In your mind’s eye, imagine your living room. Can you ‘see’ the arrangement of the furniture? The color of your sofa? The artwork on the walls? Likely, you were able to conjure up visual mental images.
Our ability to generate such images has traditionally been the interest of philosophers and writers, but has recently become the focus of scientific interest. Less than a decade ago, a patient who had a minor complication from a surgery lost his ability to create visual images in his mind (Zeman et al., 2010). He retained the ability to see perfectly well, and could even retrieve from memory visual details, but claimed that the visual experience was absent. In the extreme form, the lack of visual imagery has been referred to as “aphantasia.” More generally, we know that people seem to differ along a continuum in their abilities to form vivid visual images, perhaps, just like people seem to differ in how good they are at almost all cognitive abilities.
In order to better understand these abilities, The Curtis Lab is interested in recruiting people with widely varying abilities in and strategies for mental imagery. The goal of this work is to understand the neural mechanisms that support imagery.
Are you curious about how good your visual imagery is? Are you potentially interested in participating in future research on imagery? If so, please click on the link below to answer some questions about how vivid is your visual imagery!
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[Link coming soon!]