Aphantasia Test: How To Know If You Have Aphantasia

Aphantasia is a condition characterized by the inability to visualize mental images. It was first identified by Sir Francis Galton in the late 19th century,

While the term may not be widely known, it has gained attention in recent years as individuals have begun to recognize and discuss their unique experiences with mental imagery.

On this page, we will provide some Aphantasia tests and a self-test to help you determine if you might have Aphantasia.

The Red Star Aphantasia Test

You can use the red star test to quickly and easily assess how well you can visualize things. Follow these steps to take the Aphantasia test:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can relax and focus without distractions.
  • After that, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind.
  • Visualize a red star in your mind. Try to imagine its color, shape, and any other details you associate with a red star.
  • Open your eyes and examine the images provided below. Choose the image that best matches what you saw in your mind during the visualization attempt.
Aphantasia Test

In the above picture, you will see,

Image 1: No image or idea of a red star; completely blank.

Image 2: No clear image, just the idea of a red star.

Image 3: A somewhat recognizable red star with blurred details.

Image 4: Somewhat star image without color

Image 5: Faint and hazy red star.

Image 6: Clear and vivid red star.

Scoring of Aphantasia Test : How To Know If You Have Aphantasia

  1. Seeing nothing during step 3 means your score is one, indicating Aphantasia.
  2. If you can only conjure the idea of a red star without a clear image, your score is two.
  3. Scores between three and five-point to different levels of visualization ability.
  4. If you see a clear and vivid red star, your score is six, indicating a high level of visualization ability (Hyperphantasia )

Your Aphantasia Results

As I mentioned before, the red star test helps check for Aphantasia. Understanding your score can give you an idea of how well you can picture things in your mind.

A score of one may indicate Aphantasia, while higher scores suggest different levels of mental imagery.

Read Also: Code Red Hospital Meaning And Procedures

Other Self-Test for Aphantasia

While a definitive diagnosis of Aphantasia typically requires consultation with a mental health professional, there are some simple Aphantasia tests you can perform to get an initial sense of your visualization abilities.

Test 1: The Apple on a Table

Picture a red apple on a wooden table. Can you see it?

If you can imagine the apple’s details, its color, shape, and texture, then your mind is working.

But if you can’t imagine the apple on the table, you might have Aphantasia.

Test 2: Counting Sheep

Close your eyes and try to conjure an image of a sheep jumping over a fence. For those with a vibrant imagination, the sheep may appear as clear as day.

However, if your mental field remains empty, with no woolly jumpers in sight, Aphantasia could be a possibility.

Test 3: The Sunflower in the Field

Envision a sunflower swaying in a sunlit field. Can you perceive the yellow petals, the green stem, and the blue sky in your mind?

If your imagination paints this scene beautifully, your mind’s eye is wide awake.

But if it’s more like looking at a blank canvas, Aphantasia might be casting a shadow.

Test 4: Recalling a Memorable Moment

Think about a cherished memory, like a birthday celebration or a vacation. Try to visualize the scene, the people, and the emotions.

If your mind effortlessly projects these images, your mental imagery is strong.

Yet, if your memories seem distant and lack visual clarity, Aphantasia might be lingering in the background.

Test 5: Memory Recall

  1. Think about a specific event or place you’ve been to recently.
  2. Try to recreate the scene in your mind, paying attention to the details.
  1. People with Aphantasia may struggle to mentally reconstruct scenes and may rely more on verbal or conceptual memory.

Test 6: Imaginary Scenarios

  1. Envision a relaxing beach scene with waves and palm trees.
  2. If you struggle to visualize or the mental imagery is minimal, it could indicate Aphantasia.

Test 7: Color Visualization

  • Close your eyes and picture the color red.
  • Note how vivid the mental image is and whether you can hold it for an extended period.

See Also: Hospital Code Orange

Do I Have Aphantasia: My Experiences

Okay, let’s take an Aphantasia test.

Can you imagine things in your head and how clear is it for you? If not, you might have Aphantasia.

Around 1-3% of people worldwide have a condition called Aphantasia, where they can’t visualize anything in their head.

People with Aphantasia often show traits linked to autism, like having trouble with imagination and social skills.

Aphantasia scale

This caught my attention because I have a friend I thought might be on the autism spectrum.

Once, in a group, we did a “personality test” where you imagine things and describe them.

She got annoyed and said she couldn’t picture things in her mind. She also has some social traits like those seen in autism. Now, it makes sense to me.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. We hope that those Aphantasia tests will figure out whether you have Aphantasia or Hyperphantasia or a normal condition. Hyperphantasia is the opposite of Aphantasia. It shows the range of mental imagery abilities.

However, the red star test and other self-tests can help you understand your visualization skills simply and helpfully.


What is an Aphantasia test?

An Aphantasia test assesses how vivid and present visual imagery is in your mind.

It helps determine if you might have Aphantasia, a condition where people cannot visualize images mentally. The test consists of questions or questionnaires.

Are Aphantasia tests reliable?

No test is perfect, and Aphantasia tests are no exception. While they can be helpful indicators, they should not be used as a definitive diagnosis.

It’s best to consult a mental health professional for a complete evaluation.

John Harvey
John Harvey

John Harvey M.D., M.P.H. is the Director of VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a Professor at T.H Chan School of Public Health . As an Internal Medicine physician at Boston Healthcare System, I aim to improve healthcare quality and costs through policy-focused research. I earned my M.D. and M.P.H. from Harvard, and completed fellowships at University of California, San Francisco.

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