Due to a rare phenomenon known as aphantasia, a small percentage of people cannot create images in their head.
If I were to say, Newton discovered gravity after an apple fell on his, it's only natural that we picture an apple falling on his head. We can visualize the image in our heads, but as many recently found out, that is not the case for everyone. A small percentage of people are unable to do this. This is caused by a rare phenomenon known as aphantasia, which is essentially a form of blindness and the inability to visualize pictures of objects, places, and people. People with these conditions can articulate what they are thinking, but there are no accompanying mental images, per TIME.
When a TikTok user, Courtney Hubbard, found out about this condition her mind was absolutely blown. The 23-year-old fitness instructor got to know of it through her boyfriend and she absolutely could not believe it. She said in the video, "He's told me that he's one of the people who can't visualize it in their own head, as in he can't imagine himself on a beach, he can't visualize an apple on the floor in front of him if he shuts his eyes." She added, "Can somebody confirm this because it's blown my mind and I don't believe him."
Turns out Hubbard's boyfriend wasn't alone as several people joined the comments section to reveal that they suffer from this disorder. One user commented, "I can confirm I also cannot visualize things when my eyes are closed." Another added, "I can only hear a voice explaining what I’m trying to imagine when I imagine, never can see an image!" A Tiktok user confirmed this by saying, "Yes this is me, I always say I have no imagination. I can’t read fiction books because I can’t picture what someone is describing in a book."
The majority of the people were absolutely shocked to know that aphantasia exists. One person said, "Wait I thought that everyone had a voice in their head and could also visualize things." Another said, "I thought this was normal, I can also visualize how things will or could look, like how a pic on Instagram will look on my feed or an outfit will look on." A third user added, "I can literally make a whole movie in my head before sleep I thought everyone can do that omg."
Tiktok has become an informational source of several facts about psychology. David Hundsness, who graduated from the University of California with a BA in psychology, recently took the chance of attempting to debunk conspiracy theories in a three-part TikTok series. He says in the video, "In spite of all the evidence available, it's just weird that so many people choose to go with 'alternative' facts about COVID, vaccines, the 2020 election, the moon landing, and so on." He added, "And when you think about it, it's even weirder that they make this choice knowing that others are going to mock them and argue with them and call them stupid. So, why would anyone make that choice when it's so much easier to go along with the majority? They must be getting something out of that decision, so what is it?"