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    Updated on Apr 21, 2020. Posted on Apr 17, 2020

    This Girl's TikTok About Not Being Able To Visualize Things In Her Mind Is Really Eye-Opening

    Close your eyes and imagine a red star. Can you actually see it?

    If I told you to close your eyes and imagine your childhood bedroom, would you be able to see it? Well, it turns out that not everyone can do that!

    CBC

    The inability to ~see~ things when you think of them is called aphantasia. Hümeyra — an 18-year-old high school student in Germany — recently discovered she had it and shared that fact on TikTok.

    @huummiiii

    Which number could you see? For me its 1-3 ##fyp ##fy ##foryou ##foryoupage ##viral

    ♬ original sound - huummiiii

    Like a lot of us, Hümeyra had never really thought other people saw — or, in this case, didn't see — things differently. “Whenever someone said, 'Imagine a sunset', I couldn't visualize it, and I thought nobody could see it.”

    TikTok / @huummiiii

    In her video, she shared a simple visualization test. All you have to do is close your eyes and try to imagine a red star, then compare what you saw in your mind to the chart.

    TikTok / @huummiiii

    When taking the star test herself, Hümeyra said what she saw ranged between 1 and 3. “When I try to imagine a star, I can barely see the outlines.”

    TikTok / @huummiiii

    I tried the test myself, and what I imagined was almost exactly #6, but also...not? I could ~see~ it but I couldn't SEE it? The video made its way around Twitter, too, and people seemed to be just as confused as I was:

    @spideysbowie ok wait but do people like SEE see it or can they imagine it? because i can imagine 6 but i don't physically see it. it's in like a weird visual/non-visual spectrum of my brain

    @spideysbowie wait so not everyone imagines themselves in a whole fantasy world every night? how do y’all sleep?

    yo this fucked me UP ive been tryna see a red star for like 30 minutes now and i cant 😭

    Well, I decided to do a little extra research, and here's what I learned. It's estimated that about 1 in 50 people have aphantasia. Sometimes people are born with it, but it can also come about after a stroke or surgery.

    VH1

    And while the star test is no medical diagnosis, it's a good exercise in seeing how strong your ability to visualize is! Adam Zeman — the neurologist responsible for a lot of what we know about aphantasia — created a questionnaire to test your "mind's eye" by visualizing a scene and answering questions about how vivid the things you see are.

    University of Exeter

    It asks you to rate what you see on a five-point scale, with 1 being nothing and 5 being a very realistic image. You can take the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire here.

    All in all, there hasn't been a whole lot of research about aphantasia. Zeman told CNBC that he sees it more as a "variation in human experience" than as a neurological condition.

    Fox

    As for Hümeyra, she hopes her video is an eye-opener for other people like her, saying, “I hope everyone realizes that every person is individually unique. Everyone is different.”

    BuzzFeed Daily

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