Monday, May 16, 2016

Aphantasia - no "mental images"

Recently, I read an article about how it's possible to live without the ability to imagine...well, anything, really. There are people who are incapable of visualizing things, or imagining sounds, or anything along those lines. For those people, the "mind's eye" is purely metaphorical.

Naturally, this made me wonder about the way my brain works and thinks. I frequently day-dream, occasionally in full-color video or pictures, but often just in sound and sound effects. I can distinguish various voices when they run through their paces in the soundstage of my mind. Hell, certain music shows up as different colors when I hear it.

The idea of not having any of that - of not being able to picture, say, my father's face or my mother's laugh, of not having a way to revisit memories without some form of memory aid - makes me incredibly sad. I realize that, in the article I linked to above, the writer was unaware of what he was missing, as he didn't know this was something the human brain was capable of doing. And maybe it wouldn't be so bad, if you didn't know.

What do you think? Would you prefer to not be distracted by the images and sounds in your mind?