What Kind of Apple Are You Imagining? Aphantasia and Visualization

I came across this tweet over the weekend that was being passed around, about the different levels of visualization that people are capable of:


It was a crude demonstration of the phenomena known as aphantasia, which friends of mine were discussing their experience with in response to this viral tweet. Aphantasia essentially corresponds to “5” in the tweet above, where it is impossible to visualize objects within your mind. For myself, I can visualize things, but it takes a lot of effort to visualize simple scenes and actions. Realizing the ways in which people’s brains work differently is extremely fascinating to me and seems especially relevant when talking about visual design and learning it as someone new to the field.

Lastly, I’ll share this video that was linked by a friend about aphantasia, which did a better job of explaining how it works compared to the original thread. The position of working as someone in a creative medium while living with aphantasia provides a unique spin on the discussion and might be interesting for folks to learn about!


Header image by Mike Chaput, taken on December 17, 2007. https://www.flickr.com/photos/7884518@N04/2119982696


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