Can You See the Image in Your Mind?

People can differ hugely in their ability to imagine the future, recall a past scene, or generally visualize anything that is not directly preceivable/not in front of them. Scientists from the university of Exeter discovered that this difference in visualisation ability has distinct neural correlates in the human brain; it correlates with the strength of the functional connectivity between individual’s prefrontal cortex and their visual areas.

This finding has implications for designing neurofeedback and non-invasive stimulation/neuromodulation protocols that could potentially enable people with aphantasia to visualise, via uptraining/strengthening the connectivity between frontal and occipital areas, and could help people with hyperphantasia stay ancored in a current reality by reducing the strength of their occipital -prefrontal connections.

Original article: Fraser Milton, Jon Fulford, Carla Dance, James Gaddum, Brittany Heuerman-Williamson, Kealan Jones, Kathryn F Knight, Matthew MacKisack, Crawford Winlove, Adam Zeman, Behavioral and Neural Signatures of Visual Imagery Vividness Extremes: Aphantasia versus Hyperphantasia, Cerebral Cortex Communications, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2021, tgab035, https://doi.org/10.1093/texcom/tgab035