Mental imagery seems to be a ubiquitous component of mental life. If I ask you to close your eyes and not imagine an elephant coming down the street, crossing a red traffic light, and smashing everything in its path, it could already be too late. Mental images of the massive animal on rampage may spontaneously and effortlessly come to your mind.
Despite the apparent role of mental imagery in supporting and facilitating a substantial part of our mental lives, a number of otherwise healthy individuals have recently reported a complete inability to produce mental images. This condition, virtually neglected for more than a century since first described by Francis Galton, has recently been named “aphantasia.”
Since 2019, I have been researching aphantasia and have written an academic journal article that you can find here.