Aphantasia is a phenomenon in which people are unable to visualize imagery. While most people are able to conjure an image of a scene or face in their minds, people with aphantasia cannot. If you were to ask a person with aphantasia to imagine something, they could likely describe the object, explain the concept, and say facts they know about the object. But that person would not be able to experience any sort of mental image to accompany this knowledge.
It appears that not being able to routinely bring to mind images in memories may help a person recover from grief at a loved one’s passing more quickly. The involvement of mental imagery in grief is an area worthy of study.
Videos of people describing their aphantasia follow. In the first video, a man describes the fact that he recovered from his mother’s passing more quickly than his brothers did. Others agree that not having mental images makes difficult periods in life easier to bear.
The second video is the full presentation from which the excerpts in the first video were taken.
In the third video, a woman with aphantasia gives a very clear explanation of aphantasia.
The fourth video is a TED Talk given by a woman who has aphantasia.
There is a website that is a network for people with aphantasia: https://aphantasia.com/
Source: “Aphantasia: The People without a Mind’s Eye,”
Wired UK, April 14, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa84hA3OsHU