Aphantasia... realised I have a hard time to visualize?

Hello everyone!

I’ve been trying to meditate more and more. When I do guided meditations and they talk about a big beautiful forest and waterfalls… I can see nothing. All black. I haven’t thought about it that much before and thought I just needed more practice. But now I’ve been trying for a looong time. I googled and found this:

“Aphantasia is the inability to visualize mental images, that is, not being able to picture something in one’s mind. Many people with aphantasia are also unable to recall sounds, smells or sensations of touch.” (from Wikipedia)

There’s more if you google on this. But I just wondered now… is this due to my AVM? Is there anyone else that can relate to this?

As a kid I had vivid imagination and read a lot of books and made up worlds in my head. When we did guided meditations after sports in school I saw dolphins and islands and everything.
I hope I can get this back since I feel like I lost a lot of my magic… I used to be so creative and imaginative. I still dream but I have a hard time remembering all details, it’s like a very old memory.

I read somewhere online that a man tried binaural meditations and finally saw colors. I tried it and I saw colors playing while I had my eyes closed! If anyone’s interested or feel the same way I’ll keep you updated if this works…

Lots of hugs to my fellow avm survivors


Hi! I have to say aphantasia is a new one on me but I think a brain AVM or surgery or over pressuring or under oxygenating can give us all sorts of aphasias, dyspraxias, agnosias and a whole bunch of other Greek words beginning with a- or dys- so it doesn’t surprise me a bit.

Big hug back!


Hi there!

Yeah, it’s a pretty new name to it and they don’t know much about this since there’s not much studies of it. Just, as you say, another Greek word to add to the list! :sweat_smile:


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Never heard of any of this since I been on here

The only thing I personally noticed, is that my dreams at times are so much more lucid like - before any of this, I have never experienced anything like it

Not being able to visualize < that’s a new one on me

So when you close your eyes you can imagine and see a forest or an apple or whatever it could be your visualizing? Maybe it’s just me then :stuck_out_tongue:

Any deficit is going to be very specific to what your AVM is affecting. However, if there is a Greek word for it, you’ll not be completely alone :wink:


Very much so. . . I actually tried meditation for the first time a week back or so. My visualization seems to be spot on - if not better than before

Totally, like Dick mentioned - all of these are so specific to each one of us. There was another member on here a few weeks back that mentioned that she no longer dreams after her craniotomy - again, so specific to each of us

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Yeah, it affects us differently and our brains are extremely complicated. Just wondered if anyone else has experienced this.


Hi Mia,

I have an AVM in my right occipital lobe, which ruptured. My neurological tests showed a visual memory deficit consistent with damage to my occipital lobe. So for example when I’m shown a picture then asked to draw it from memory I scored poorly, whereas my verbal memory (listening to and reciting long numbers) was excellent. I have found subtle issues with my visualisation such as using Google maps is harder. As soon as I look away I can’t remember the map. I believe this is likely to be due to my bleed/AVM. However when I close my eyes I can visualise well. So each person, brain, AVM and bleed outcomes are different but I’m sure you can work on this issue and hopefully find that it improves with focus. My neuro is undecided on whether ‘exercising’ these facets of the brain works to rehabilitate, but I have found that using certain apps have helped me.


Interesting. I’ve never done a test like that but I’m sure it would turn out similar.
What apps do you use to improve this? I’m curious.

Thank you and have a nice day!