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So, when I got home, I Googled "can other people actually visualize things", and down the rabbit hole I went. I identified with almost everything. I had colleagues with photo-realistic descriptions, friends who could replay memories with visuals, sounds, and smells. I felt like I was missing a basic, joyful, human experience. Though I am able to recall certain happy loving moments in my life, they often come with a lack of emotional attachement and detail. I wish I could step back into the sights and sounds of my travel — but this inability has bred a love for creative endeavours like photography, that create snapshots I can relive.

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I find myself using trial and error problem-solving in my work, as I can visualize a solution or conjure and emotional or sensory reaction my interventions might have. You may all find this ironic, as I primarily do sensory processing work with children. Anyway, I am glad to read about others experiences and to grow my knowledge and involvement in this small community.

If there is any way I can help or get involved, I would love to. Thank you for your story, Luc!

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Even then, it can be hard to wrap your mind around. Instead, we focus on our strengths and find solutions that work for us. I was watching an artist in Victoria British Columbia do an absolutely life like "dot" portrait of a woman from memory about 15 years ago. We sat around and talked for around 30 minutes and I was absolutely blown away that he was "just copying what was in his mind".

I only just found out that there is a name for it today and that other people have the same issue. I had no idea that almost everyone else could picture something in their mind and actually "see" it to some degree. Again, I have no issues with memorizing facts, figures and could memorize the lines to a song, but there is no way I could recall them in time to sing them as the music plays. Very interesting to hear your professional background, Gerry. Shows us we can perform in high-end careers without a visual imagination.

How do you think Aphantasia affects your engineering practice? Interesting re: music and would love to hear other thoughts. Personally, if I know the song well, I could sing along. Then the rhythm of the music just helps the words come out. I heard the CBC documentary too and was interested to find there is now a name for Aphantasia and a bit more awareness. I am 40 now but was an 18 year old psychology major in a class of undergraduates completing the VVIQ when I realized that I had Aphantasia not yet termed. What was with these students who were claiming to create pictures in their heads!

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MY professor at the time had done a lot of research which included visual imagery so he was highly intrigued. He indicated that he had only ever met one other person with this inability to visualize. We spent a lot of time discussing this and we did some additional assessments. One of the things we discussed was dreaming. My professor asked if I saw pictures when I was sleeping.

I answered that I thought I did.

How did you first discover you were Aphantasic?

And I do. But at the time, I needed to check. Are the neuropathways different? Dreams are one of those interesting topics that require a lot more work. Different researchers have different perspectives on it. I do recognize the visuals in my dream; ie.

Similar to many others here, this is a new realization over the past few weeks since I stumbled across an article on the topic. All of the same manifestations that others mention, most of which get offset by having a very strong overall memory.

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The "picture a horse" exercise makes me think of several times over the years trying to draw a bicycle. I know that it has two wheels and bars that go between them, but I would draw ridiculous shapes because I had no memory of how the bars connect and no image to draw upon. Interestingly, I have a math degree, very mentally adept with numbers and a strong memory of facts and figures — perhaps compensating for the lack of visual memory?

I found out a couple of years ago. My husband had read an article about it and came to the kitchen where I was meal preping and told me the story and was like "can you image? I have been conducting informal questions on my family, friends and co-workers since and I have found two people like me. My old admin assistant and one of my friends. Its also interesting finding people who do have it. They get so excited to know that we are different when we just always thought people were speaking in methaphor. I have had some responses that annoy me, including my Bosses, bosses, boss telling me she felt sorry for me.

I always thought that if you actually saw images that you were hallucinating. I was sitting in class about two weeks ago and my teacher decided to do a mindfulness activity.

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We were told to close our eyes and visualise a beach, feel the sand between our toes and smell the salty air. I said "It seems pointless to me. You just see black. I got very confused and started researching and I realised that although I could hear things in my mind songs etc. I kept researching and saw it described as Aphantasia. Interesting to hear your identical twin sister can visualize quite well, while you cannot!

Hope you find the resources here useful! INobody in my family has Aphantasia but maybe certain types of Aphantasia are genetic.

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I'm not fully Aphantastic as I can taste and hear in my mind extremely well so perhaps only full Aphantasia is genetic? I have no idea I'm just theorising. I found out by watching a video from a youtuber called AmyRightMeow.

She talked about her experience with aphantasia, and I realized that I had it too. Some number of months ago, my boxing coach told me that I should visualize an opponent in front of me when shadowboxing. He seemed to be talking about something that could almost be seen but I had no idea how to do that. That was the first inkling I had that something was up. The thought that I might be somehow different kept rolling around in my head for a while until a couple of weeks ago when the word "aphantasia" first appeared on my radar. I started looking into it and from what I could read online, it sounded like that might describe my experiences pretty well.

I first heard the term on a prosopagnosia mailing list a couple of years ago.