Some People Cannot Visualize Or See With Their Mind's Eye, Study

By R. Siva Kumar - 28 Aug '15 09:59AM

Some people cannot "visualise" either people or things. English neurologist Adam Zeman had studied such a man in 2010, which was described in Discover magazine. Today, with his colleagues at the University of Exeter Medical School, he has discovered a condition affecting 2.5% of the population. It is called "aphantasia."

However, Zeman feels that it is something that inflicts only some people. Most of us "spend our lives with imagery hovering somewhere in the mind's eye, which we inspect from time to time," according to bbc.

One man explains that he is not able to see any sheep jumping over fences, so he could count nothing to fall asleep. He cannot visualize the faces of their friends and family, according to newser.

This is a condition that affects some people right from birth. It is different from a case that was first described by Zeman in Discover----about a patient who could not visualize only after a heart procedure, not before.

Patients with congenital aphantasia have a network of regions in the brain functioning differently, not due to a "traumatic event" but right from birth.

On the other hand, some people are born with hyperaphantasia, or the ability to visualize in acute detail.

In order to improve their understanding of the "neurological underpinnings of this range of visual experiences", Zeman is working on a project on The Eye's Mind, involving artist Susan Aldworth, art historian John Onians, and philosopher Fiona Macpherson.

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