Zoom Colloquium: The Mind‘s Eye, Open, and Closed
Past Event Date:
Speaker:Heida Sigurdadottir, University of Iceland, Department: Psychology
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.