What is it?

Aphantasia is the inability to create mental pictures in the head. People who have aphantasia cannot just imagine an event or images in their heads. For example, when they are asked how somebody they know looks, they may know the answer but will not imagine this person before answering. This phenomenon is not well studied and is not understood. It is not a condition that requires any treatment.

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Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Aphantasia may include:
- Decreased imagery involving other senses like sound or touch.
- Less vivid memories.
- Less vivid ability to imagine future scenarios.
- Trouble with facial recognition.


A diagnosis of Aphantasia is made by a neurologist and includes a questionnaire regarding the ability to visually describe the environment. An MRI scan is sometimes needed.


There is no known cure for aphantasia, though the condition does not pose any significant risks. The inability to form images on demand is likely disappointing to some. Still, those with aphantasia use alternative skills to perceive and interpret the world. Congenital aphantasia is thought to be less curable due to the limited plasticity of the brain after development. Still, there are currently no established theories on how to cure aphantasia, neither congenital nor acquired.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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