Zoom Colloquium: The Mind‘s Eye, Open, and Closed

 The Mind‘s Eye, Open, and Closed

Past Event Date: 


Heida Sigurdadottir, University of Iceland, Department: Psychology


Santani Teng

Event Category: 

Event Type: 

Abstract - "I used to be a hyperphant and had something like HSAM [Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory]. I had a stroke in 2017, which left me with memory impairment (including SDAM [Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory]) and aphantasia. I noticed immediately that my memories were gone, and I knew something else was wrong, but it took a while to figure out that I’d lost my mind’s eye. It’s been devastating to me. I’ve lost my job, career, and my sense of identity.

– Anonymous, shared with permission

The person above has first-hand experience with two extremes of human imagination. Those with hyperphantasia have highly detailed and nearly photo-realistic visual imagery, while those with aphantasia are unable to visualize at all – they have a blind mind’s eye. In this talk, I will focus on such individual differences in visual imagery and how they might – or might not – relate to other cognitive functions.


Improving Zoom accessibility for people with hearing impairments
People with hearing impairments often use lipreading and speechreading to improve speech comprehension. This approach is helpful but only works if the speaker’s face and mouth are clearly visible. For the benefit of people with hearing impairments on Zoom calls, please enable your device’s camera whenever you are speaking on Zoom, and face the camera while you speak. (Feel free to disable your camera when you aren’t speaking.)