Is there an OBJECTIVE test for phantasia?

DiscussionsCategory: QuestionsIs there an OBJECTIVE test for phantasia?
unsure oneStephen Knilans asked 3 weeks ago

I realize that it is hard to do, but without an OBJECTIVE test, I guess I am sunk…..

  1. I DO dream at times. I used to dream ALL the time. Sometimes it has been SO realistic, that I wake up with the goals and concerns I had in the dream, in another job or circumstance, and it takes a while to say THAT is not me.
  2. If I read a good book, I WILL sometimes get lost in it and it is like it is real. Almost like a movie, but better.
  3. I KIND of have a feeling I can sort of visualize, if that makes sense. It can have color, dimensions, and a position relative to the planet. So if I need a particular item, I can find the shortest path to the store that has it, and go there, almost without looking. I may also remember the general look of a page, so I can find it in a book I have read,
  4. I am generally good on spacial tasks.
  5. HOWEVER, nothing is actually like I am PHYSICALLY seeing it.

And what IS "the minds eye"? The ONLY time I have heard this, until recently, was if someone was referring to the pineal gland, which is supposedly vestigial in many people, like most caucasions, or a concept, that isn’t explaned, but is often tied to paranormal things, that generally isn’t developed.

For whatever reason, I earlier thought some could more easily view things mentally, and I TRIED to build that up and never really did. Although some people have amazed me with some things, generally, they really don’t. So I am curious if there is some test that says DO THIS, and if you don’t get THIS result, you have aphantasia.

1 Answers
Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff answered 3 weeks ago

Great question Stephen. According to leading scientsts studying aphantasia we have some objective measures to measure it now, though the science is still evolving. One such measure is through Binocular Rivalry Experiments (BR-X). We wrote an article about how to conduct a DIY BR experiment at home here. Findings from a new study annouced late 2019 revealed that pupil contraction may also be another objective measure. We are still waiting to get our hands on a copy of this research paper once published. We post any new scientific discoveries we stumble on in our evolving database The Aphantasia Index. fMRI studies are also another objective measure, though particpation in such studies is very costly and not widely availabe to the public. As we work to build the network, we hope to make some major contributions to advance the science and our understanding of aphantasia.

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