A case of a completely new medical condition has been discovered by psychologist Adam Zeman from the University of Exeter. In this condition a person can lose all of their memories.
The condition is called aphantasia and is the subject of study by experts in cognitive psychology. The 1st symptoms of the condition have already been described by analyzing the only known case so far - that of 25-year-old Tom Ebeyer from Ontario.
Back when he was 21, Tom realized that it was harder for him to imagine and visualize various events in comparison to others. Over time, his so-called mind's eye deteriorated, leading the young man to fall into a depression.
Ebeyer's condition got to the point where he was unable to recall even a single past event visually. The past appeared only as fact to the youth's consciousness but without any specific picture of what had happened.
Experts predict that aphantasia can affect absolutely all of the patients' senses and they may not be able to remember scenes from books they've read, the appearances of objects, sources of sound or smells.
Prof. Zeman has also used another of his clinical cases as an example. He reminds of 39-year-old Niel Kenmuir, who has had trouble visualizing events even as a kid.
That is why even today Niel consciously avoids books with lengthy descriptions and details, for example of landscapes. For him such information does not present any type of interest.
Even though patients' memories are affected, to experts' surprise, their dreams are clear and vibrant.
It is postulated that in those suffering from aphantasia, their brain connections don't work together to create a base of memories using images.
Initially, the absence of these impulses weakens the person's ability to visualize but as the condition worsens the connections are severed completely and the person is unable to remember anything in concrete visual form.