelming task for some people – closing their eyes, they cannot visualize the object and keep it in their imagination. Such people do not see anything when they close their eyes – their mind is empty. This neural phenomenon is called aphantasy.
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Aphantasia is a state in which a person is unable to visualize mental images. When a person tries to imagine or think about something, nothing happens. Typically, people with aphantasy have a number of difficulties, such as having difficulty remembering past experiences or the visual details associated with those memories. In addition, people with aphantasy tend to have difficulty with tasks that involve visualizing or imagining certain objects or how they move in space.
In a new study, scientists have found that people with aphantasy may experience deficits in recalling and remembering objects, but their spatial memory is not affected. The researchers note that aphantasia is not a neurological or psychological disorder. In general, this condition does not affect daily life in any way, but some people may still experience frustration and a limited ability to recall certain events, objects, or people. Research shows that about 4% of people with aphantasy live in the world today.
What does a person with aphantasy experience
According to the researchers, no two people with aphantasy are exactly alike—each experience is essentially unique. However, scientists still managed to describe some common features: firstly, it is difficult for people to “see” or imagine something in their minds, secondly, it is difficult for them to remember any visual scene or object, and thirdly, it is difficult for them to create a mental an image or mentally reproduce a scene that he once saw in life or, for example, in a movie.
Causes of aphantasy
Scientists still do not know why this condition occurs – some people are simply not able to “see”, imagine or remember visual images.
In earlier studies, scientists have established that aphantasy is essentially the result of altered activity in various areas of the brain, including the visual cortex, temporal and parietal lobes, which are involved in the processing and integration of visual information. Researchers believe that these areas play an important role in the creation of mental images.
Scientists believe that people with aphantasy have something special about the way their neural networks and nerve cells are arranged, which makes it much more difficult for them to imagine and “seeing” visual images in the mind.
Studies show that aphantasy may be a hereditary condition, but the extent of its heredity is still not clear – more research will be needed to establish the cause of this condition and how it is it that affects the human brain.