People On TikTok And Twitter Are Freaking Out After Learning That Not Being Able To Visualize Things In Their Mind Is An Actual Condition
Think you know all there is to know about yourself? Guess again.
Recently a girl on TikTok opened up our eyes to a fact that could make you 1 in 50 people to have a certain condition where you do not possess a functioning mind’s eye. Meaning you cannot voluntarily visualize imagery.
Hümeyra is an 18-year-old high school student who recently discovered that she has aphantasia.
Speaking to her followers on TikTok, Hümeyra explained that she had never considered what was going on visually in her mind’s eye. “Whenever someone said, ‘Imagine a sunset’, I couldn’t visualize it, and I thought nobody could see it.”
In her video, Hümeyra shared a visualization test to give users a chance to understand what she had discovered.
In this simple aphantasia test, a person should be able to visualize a red star in their mind when they close their eyes. Hümeyra said that when she took the test herself she could “see the outlines.”
Of course, it didn’t take long for what Hümeyra was talking about to go viral and for Twitter and TikTok users to go insane over the realization about this phenomenon.
Like people lost it.
Like things got dark.
Turns out the star test does not act as a medical diagnosis but it does have quite a bit of research to back it up.
In fact, in 2015 The New York Times did a whole write up about the phenomenon and the researchers behind it. The piece sites the research of the neurologist Adam Zeman at the University of Exeter Medical School who has been looking into aphantasia for years. “Certain people, researchers have discovered, can’t summon up mental images — it’s as if their mind’s eye is blind. This month in the journal Cortex, the condition received a name: aphantasia, based on the Greek word phantasia, which Aristotle used to describe the power that presents visual imagery to our minds.”
According to an interview between Zeman and CNBC there’s not much to worry about. Apparently Zeman sees aphantasia as a “variation in human experience” than as a neurological condition.