Topic: Phantasia

Aristotle coins the term phantasia in De Amina (On the Soul), Part III, to describe a distinct capacity between perception and thought — a sort of ‘sixth sense.’ Phantasia is commonly translated to imagination and is often explained in the context of visualizing and dreaming.

Understanding the hidden assumptions that lead to biases against aphantasics’ cognitive abilities.
What do typical visualizers experience? How vivid is the hyperphantasic experience? Designer Melanie Scheer introduces a new way to visualize the visual imagination spectrum.
Why might your mind's eye be blind while your friend can picture crystal-clear images? Shocking insights into the known neurodifferences in imagery vividness.
Knowledge of our invisible differences dates back to 340 BC. Aristotle stands at the beginning of this history when imagination was not an established topic of discussion yet.
February 7, 2023
Hi, I’m new to this group. I recently discovered that I may have aphantasia, but it’s hard to tell because I don’t know what other people m...
May 13, 2022
I can’t experience or perceive an image at will but I can access details of previous visual memories.  I can also experience and perceive hypnogogic im...
February 28, 2022
Does anyone else find that this happens with them… Someone will say, “picture a field” so I think of the field at my Grandma’s house. Then they say, in the m...
October 23, 2021
Hi everyone, So, I’ve been strugling a lot these past few months about the idea of Aphantasia. I’ve done a bunch of tests and read articles about...
September 14, 2021
I am gonna start this post by saying that I am probably phantasiac. That is what my results said exactly “probably phantasiac”, yes, I agree! As a “probably”...
August 14, 2021
Hello, my name is Willow, I’m in my thirties and just yesterday I stumbled across an article about aphantasia, I have never heard of it before. Since e...
June 9, 2021
I have been aware for some time about this phenomenon, in a peripheral way – and then was drawn here by the very excellent article by Carl Zimmer (http...
Researcher Christian Scholz answers the community’s questions about 'Meta-Imagination and The Language Game of Visualising' in this live Q&A. Hosted by Tom Ebeyer.
June 28, 2023
Discover how individuals with aphantasia engage in imaginative processes using language and how this experience differs from visualizers.
June 28, 2023
What do typical visualizers experience? How do hyperphantasics experience visual imagery? Melanie Scheer presents a new way to depict the visual imagination spectrum.
May 25, 2022
Phantasia – the psychological significance of lifelong visual imagery vividness extremes
Zeman, A., Milton, F., Della Sala, S., Dewar, M., Frayling, T., Gaddum, J., … Winlove, C. (2020). Phantasia-The psychological significance of lifelong visual imagery vividness extremes. Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 130, 426–440. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2020.04.003
Visual imagery typically enables us to see absent items in the mind's eye. It plays a role in memory, day-dreaming and creativity. Since coining the terms aphantasia and hyperphantasia to describe the absence and abundance of visual imagery, Adam Zeman and his team have been contacted by many thousands of people with extreme imagery abilities. Through data collected from questionnaires filled by 2000 participants with aphantasia and 200 with hyperphantasia, the researchers have found some interesting patterns. Participants with aphantasia tend to work in scientific and mathematical fields and have difficulty with face recognition and autobiographical memory. On the other hand, those with hyperphantasia tend to work in creative fields and have a higher rate of synaesthesia. The study found that around half of the participants with aphantasia reported the absence of wakeful imagery in all sense modalities, but most of them dream visually. The researchers have also noted that aphantasia runs in families more frequently than expected. This study highlights the widespread but neglected features of human experience with informative psychological associations.