Imagine that you are on the beach, lying in a hammock having a cool smoothie and enjoying the sound of the waves of the sea, without worries, enjoying the day. What kinds of images come to your mind? If you have a fantasy, you will not be able to visualize any type of image in your head.

People with fantasy can not imagine or what is also known “their imagination is blind.” The ability to visualize images is necessary in people’s lives, in fact it is much more important than you can imagine. Maybe you never gave it the importance it has before, but now that you are going to know the term fantasy, you are going to realize that imagining is a necessity !

People often visualize scenes, people, experiences, imaginations, objects, and planned plans, among other things. When you think of a friend, for example, you can immediately visualize his face within your mind. People with fantasy cannot visualize these types of mental images . If you ask a person with fantasy to imagine an object, they may describe it to you or tell you the concepts they know about the object, but they will not be able to have a mental image at that moment of the description.

La afantasía

Much of the information available comes from a few small studies and anecdotal accounts of people who have described their symptoms. Researchers have long debated exactly how the imagination works within the mind and the role it can play in planning and memory. In the case of fantasy, these visualizations are not kept in mind. Why happens?

Why does fantasy happen?

Although there is no clear explanation, there are some “clues” as to why this may occur in some people.

It may be because brain activation patterns are significantly different from normal controls in people who do have the ability to create mental images.  However, when people like afantasy try to visualize images, there is a significant reduction in activation patterns in the posterior networks , while the activity of the frontal region increased significantly compared to controls. This indicates that people with fantasy rely more on a different cognitive strategy during the imaging task.

In addition, it is also thought that performance in visual memory and visual imagery tasks does not depend on the actual experience of visual images.

Fantasy and memory

When people normally recall or attempt to evoke images from their memory, they are often able to imagine events almost as if they were playing a video of the experience. They often recall specific images that stand out from memory. For people with fantasy, memories of events are often simply made up of a list of facts.

Someone with a fantasy might remember the day they got married, the names of the people who attended, and even how the weather was that day, but they won’t be able to form a mental picture of the events. Some of those affected by the condition also have difficulty recognizing faces or having good spatial orientation.

This lack of visual memory could have some advantages, since people with fantasy are less likely to worry about intrusive memories or memories that can cause them some emotional disturbance. Lacking these mental images, it does not affect them emotionally.

How do you live with fantasy?

This condition does not necessarily harm a person’s success in life. Those identified with fantasy include successful doctoral students, engineers, and other professionals. More research is needed to know if this condition has a genetic component and to know more consequences of this condition in people’s lives.

If you think you can have a fantasy, you will have to practice memory strategies since if you think you have an inability to visualize you may feel that some types of memorization are more difficult, so you may have to experiment to find a technique that works for you and that fantasy does not harm you excessively. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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