If you find it hard to mentally visualize objects, you’re not alone. You might have aphantasia.
By Monisha Ravisetti, April 26, 2022 12:12 p.m. PT
Picture a red apple. Great. Now, which of the following describes you?
Group 1: You’re visualizing a vibrant, ruby-colored fruit like it’s living in your mind.
Group 2: You’re pondering the concept of an apple without getting any mental imagery. If you’re in the former group, you might wonder whether group 2 just didn’t understand the prompt. If you’re in the latter, you might find it extremely odd for group 1 to exist at all. And group 2, you might have aphantasia.
For those of you still scratching your head about which category you fall under, the good news is that an experimental startup in Australia is on a quest to find an objective measure of how vivid your imagination is. Having made some serious headway recently, it published a paper about its progress in the journal eLife last month — but we’ll get back to that.