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Aphantasia Research Project Bonn


Inspired by the research of Zeman, Dewar, and Della Sala (2015) as well as two individual cases in the Institute of Psychology of Bonn, we started our research project about the phenomenon of aphantasia. Aphantasia is commonly defined as the absence of voluntary mental imagery (Zeman et al., 2015).



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We are explicitly looking for aphantasics (i. e., people with no or very weak imagery) and hyperphantasics (i. e., people with very strong imagery), but also for people who are not affected at all and would like to be examined as control persons. A residence in Germany is helpful, but not necessary.



Monzel, M., Agren, T., Tengler, M., & Reuter, M. (2023). Imaginal extinction without imagery: Dissociating the effects of visual imagery and propositional thought by contrasting participants with aphantasia, simulated aphantasia, and controls. Psychophysiology, e14271. 

Monzel, M., Keidel, K., & Reuter, M. (2023). Is it really empathy? The potential confounding role of visual imagery in self-reports of empathy. Journal of Research in Personality, e104354. 

Monzel, M. & Reuter, M. (2023). Where’s Wanda? The influence of visual imagery vividness on visual search speed measured by means of hidden object pictures. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

Monzel, M., Vetterlein, A. & Reuter, M. (2022). No general pathological significance of aphantasia: An evaluation based on criteria for mental disorders. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.

Monzel, M., Mitchell, D., Macpherson, F., Pearson, J., & Zeman, A. (2022). Proposal for a consistent definition of aphantsia and hyperphantasia: A response to Dance et al. (2022) and Hinwar and Lambert (2022). Cortex, 152, 74–76. 10.1016/j.cortex.2022.04.003

Monzel, M., Vetterlein, A. & Reuter, M. (2022). Memory deficits in aphantasics are not restricted to autobiographical memory – Perspectives from the Dual Coding Approach. Journal of Neuropsychology, 16(2), 444461. DOI:10.1111/jnp.12265

Monzel, M., Mitchell, D., Macpherson, F., Pearson, J., & Zeman, A. (2022). Aphantasia, dysikonesia, anauralia: call for a single term for the lack of mental imagery  Commentary on Dance et al. (2021) and Hinwar and Lambert (2021). Cortex, 150, 149–152. 10.1016/j.cortex.2022.02.00

Monzel, M., Keidel, K. & Reuter, M. (2021). Imagine, and you will find  Lack of attentional guidance through visual imagery in aphantasics. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 1–12. 10.3758/s13414-021-02307-z


If you have any questions, suggestions or offers regarding our research, please feel free to contact us:


Merlin Monzel.jpg 
Merlin Monzel

Project leader





Lehrstuhlinhaber: Prof. Dr. Dipl. Psych. Martin Reuter

Institute for Psychology
Department of Differential and Biological Psychology
Kaiser-Karl-Ring 9
53111 Bonn