Aphantasia and Reye’s Syndrome

So I’m reading the article Aphantasia: Ex-Pixar chief Ed Catmull says ‘my mind’s eye is blind’ and my mind wandered.. heh.. Aphantasia, Pixar/Disney.. Phantasia was their first animated movie… Then, I hit the Wikipedia article about Aphantasia, I was dumbstruck.

Quick aside for folks who don’t know me. I had Reyes Syndrome when I was 17 years old. I will not go into great detail here, but suffice it to say, it’s a miracle that I’m alive and have my mental faculties.

Back to Aphantasia; the Wikipedia article describes the test for it like this:

This questionnaire invites the person to visualize a series of images (a relative, a rising sun, a shop they know, etc.) and rank how vivid the image is, from “perfectly clear and lively as real seeing” (5 points) to “no image at all, you only know that you are thinking of the object” (1 point). It is categorized as aphantasia if they score a total of 30 or less across 16 questions.”

I got sick to my stomach reading this, it was as if somebody reached across 35 years and dropped me right back in my 17 year old self after I awoke from the coma and said.. “oh.. guess what.. you have aphantasia”. I literally lost all images of my life before 17..   but now, for some reason, it feels oddly comforting to know it’s a real *THING*, like I’m not crazy for not remembering things before Reyes.

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