How to review your memory palace if you have Aphantasia?

Hello there,

Aphantasia is a condition where people cannot imagine. The person cannot make mental images.

So, since I can’t find a proper test for aphantasia, I don’t know if I have it. But, if I close my eyes, all I see is black. And if I try hard, there is only black noise. I asked other people, and they told they can imagine an apple tree and appreciate it’s color.

So, is aphantasia the reason I’m having trouble remembering my memory palaces. I often forget routes in real life. I forget faces and names so often that it’s embarrassing. But, I do know the route to my home and can identify my friends and family.

So, does anyone else with aphantasia have trouble with memory palaces? Is there a way to train your brain to overcome this?

Hello @john555 there is an entire ‘Aphantasia’ section here on the forum. I personally don’t have Aphantasia and I won’t pretend that I know everything about it. But from the limited knowledge that I do know I believe that if you follow the general elements of memory you can use these techniques. Keep in mind that memory is very personalized to the individual so I would do what works best for you. Here are some tips that may help you.

  1. Try to hear, feel, taste, and smell the image. (Get your other senses involved versus trying to ‘see’ it.)
  2. Try to think outside the box (make the sensation unusual, but also logically make ‘sense’ if you can. You may have to rely more on logical connection than creative ones.)
  3. Try to put emotion into the situation.(Try to connect it with the other things suggested.)
  4. Try to move with your senses (like feeling the wind, or suddenly you feel, taste, smell, hear something else.
    Try walking through your memory palace like a blind man would and make a map.)
  5. Try to exaggerate (like things smell too strong, or feel too rough)
  6. Try to Sexualize your memory with your senses. ( I won’t go into detail hahaha. But it is in your mind so who
    cares and you are likely to remember it )
  7. Try to repeat the senses at least two times before moving on.

Here is a link from an artist that had ‘aphantasia’:

Please tell me if you found this helpful. I would like to create a working memory method for people with aphantasia.

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I have some problems with faces and couldn’t picture them at one point. After a lot of practice I can now picture them without problem (though I still don’t always recognize people that I know if I haven’t seen them in a few months). I wrote about a couple of the exercises I did here.

It might be worth experimenting with something like this: stare at an object and then close your eyes and see if you can hold it in your mind, even for a moment. It might not work right away, but I’d keep practicing. Try to mentally trace the outlines of the shapes and get a sense of the 3D shape and its position in the relation to you. It might take a long time (even a couple of years), but something like that has worked for me.

There is also some great advice here.

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