Individuals with aphantasia, a nonclinical condition typically characterized by mental imagery deficits, often report reduced episodic memory. However, findings have hitherto rested largely on subjective self-reports, with few studies experimentally investigating both objective and subjective aspects of episodic memory in aphantasia. In this study, we tested both aspects of remembering in aphantasic individuals using a custom 3-D object and spatial memory task that manipulated visuospatial perspective, which is considered to be a key factor determining the subjective experience of remembering. Objective and subjective measures of memory performance were taken for both object and spatial memory features under different perspective conditions. Surprisingly, aphantasic participants were found to be unimpaired on all objective memory measures, including those for object memory features, despite reporting weaker overall mental imagery experience and lower subjective vividness ratings on the memory task. These results add to newly emerging evidence that aphantasia is a heterogenous condition, where some aphantasic individuals may lack metacognitive awareness of mental imagery rather than mental imagery itself. In addition, we found that both participant groups remembered object memory features with greater precision when encoded and retrieved in the first person versus third person, suggesting a first-person perspective might facilitate subjective memory reliving by enhancing the representational quality of scene contents.

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