Avi Flax

Avi Flax

Aphantasia: yes, it’s a thing

Just now, while writing a presentation with my Mac, I typed “aphantasia” and noticed that the spell-checker flagged it as an unknown word/spelling.

This made me chuckle. I’m used to having to explain aphantasia to humans — so why shouldn’t I have to teach my computer about it too!

It was first described in 1880; it’s really a thing! And yes, I really have it.

I’m still blown away by how compellingly Blake Ross described it:

I have never visualized anything in my entire life. I can’t “see” my father’s face or a bouncing blue ball, my childhood bedroom or the run I went on ten minutes ago. I thought “counting sheep” was a metaphor. I’m 30 years old and I never knew a human could do any of this.

Screenshot of a draft of this post open in the Micro.blog app on MacOS, showing the word “aphantasia” with a red squiggly underline, indicating that the computer has flagged it as an unknown or misspelled word.