IN-CJ Podcast 044 – Perspectives on Aphantasia with Jacky Burrows
The need to recognise cognitive diversity in the criminal justice system is becoming increasingly apparent as more insight is gained into the many ways that people perceive and respond to challenges in the world. In this podcast, Jacky Burrows chats with John Scott about their experience and as people who are aphantasic, which means that they are both ‘mind blind’ and have little or no mind’s eye. As Jacky explains, she can’t
draw something from memory because she has virtually no visual memory.
Jackie has written an article about her experience in Probation Quarterly, in which she explains what she only recently aware of her aphantasia:
I’ve now been able to understand why I have difficulties with facial recognition, why I don’t enjoy books with lengthy visual descriptions, and why I photograph so much of what I do. But it also made me reflect on what assumptions I may have made about other people’s inner worlds and abilities without knowing it.
What might this and other forms of cognitive diversity mean for criminal justice practitioners? John and Jacky explain how they came to realise and accept that they have this difference, discuss their concerns that too often poor understanding of cognitive diversity can lead to behaviour that is harmful to the people involved and others.