Aphantasia Cure: (+Details about Aphantasia)

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Page last updated: 26/09/2022

Aphantasia Cure: (+Details about Aphantasia)

In this brief guide, we will look at the subject of Aphantasia cure, as well as other details about Aphantasia.

Aphantasia Cure

There is currently no Aphantasia cure, because to be able to cure anything one must first know what is causing it, and there is no definitive information about what causes aphantasia.

Aphantasia cure would ideally be something that affects the brain directly to enable the person to visualise things in their mind, which is what they can’t do.

However, while there is no Aphantasia cure, there are still exercises of sorts that one can do to try and train their brain to start functioning in a specific way, and because the brain is very capable of rewiring itself, one may be able to exercise it into imagining at least something in place of the blank space the person may be experiencing.

Aphantasia cures or exercises focus on helping with the non-visual cognitive processing but there are some methods which promise to kick start your “blank screen:”

You may find one such activity here, and while this may not be an Aphantasia cure by a long shot, it may still help you to some extent, depending on how severe your Aphantasia is.

This cure-like exercise for Aphantasia involves a technique called image streaming, and the goal of this technique is to improve visual thinking and creativity. When you engage in this technique, you are encouraged explore scenes in your mind by describing it in as much detail as possible, using all of your senses and verbalizing it out loud. 

It has been seen that when you verbalize the image, you might see it more, and this may have something to do with the possibility of connectivity in your brain, and when you engage your temporal and frontal lobes by talking, the connected pathways that lead to imagination may get activated.

You also need to remember that a slowly fading image on your retina from looking at a bright light source is not related to aphantasia, and you will have it even if you have the condition, because that phenomenon is more a function of what is imprinted on your brain and the light that is saved in your optical areas.

However, while it is good to take the opportunity to look into getting better at something, the truth is that Aphantasia will never really stop you from doing anything, so the more you think in terms of finding an aphantasia cure, the more you might find yourself hating the fact that you are experiencing this condition.

Try not to think of aphantasia as something you need to cure because it is just another way of experiencing the world, and it is certainly not a disability. Some people live for over 50 years with aphantasia and they may not even have known that it was a thing until a few years ago and if you ask them about what their lives have been like without internal imagery, they will likely tell you that they have not missed out.

Aphantasia Cure: (+Details about Aphantasia)

What is Aphantasia?

Aphantasia is a condition where the person is unable to imagine things, or more specifically, they have a lack of visual imagery when they try to visualise things in their mind.

In other words, Aphantasia is a condition which may be defined as the inability to voluntarily visualize mental imagery, but it may not be limited to vision alone, and some may also report an inability to recall sounds, smells, or sensations of touch. 

Prosopagnosia, which is the inability to recognize faces and is a parietal lobe syndrome, is also associated with Aphantasia fairly often.

The phenomenon of aphantasia was first described by Francis Galton in 1880 there have not really been many studies about it since then either, and it wasn’t even called Aphantsia when Sir Francis Galton studied it.

The phenomenon of Aphantasia received new attention after the publication of a study in 2015 conducted by a team led by Professor Adam Zeman of the University of Exeter, which also coined the term aphantasia, but despite this research, information about this condition is still scarce.

Because not enough is known about aphantasia, it is very hard to ascertain how to prevent it or any aphantasia cures, but some people suggest that apparently image streaming and visualization exercises can help.

The term “aphantasia” is derived from the Greek word “phantasia”, which translates to “imagination”, and the prefix “a-“, which means “without”.

The authors of the study propose the use of the term ‘aphantasia’ to refer to a condition of

reduced or absent voluntary imagery. Other terms that have been used previously in related contexts about this condition include ‘defective visualisation’ and ‘visual irreminiscence’ 

The paper that Zeman’s team published was actually on what they termed “congenital aphantasia”, but there have been reports of people acquiring aphantasia as well, and some people also report that aphantasia is possible when someone has been suffering from depression or suffers from a brain trauma of some kind.

Aphantasia Test

There is no dedicated, validated and reliable test for aphantasia yet, but one may still try out the test that the researchers used in their study to assess aphantasia, which is known as the Vividness Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire, or the VVIQ.

Additionally, there has been an aphantasia apple test floating around on the internet for some time now, but bear in mind that this may not be an accurate test for many reasons, the most important of which is that it is not a scientific tool and as such its results cannot be trusted.

The Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ) was developed in 1973 by the British psychologist David Marks and it consists of 16 items in four groups of 4 items in which the participant is invited to consider the image formed in thinking about specific scenes and situations. 

The vividness of the image is rated along a 5-point Likert scale. The questionnaire has been widely used as a measure of individual differences in vividness of visual imagery. The large body of evidence confirms that the VVIQ is a valid and reliable psychometric measure of visual image vividness.

This is the reason it has been used pretty significantly as an aphantasia test, and it has also been used in some other conditions like when someone’s cognitive, motor or sensory performances need to be studied.

Aphantasia Cure: (+Details about Aphantasia)

Aphantasia Causes

Aphantasia causes have also not been enumerated yet, simply because the study that sparked renewed interest in the condition has identified only congenital aphantasia, while there have not been many studies to assess what conditions might lead to acquired aphantasia.

However, even though it is not known what causes aphantasia, the mechanism behind what goes on in the aphants mind is still something that can be understood based on what we know about imagination and how it happens in the brain.

Basically, it is known that when we experience voluntary imagery, we may see enhanced activity in fronto-parietal ‘executive’ systems and in posterior brain regions which together enable us to generate images on the basis of our stored knowledge of appearances, and this enables us to hypothesise that these circuits might be broken in someone with aphantasia.

The relative contributions of lower and higher order visual regions to the experience of visual imagery are debated and it cannot be said with utmost certainty that these areas take any significant role in the experience of imagery.

Furthermore, reports have suggested the existence of two major types of neurogenic visual imagery impairment, which are:

  • visual memory disorders, causing both visual agnosia and imagery loss
  • ‘imagery generation’ deficits selectively disabling imagery 

Even though the researcher who identified congenital aphantasia in his research only focused on this one type and the other types have not been explored yet, he does mention a case study of acquired aphantasia, as evidenced in this excerpt from the paper:

“In 2010 we reported a particularly ‘pure’ case of imagery generation disorder, in a 65 year old man who became unable to summon images to the mind’s eye after coronary angioplasty (Zeman et al., 2010). Following a popular description of our paper (Zimmer, 2010), we were contacted by over twenty individuals who recognised themselves in the article’s account of ‘blind imagination’, with the important difference that their imagery impairment had been lifelong. Here we describe the features of their condition, elicited by a questionnaire, and suggest a name – aphantasia – for this poorly recognised phenomenon.”

You may read the entire paper here.

How to cure Aphantasia: Reddit

Here are some reddit tips about how to cure aphantasia, as well as other reddit opinions on the condition aphantasia:

“If you are doing this for yourself alright,

If you are doing this to help others I need you to do the following.

Repeat the binocular rivalry test every day and document the process. You can find instructions on how to do this by a quick google search of binocular rivalry test, though the trick with aphantasia is to do the test, then think of one of the shapes for 10 seconds and repeat the test. The difference between what you see in each test. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx0BonbqpYw Dr Pearson (the person who has shown that the test is a reliable way of seeing if someone has aphantasia) goes into the detail. If you can visualise you should see a difference after you have thought about the shape, as in the fight for dominance the image in your mind is the tiebreaker.”

“I’ve made progress with the help of psychedelics and weed, starting from 0 imagery, I can sometimes get very weak imagery, and under psychedelics it’s like I have low to average visualization skills, even though when I started psychedelics I had 0 mental imagery even under the influence.

However I do remember that I was born with mental imagery, and it disappeared when repressing memories of a childhood trauma (which psychs helped me recover).”

“Good luck to you. So far we don’t have any evidence that a “cure” for aphantasia exists but maybe you will be the first one. Meanwhile, try to appreciate how special and powerful your brain is. Do some puzzles, build something, write some code or write a book or something. You have a really good brain. You are probably good at things you haven’t even tried yet.”

Aphantasia Cure: (+Details about Aphantasia)

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we looked at the subject of Aphantasia cure, as well as other details about Aphantasia.

Aphantasia is a curious condition and it is natural for people to wonder about what it is and why it happens, or if there is an Aphantasia cure.

If you have any questions or comments about Aphantasia cure, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Aphantasia Cure

Is Aphantasia a disability?

No, Aphantasia is not a disability.

What causes Aphantasia?

The causes of Aphantasia can be genetics, because most people seem to be born with it, but in some cases Aphantasia can be acquired as well, following a brain injury, or sometimes after periods of depression or psychosis. 

How common is Aphantasia?

Aphantasia is not that common, in fact only about 1 to 3 percent of people have the recently discovered condition called “aphantasia,”, which means that the person sees absolutely nothing in their imagination. 

Why can’t I imagine things anymore?

You might not be able to imagine things anymore because you are depressed or anxious, which is also something that can lead to one feeling like they are simply not able to have an inner monologue or imagine things in their mind.

Another very rare condition called aphantasia is also responsible for making people feel like they are not able to imagine things anymore, and these individuals may often struggle with visualising anything in their minds, including faces and pictures.

http://countrcultur.com/aphantasia-and-gaming/