Test for Aphantasia [POLL]

Star? What star? I see a pinkish blob. Or more accurately the feeling that there is a red star that is hidden behind frosted glass. That if I could just rid of the barrier I would see the star.

I also have the feeling that the star is just at the edge of my peripheral vision. As if I turned my head fast enough I might see it.

Same thing goes for remembering faces. Heaven forbid anyone ask me to describe what my husband looks like.

I’ve often wondered if my visual imagination & memory has been co-opted or trained for more abstract thinking.


The first few seconds the colour was not so intense, and the contour not so sharp. I had to put a bit of effort for the star to become intense red, and the lines distinct.

I wonder how this capacity or incapacity to imagine objects clearly, affects the way people use images or loci in their brains to memorize things.

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Sounds, notes.
I suppose it is more difficult to ask if someone can imagine a melody or a tune in his head, because it is not easy to check if the notes are the same notes of the original song. In my case, if I cannot imagine a melody in my head I cannot sing it correctly. And very often I cannot sing the right notes.

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It is just mind blowing that 50%+ voters didn’t correctly visualize the Red Star which is number 6 in the image(check out the color with Photoshop’s color picker)!!

How can this be! I don’t get it… :open_mouth:

May be,we didn’t learn to choose the correct color when we were a kid!?!?!

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I can’t find “my star” in these. If I split this up in three axes (keeping the scale from 1 to 6) then I can find it:

  • For the color: 6
  • For the contours (1: high myopia, 4: impressionism, 6: sharp pencil): 3
  • For the shape (1: cubism, 6: whole image with right proportions): 4

A few years ago all these scores would have been a few points lower. And even now, scores will decrease with the complexity of the object I’m trying to see (the ones here are for seeing a red star)

Doesn’t anybody else feel the need to distinguish between these (or other) different features of visual imagination?


I didn’t vote because none of the choices is what I see. That isn’t exactly how my brain pictures things. :thinking:


I see 6. Im surprised it isn’t higher than 50%.

I marked 6 because I can see it, however, it’s not steady. I have to make a small mental effort to keep it in my mind’s eye, otherwise, it just keeps switching back to nothing, like Christmas lights that switch between being on and off every half of a second.


When I voted a few months ago, my result was between 3-4. Now it’s around 5-6.
Definitely, visual imagery can be improved after 3 months of daily training.


Very interesting. I am surprised by the responses. I wonder how much of this is practice?

I had considered myself primarily verbal with visualization as an auxiliary skill. I can visualize any color star brightly and clearly. I can see it as any shape I wish and I can do this in strong sunlight with my eyes open. I can conjure up at will a clear image of almost any object I am familiar with. If I spend a bit of time, I can smell it and taste it too. This may be a consequence of drawing and sketching which develop just this ability.

But I cannot visualize faces. I recognize them without trouble but it’s a struggle to recall them to memory as an image. I am autistic and find it difficult to look people in the eye. When I imagine people, I see them as figures with an aura that has an emotional content. I do not visualize faces.


I`m a fan of Nikola Tesla. And when I read his diaries. I was surprised that Tesla did not have exceptional visualization abilities as a child.

He started visualization training in age of 16, because it helped him get rid of the flashbacks that haunted him after his brother’s death.
He just looked at objects and then tried to recreate them with his eyes closed.

When the items run out. He started doing mental journeys.
As Tesla recalled: “At first everything was very blurry. It seemed to be pulled together in the distance when I tried to switch attention to him. But over time I was able to focus on the details.”

It took him 3 years of training to become who we know him.

I just do the same exercises for 3 hours a day. 2 hours for the development of visual memory and 1 for mental journey. Or vice versa.
Of course, I’m 19 and my brain is not so neuroplastic. But the Russian mentalist Yuri Gorny started training at my age. He also reported. That after prolonged exercises on visual memory in a mix with mnemonics (he wanted to surpass Solomon Shereshevsky), he also learned to retain vivid images for a long time.

Therefore, in addition to Tesla’s exercises. I train words, numbers and cards in two rounds. First, I try to get the most vivid scene at each location.
And on the second run I concentrate on speed.

Honestly, I don’t know how to help you. The fact is that there is a slightly different mechanism behind the ability to remember and represent faces. People with prosopragnosia generally have a good visual memory. Daniel Tammet has a wonderful imagination. like many people with Asperger’s. But in the book “Born on a Blue Day” he wrote that he doesn`t remember any classmates faces.



I just discussed this with my wife who has similar mental characteristics and a strong background in visual arts. She reports exactly the same experience including inability to visually recall faces.

I think this has to do with the way I see faces. I do not really see a set of physical features. What I perceive is a personality and the affect (kind, curious, angry…). The features themselves are somewhat irrelevant, like the cover of a book. Perhaps this is why it’s hard for people like me to look another in the face. It’s too intense. There’s too much coming across.

I suspect that were I to spend time drawing faces, (I don’t draw people) this would change but then I would not be drawing what I see, rather what others perceive.


I couldn’t see anything :sweat_smile:, because Patrick star from SpongeBob kept popping up in my head🤦


Can you visualize specific photographs of people? I mentioned a couple of techniques I used to learn how to visualize faces here: Language learning for people who have trouble visualizing - #12 by Josh


that should be classified as 7 XD,
as for me i voted 1 cause when i close my eyes i have difficulties to imagine the star, it more like i need to put a lot of effort and imagine myself drawing the star then colour it to have something like just 4, but surprisingly with my eyse open i can see in my brain a red star vividly rotating not imagining it in the room or in the walll or something like that but rather seeing it in a parallel 3d space in my brain, it’s weird, does someone have the same thing as me ? :sweat_smile:


Yes, if I make a deliberate effort I can memorize the image of a face. But it’s work, like memorizing a map and my brain doesn’t want to do it. I think that’s the core, for me. I expect that if I made a deliberate effort, I would do OK. But from my POV it seems like irrelevant detail and I don’t naturally attach to it.

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To be honest when I was reading the “Test” I read the two things you said, I have no idea what ‘Aphantasia’ is while I’m writing this(will google as soon as I post this).
But, while reading the lines I saw the picture, maybe for a second, but undeniably my brain has already processed it. I tried to close my eyes as soon as possible but the trauma started, my brain started to jumble all the possible red stars, no matter how much I tried once I’ve seen the possible ‘red stars’ I just jumble them.

(It’s always the thing with me. If I know all the possibilities of something being associated with what I know, I repeat or recall them all. So, yeah I possibly don’t have Aphantasia but I seem to have lack of concentration because i can’t choose one particular, image keeps jumbling.:sweat_smile:)

The test in itself is a bit flawed. Because once if you see the image of any star, unintentionally, your brain might keep suggesting that particular image you just saw. There is no way you choose what you would have choosed if you didn’t see the image beforehand. After seeing even a flash of image your answer differs I think.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Ya, the question might be flawed. But the idea is still there, you can try to imagine other things and check similarities between the choices.

I wasn’t talking about the question, I meant the particular test here. I’m sure you meant the same. And yeah as you said the idea remains same. I completely agree.

Just at first I was like you already showed me the images, so, now my imagination gets limited because I just saw some possibilities and my brain is gonna keep picturing them for a while, so I can’t actually chose what I would have if I didn’t see those images at first place. You get what I mean? Just like the popular example, “don’t imagine a pink elephant”.

I couldn’t come to any conclusion after this test, so I took some more tests. Mostly they are similar. And I’m sure if someone is actually Aphantasic they will be sure after these about their situation.

(Might be off topic but, I took a test that claims to be the nearest to the accurate, it said I might be Hyperphantasic.)

Have a nice day.

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