The definition of aphantasia is where a person is unable to synthesise senses in their mind.
It is impossible for anyone else to see what you are picturing as your experiences are yours and yours alone, however, it is possible to answer a few questions and get a feeling for whether you are Aphantasmic or not.
Psychologists use the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire, which asks you to rate different mental images, to test the strength of the mind's eye.
The University of Exeter has developed an abridged version that lets you see how your mind compares.
These questions are related to the ability to visualise imagery, however people with aphantasia aren't just unable to produce imagery, so further questions outside the scope of the University of Exeter study are included at the bottom.
The following questions are answered on a scale shown below;
- No image at all
- Vague and dim
- Moderately clear
- Reasonably clear
- As vivid as real life
People with aphantasia typically will answer 'No image at all' to all questions.
Conjure up an image of a friend or relative who you frequently see; how clearly can you see the contours of their face, head, shoulders and body?
Still imagining that friend or relative, how strongly can you see the characteristic poses of their head and body?
How well can you envision the way that friend or relative walks, the length of their step, for example?
Rate how vivid the colours of that person's clothes look in your mind?
Visualise a rising sun and look carefully at the details of that mental picture; how clearly do you see that sun rising above the horizon in a hazy sky?
Imagine the sky clearing and surrounding the sun with blueness, how vivid is that image?
Clouds appear in your sky and a lightning storm erupts - how well can you see it?
A rainbow appears in your sky, how clearly can you make it out?
Here are some more questions that might be of use, these are not written by a scientific team, they are crowd sourced.
Conjure up an image of a garden there are birds in the trees; the grass has been freshly cut, can you smell the grass?
Still imagining that scene, you see the birds in the trees, can you hear the birds tweeting?
You walk through gardens, and find an apple tree, you take an apple and bite into it, can you taste the apple?
You trip over a rock and fall to the ground, you graze your knee on the stone path, can you feel the graze?
The other imaginary senses seem to be more hit and miss even amongst non aphantasia people. So take these questions for what they are, an indication of your ability to visualise, and not a definitive test.