Neural correlates of aphantasia: assessments using functional magnetic resonance imaging.


To investigate the causes and consequences of aphantasia, aphantasists as well as unaffected control subjects are recruited.

Background and aims

Aphantasia is the complete or almost complete absence of voluntary imagination. The aim of the study is to investigate genetic and neurobiological causes of aphantasia and its effect on autobiographical memory. In addition, the data will be used to validate an objective test for the diagnosis of aphantasia in order to use it in future research in a cost-saving way.


An overview of the Aphantasie Research Project Bonn can be found here...

Course of the study

If you consent to participate in the study, there will be:

  • an approximately 90-minute examination of visual imagination and autobiographical memory in an MRI scanner (3T MRI)
  • an approximately 60-minute examination of the visual imagination using various behavioral tasks (e.g., Binocular Rivalry Task)
  • a sampling of buccal epithelial cells to investigate the genetic basis of aphantasia
  • an autobiographical interview of about 90 minutes.

All examinations are performed in one day and take about 2-4 hours in total.

Start of the study: 2021
Status: ongoing, recruiting active

Dr. Dr. Cornelia McCormick
German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease (DZNE)
+49 228 43302-807

In Cooperation with:
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Institut für Psychologie
Differentielle & Biologische Psychologie
Kaiser-Karl-Ring 9
53111 Bonn

Principle Investigator:
Prof. Dr. Dipl. Psych. Martin Reuter
+49 228 73-4399

Project management/Study coordination:
M.Sc. Merlin Monzel
+49 1520 6294661

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