People with Aphantasia Cannot Be Easily Spooked

Mar, 2021 - By SMI

People with Aphantasia Cannot Be Easily Spooked

New research discovers that people with mild-blindness cannot be easily spooked. The findings suggest that images might have closer connections to emotions than previously thought.

According to a study conducted by University of New South Wales, Sydney, people suffering from aphantasia, which is an inability to visualize mental images, are more difficult to spook with ghost stories.

Aphantasia influences 2-5 percent of the populace, yet there is still next to no thought about the condition. An UNSW study published a year ago found that aphantasia is connected to an inescapable example of changes to other intellectual cycles, such as recalling, dreaming, and envisioning. While most past aphantasia research zeroed in on social examinations, this research utilized an objective measure of skin conductance.

The investigation, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B in March 2021, determined how aphantasic individuals responded to perusing troubling situations, such as being followed by a shark, tumbling off a mountain edge, or being in a plane that is going to crash. The scientists had the option to measure every member's dread reaction by checking changing skin conductivity levels – in short, at what level does the story makes an individual sweat. This kind of test is generally utilized in psychology exploration to calculate the body's actual articulation of feelings.  

As per the results, terrifying stories lost their dread factor after the people being tested could not outwardly envision the scene - proposing imagery may have a nearer connection to emotions than researchers previously suspected. Professor Joel Pearson, senior author on the paper and Director of UNSW Science's Future Minds Lab says, “We found the strongest evidence yet that mental imagery plays a key role in linking thoughts and emotions.” Altogether of our exploration to date, this is the greatest contrast we've found between individuals with aphantasia and other people, she further said.

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