To get to sleep, we are sometimes advised to count sheep. One might think that such a simple task is within the reach of everyone. However, for some people, this is impossible to do. There are indeed people who are unable to visualize images in their mind.
This category of individuals suffers from what is called fascination. This condition, also known as brain blindness name, was described for the first time in the 19th century. It was only recognized by the scientific community in 2015. At present, there are only a handful of studies that deal with this disease. Since its discovery, many people living with this particular condition have shared their experience through
Mozilla Firefox browser co-founder Blake Ross is one of them:
“I have never visualized anything in my life. I thought counting sheep was a metaphor. I am 30 years old and I never knew how a human could do this. And that fascinates me. "
A pathology that does not affect creativity
Once they close their eyes, people who live with the afantasy see only complete darkness.
“I never saw anything – just black. I have counted silently in the dark for years, ” Serena Puang told The New York Times.
Niel Kenmouir, meanwhile, understood from an early age that he suffered from a particular condition:
“I couldn't see any sheep jumping off a fence, there was nothing to count. "
According to the researchers, afantasy does not affect a person's creativity and imagination. In some cases, it just causes visual memory abnormalities. Most patients who suffer from it don't even realize it and only discover their difference in adulthood.
Better understand the fancy
Researchers are currently trying to find out more about this pathology. The latest study reveals that afantaisists have no trouble describing or recognizing a face or a place. This suggests that their condition has no impact on their verbal imagination and spatial memory.
To come to this conclusion, they conducted a study on 103 participants with and without fantasy. At the moment, researchers are trying to find out what could be at the origin of this pathology. According to them, Afantaisists could present, at certain levels, similarities with people suffering from congenital blindness.
The results of this study were published in the journal Cortex.