New research says that you can look at the pupils to check aphantasia
According to a recent study, you can tell if someone doesn’t have a mind’s eye by looking at their pupils. For this first will experiment. Imagine a ball kept on a table. Now, a person comes and pushes the ball until it goes to the other end of the table and falls off. Now answering questions like what was the color of the ball a day the person’s hair might be very easy for most of us. But for a certain percentage of people like 2 to 3 percent may face difficulties. It might be impossible for them as well. That’s fur to an optic condition named aphantasia. In this situation, there is a complete lack of visual imagination, or “mind’s eye”.
Which condition is aphantasia?
Aphantasia is a condition in which a person is unable to visualize images in his/her mind. The ancient word Phantasia in Greek means “imagination”, and the prefix a means “without”. So is the word aphantasia. This topic is still unstudied since its discovery. Limited research on this topic has been done. Hyperphantasia is the opposite of Phantasia which means having an extremely strong mental image. Many famous personalities like American actress Zelda Williams and Mozilla Firefox go creator Blake Ross suffered from aphantasia. Some recent research says that 0.8% of the population was unable to form visual mental images, and 3.9% of the population had dim mental imagination.
The new research report on this topic
People going through this condition have to go through some diagnostic tests like the one mentioned above. The journal eLife recently published a new study regarding this condition. This says that now aphantasia can be detected by measuring pupil dilation caused by imaginary darkness. It’s a very exciting result and encourages us to explore more over this topic more. Just research office new objectives of research in the field of medical science. Now, after doing this test, they can take a blood test to confirm whether the person has it or not.
Can we use this method at present?
At present, it might be difficult to measure aphantasia using this method. It might be the case in which one realizes the color of the ball but not of the hair or vice versa. Or, the person might realize the normal color after you asked. There can be similar cases as such. At first, it depends on the person’s assessment of visualization.
Insight into the tests
In the first test, they made them look at dark and bright shades. The pupils became larger in the case of dark shades and smaller in the case of brighter ones. Then, they are asked to imagine the shapes they saw. The participants who were said to have vivid visualization had a strong response of pupils than the ones who saw less intense visualization. Others with aphantasia showed no pupil dilation. This was an amazing result.
They explain that the pupils become larger than we are doing an intense task. It is easier to focus on a single object than to focus on four objects. So the pupils of Phantasia patients dilated when more objects were kept and not in case of light or dark themes. The findings were interesting and these researches increase hopes for further more researches.
1. How can I test for aphantasia?
VVIQ, the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire, is the most widely used measure. It’s proven to be an accurate test of the vividness with which you can imagine people, objects, or settings in your mind – and as such, is a useful starting point.
2. How can I test for multisensory aphantasia?
When you think of a horse can you hear the horse neigh or imagine what it might be like to ride off on horseback into the sunset? Take the Imagination Spectrum to discover your Full-Spectrum Imagery Profile.
3. What causes aphantasia?
The great majority of people have aphantasia since birth, called “congenital” or “lifelong aphantasia.” Rarely, can it result from a stroke or head injury? It may also occur as a result of an episode of depression. So if someone who has previously had imagery loses it suddenly, it’s reasonable to ask and attempt to learn why.
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