Aphantasiacs Unite

Thanks Dennis, I certainly cannot comment on how many people have a similar way of interacting with the world, and that was never the intention of this thread. I have found it fascinating since finding out that there was a name for this way of the mind working. I don’t see it as a condition, merely a way my mind works. I have had a very successful career as a Research Scientist with a PhD. Having lead many projects in a variety of industries. So it hasn’t held me back, but obviously my mind processes information differently than others. When people say picture this, that can have the effect of me switching off., because I have lived that frustration many times.
The counting sheep thing was my first inkling, hypnosis in 1996 after that.
It is probably every day that my wife talks about some memory or place, that she then acknowledges I cannot picture. I have never been able to.
I couldn’t describe to you the shape of the house I have lived in for 20 years. In the past I have driven into my neighbor’s driveway and it took a while before I realized what I had done. Their house was very different, and came into my house with my wife laughing and saying why did you go to the wrong house.

It is reassuring to find that other people have similar mental processes. I always wondered whether I could ever hope to be good at guitar without the ability to visualize. Hearing Justin mention it actually made me feel better, the fact that he even uses the visualization terms to describe to others is interesting.

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That is clearly a valid observation. That there are individual differences in learning strategies is obviously true. I have long since railed against our typical institutions of learning that have a one size fits all teaching system that our children are funneled through. Myself included. In most cases, it’s not until our college years that diverse avenues of learning are more readily available.

Same with learning guitar. How can one methodology be suitable for every single student?

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Hi Dennis,

And here is the hook to bring “us” in.

This kind of self-testing (without doing it I know what it is about) is for many conditions that are in the somewhat more difficult to understand spectrum…ADHD/ADD and a range of brain-related behavior and feelings and giftedness issues …is something that can be very serious but is also abused as a money cow… …and the sites where you can take these tests, especially if there are communities attached to them, sell courses and/or stuff…so it is important to keep the tests as vague as possible so that as many people as possible can diagnose themselves… which seems harmless at this club (but I don’t know enough about it, but recognize the pattern) but in many cases can lead to very unpleasant situations … financially and/or socially … I have lost acquaintances and friends because of this kind of selfanelyses and persisted in it and became angry and angrier without seriously seeking help … but Facebook and You-Tube stranger blindly trusted

Greetings and thanks you for making this important point for solution-seeking quiet readers

I never heard of aphantasia before this thread, although it seems patent to me that there’s an broad spectrum of our visual memory recall. I presume it’s simply a trait rather than medical condition (although physical and psychological events can obviously affect it).
Healthcare practitioners are like everyone else. We find what we believe in/think we understand/are interested in/ and are paid for. I know doctors who don’t believe in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), never diagnosing or treating it in spide of it being an accepted medical diagnosis.

That’s an awful lot of individuals to assess, looking for specific aphantasia symptoms :open_mouth:
The abstract you refer to suggests you might expect to have seen up to 600 (1%).

Most folk here are just sharing their personal experiences. What do I find easy/difficult to do?
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of introspection and trying to recognise what makes us unique :smiley:
As to Rogier’s worry about folk preying on gullible individuals for monetary gain.,
When was it ever not thus? :wink:

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Not the name …but that there is such thing as seeing no images at all you heard of :blush:

Almost always, yes, certainly :cry:… but I hope with that little side note that a few searching and wandering people will save money thanks to my words who search on a guitar site and suddenly start doing self-help tests and buy stuff the don`t need instead of guitar gear … :smile:


As one of those posters, who noticed an obviously different way of imagination compared to others, I just wanted to clarify, that I didn’t do any kind of self-diagnosis to probably fit into a category of “Aphantasiacs” “wannabes” :wink:. Usually, I leave any kind of diagnosis to medical professionals :wink:. And believe me, Im not keen on getting a diagnosis. The only thing, thanks to this thread, I got aware of, was the fact, that other people apparently have images close to a photograph in their minds - and I don’t.

This. Nothing more and nothing less.
I personally found it helpful to know, that imagination can be so different for all of us. I lived my whole life without even knowing about my “lacking” ability to imagine visually. Something learned again :joy:. Consequences? After all of my health struggles during the last years, this certainly is my smallest problem. In terms of learning guitar or anything else - I keep it in mind - maybe good to know, I’m no visualizer. For the rest - I’m enjoying life and my guitar playing, workarounds included! :blush:


Just like with all skills (as I previously mentioned) those in the general population will vary in their verbal or visual memory abilities. Those with neuro injury may have specific deficits in either or both of these domains as compared to their prior level of functioning. I never said that I was looking for aphantasia symptoms. I am saying that I personally never assessed someone who had those specific symptoms in the absence of other contributing neuro factors.

For those who like to delve into the weeds, have a quick look at prosopagnosia, visual agnosia or anosognosia. Now these are some interesting things I saw quite a bit of.

One last point and I’m off to the golf course. I agree it’s useful to be introspective and self-analytical. However, anecdotal experiences are just that. They can’t be solely relied upon without further objective study.

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I haven’t read the whole thread, but are you referring to Sweetwater, Guitar Center and Thomann here? :smiley: