Is imagination only about creating images in your mind? We believe that everyone has the capacity to imagine, however their mind works, and it’s those differences we celebrate. This article from The Conversation looks at how some people don’t have the ability to visualise, and how they believe this affects the ability to imagine. Describers, doers and thinkers all imagine in their own ways. The mind’s eye has many views, and we need them all.
Imagine an apple floating in front of you. Now see if you can rotate it around in your mind. Look at it from the top, bottom – does it have any blemishes? How clearly can you see it?
Some people see the apple perfectly, like watching a movie, while others have a very poor wavering image. Although it might be hard to believe, a small proportion of otherwise healthy people report having no visual experience at all. In other words, their minds are completely blind – no matter how hard they try they don’t seem to see the apple.
In fact, such individuals are often startled to find that people are not speaking in metaphors when they say, “I picture it in my mind’s eye.” This phenomenon of mind blindness has only recently been given a proper name – congenital aphantasia.