Quantifying aphantasia through drawing: Those without visual imagery show deficits in object but not spatial memory

  title={Quantifying aphantasia through drawing: Those without visual imagery show deficits in object but not spatial memory},
  author={Wilma A. Bainbridge and Zoe Pounder and A. Eardley and C. Baker},
Congenital aphantasia is a recently characterized variation of experience defined by the inability to form voluntary visual imagery, in individuals who are otherwise high performing. Because of this specific deficit to visual imagery, individuals with aphantasia serve as an ideal group for probing the nature of representations in visual memory, particularly the interplay of object, spatial, and symbolic information. Here, we conducted a large-scale online study of aphantasia and revealed a… Expand
4 Citations
Behavioral and Neural Signatures of Visual Imagery Vividness Extremes: Aphantasia versus Hyperphantasia
The first systematic, wide-ranging neuropsychological and brain imaging study of people with aphantasia, hyperphantasia and midrange imagery vividness is reported, validating and illuminating this significant but neglected dimension of individual difference. Expand
Untying the knot: imagination, perception and their neural substrates
How tight is the conceptual connection between imagination and perception? A number of philosophers, from the early moderns to present-day predictive processing theorists, tie the knot as tightly asExpand
Perceived and mentally rotated contents are differentially represented in cortical depth of V1
Results identify how through cortical depth compartmentalization V1 functionally segregates rather than confuses external from internally-generated visual contents and indicate that feedforward and feedback manifest in distinct subdivisions of the early visual cortex, thereby reflecting a general strategy for implementing multiple cognitive functions within a single brain region. Expand
Mental imagery: pulling the plug on perceptualism
What is the relationship between perception and mental imagery? I aim to eliminate an answer that I call perceptualism about mental imagery. Strong perceptualism, defended by Bence Nanay, predictiveExpand


The blind mind: No sensory visual imagery in aphantasia
Sensory imagery in subjectively self-diagnosed aphantasics is measured, using the binocular rivalry paradigm, as well as measuring their self-rated object and spatial imagery with multiple questionnaires, which suggest that aphantasia is a condition involving a lack of sensory and phenomenal imagery, and not a loss of metacognition. Expand
A cognitive profile of multi-sensory imagery, memory and dreaming in aphantasia
It is shown that compared to control participants with imagery ability, aphantasic individuals report decreased imagery in other sensory domains, although not all report a complete lack of multi-sensory imagery, suggesting a constructive role for visual imagery in representing episodic events. Expand
Visual working memory performance in aphantasia
The results indicate that although a lack of mental imagery can be compensated for under some conditions, mental imagery has a functional role in other areas of visual cognition, one of which is high-precision working memory. Expand
Loss of imagery phenomenology with intact visuo-spatial task performance: A case of ‘blind imagination’
The case of a patient, MX, who abruptly lost the ability to generate visual images is described, indicating that successful performance in visual imagery and visual memory tasks can be dissociated from the phenomenal experience of visual imagery. Expand
Phantasia–The psychological significance of lifelong visual imagery vividness extremes
Aphantasia and hyperphantasia appear to be widespread but neglected features of human experience with informative psychological associations that are associated with scientific and mathematical occupations and 'creative' professions. Expand
Disentangling visual imagery and perception of real-world objects
The results suggest that while imagery and perception have similar neural substrates, they involve different network dynamics, resolving the tension between previous imaging and neuropsychological studies. Expand
Visual and spatial mental imagery: Dissociable systems of representation
The performance of a brain-damaged patient with impaired visual appearance representations on a variety of tasks used by cognitive psychologists on one side or other of the visual vs spatial imagery debate implies that the two groups of tasks tap distinct types of representation. Expand
The human imagination: the cognitive neuroscience of visual mental imagery
  • J. Pearson
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
  • 2019
Recent insights into the neural mechanisms that underlie visual imagery are discussed, how imagery can be objectively and reliably measured, and how it affects general cognition are discussed. Expand
Spatial processing, mental imagery, and creativity in individuals with and without sight
It has been argued that individuals born without sight are impaired on all “active” spatial imagery tasks (e.g., Vecchi, 1998). If this were the case, people without sight would be limited in theirExpand
Distinct representational structure and localization for visual encoding and recall during visual imagery
Comparisons of encoding and recall along a spectrum of granularity suggest visual recall is not merely a reactivation of encoding patterns, displaying a different representational structure and localization from encoding, despite some overlap. Expand