Q: My teacher keeps telling me to “picture the keyboard in your mind’s eye.” Well I can’t picture anything in my mind’s eye, not even the keyboard. Is something wrong with my brain??”

A: Interesting question and I’m glad you asked. Aphantasia is a label for a lack of all mental imagery. Some brains can imagine things like the soft feeling of a kitten or the sound of thunder with lightning but there is no accompanying “picture” or “internal mental image” in their brain. This research is quite new and it reminds all of us, me included, that every brain is different.

Relative new research on ”Aphantasia” reported that approximately 95% of individuals are able to picture things in their mind’s eye—at least at some level. That means that the brains of about 5% of individuals do not. That’s what is difficult about making presentations and writing articles and so on, as there are always outliers—brains that do things differently. Before you automatically relegate yourself to the 5 %, I suggest you do some experimenting with picturing objects or faces in your mind’s eye. You may be surprised that you can learn to visualize at some level—if not, no worries. There are other things your brain can do...enjoy those!