Narrative experience in aphantasia

1 januari 2021 tot 30 juni 2023
dr. Speed, L.J. (Laura) , Eekhof, L.S. (Lynn), MA , dr. Mak, H.M.L. (Marloes), MSc , Dr Roel Willems (Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen/Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University/Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics)

Aphantasia is an under-researched condition in which people are unable to experience visual imagery, either voluntary or spontaneous, whilst being unaffected in visual perception. Aphantasics also have difficulty remembering the past and imagining the future. Since reading stories engages visual imagery (Mak & Willems, 2019), and visual imagery is thought to be crucial for story appreciation and absorption, we wonder whether story processing in aphantasics will be qualitatively different to story processing in individuals without aphantasia. The main aim of this project therefore is to understand how aphantasia affects narrative reading experience. Critically, assessing how lack of visual imagery affects narrative experience will help us understand the key cognitive processes at play during narrative understanding. Furthermore, this special population helps to map out the broad spectrum of individual differences in reading experience.