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Aphantasia explained: some people can't form mental pictures

By Zoë Pounder, Researcher in Visual Imagery, University of Westminster
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How many times have you watched a book adaptation on film or TV, and felt disappointed when a scene wasn’t quite how you’d pictured it? Or perhaps a character looked nothing like you’d imagined them to look?

Most people, when asked to form an image of a person they’re familiar with, can see it within their mind. In other words, it’s a visual, mental experience – similar to what we would see if the person were in front of us.

But it turns out that this isn’t true for everyone. Some people, when asked to form an image, will report they cannot…


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