Aphantasia Causes and Treatment

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Aphantasia Causes and Treatment – Have you ever tried to imagine something only to be unable to do so? Aphantasia is a condition that can occur in a variety of ways. Some people have trouble conjuring up mental images, while others, despite how hard they try, are still unable to conjure up any imaginary imagery at all.

Aphantasia is a long-term disorder in which a person loses the ability to picture imagery such as ideas, memories, or daydreams. People suffering with this condition have no difficulty feeling their surroundings and can see and hear normally. They, on the other hand, are unable to create mental pictures. This means they don’t have the ability to visualize things that aren’t physically present in front of them.

Aphantasia is a condition that is currently poorly understood. Sir Francis Galton claimed in a 1880 research that some men in a group of 100 have been unable to conjure up a mental image of their breakfast table.

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In 2015, cognitive neurologist Adam Zeman invented the term aphantasia to describe the condition. The reason of aphantasia has yet to be discovered by scientists. However, some research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has revealed that people with aphantasia have different brain patterns than people without aphantasia when it comes to producing mental images.

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Is There a Cure for Aphantasia?

Aphantasia is poorly understood, and no remedy has yet been developed. A few research and anecdotal reports provide the only information available. However, because more studies were conducted in the last decade, researchers may soon have more knowledge.

Aphantasia is thought to affect 2.1 to 2.7 percent of the population, but no large-scale research has been done.

Regardless of the fact that aphantasia has no known cure, it is not necessarily a condition that necessitates medical intervention. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Professor Adam Zeman termed it as a “fascinating variance in human experience.”

Many persons with aphantasia are utterly unaware that their perception of the world differs from that of others, and they go on to live regular lives.

What Causes Aphantasia?

Aphantasia can be congenital (present from birth) or gotten later in life as a result of a brain injury or mental health issues. The ability to form a mental image is complicated and requires several brain locations Although the exact neurological cause of aphantasia is uncertain, new research reveals that visual imagery – related areas of the brain may be underactive.

According to one explanation, people with aphantasia have mental imagery but are unable to access it in their conscious thinking.

Aphantasia can be caused by damage to a variety of brain locations. An architect experienced aphantasia following a stroke affecting the area supplied by the posterior cerebral artery, according to a case study published in 2020. Some specialists believe aphantasia has a mental basis because it is associated to sadness, anxiety, and dissociative disorders. However, more research is required to properly examine the connection.

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Is There a Spectrum of Aphantasia?

Aphantasia Causes and Treatment – Some people appear to have a higher mental imagery ability than others. People with mental diseases like schizophrenia may have hallucinations that are so strong that they can’t tell the difference between mental images and reality. Aphantasia, on the other hand, is the inability to generate mental images.

Because some patients with aphantasia claim a complete inability to produce a mental image while others have a considerably diminished ability, it appears that aphantasia is a spectrum condition.

As there are no agreed-upon diagnostic criteria, many patients with aphantasia self-diagnose. Because aphantasia is not an official diagnosis, determining whether someone with a very limited ability to construct mental images is deemed an aphantasiac is subjective.

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