When closing their eyes, most people are able to imagine situations or recall memories, as if it were a movie. However, not everyone is able to perform simple actions like this, due to the fact that they have the fantasy.
What is apantasy?
Apantasy, basically, is the inability to mentally visualize images. Studies indicate that the problem affects about 2.5% of the world's population.
Thus, the difficulty in having mental images was first discovered in a article published in 1880 by Francis Galton, after observing people who had difficulty imagining.
Usually, people visualize places, experiences, people, scenes, objects, events, among many other things. But for those with the problem, this becomes impossible.
If you ask a person with aphasia to imagine something, they will probably describe the object, explain the concept, and tell you facts they know about it. However, they will not be able to experience any kind of mental image.
The problem, once known as "blind imagination," was named aphasia by cognitive and behavioral neurology professor Adam Zeman.
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But experts believe that the origin is related to hereditary factors or traumatic events.
In addition, the onset of aphasia can result from functional alterations in specific regions of the brain, i.e., flaws in the brain's image processing.
How to identify aphantasy
You cannot diagnose aphasia by imaging tests, for example, but you can identify the problem by signs:
- Think of a friend or relative. Then try to picture their face in your mind. How clearly can you see their features, face, hair, and shape?
- How well can you imagine their characteristic movements and gestures?
- How clearly can you picture this person's clothes?
If you have difficulty answering the above questions, it is likely that you have afantasy.
Very Well Mind; BBC