A Critique of Aphantasia, Hypophantasia, Phantasia, Hyperphantasia - The Degrees and Types of Ability to See or to Not See Images in One's Mind

A Critique of Aphantasia, Hypophantasia, Phantasia, Hyperphantasia

The Degrees and Types of Ability to See or to Not See Images in One's Mind

Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa

(PD) Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa

"Why does the eye perceive things more clearly in dreams than with the imagination when one is awake?"

"Look on light and consider its beauty. Shut your eyes, and look again : that which you see was not there before, and that which was, no longer is. Who is he who remakes it if the producer is continually dying?"

"Avoid the precepts of those thinkers whose reasoning is not confirmed by experience."

"He who in reasoning cites authority is making use of his memory rather than of his intellect."

"All our knowledge is the offspring of our perceptions."

A Brief Commentary on Leonardo da Vinci’s Thoughts on Art and Life. (Translations by Maurice Baring, Boston, Merrymount Press,1907 )

Larry Neal Gowdy - Copyright ©2023 - November 27, 2023


Four new words are recorded to have been invented in 2015. [1] Hyperphantasia is said to imply vivid mental imagery when the eyes are closed, allegedly as real of appearance as seeing a thing with open eyes. [2] Phantasia is said to imply mental imagery that is less than vivid. [3] Hypophantasia is said to imply mental imagery that is vague and/or 'washed-out', but is visibly recognizable. [4] Aphantasia is said to imply that an individual has no mental visual imagery at all.

What Difference Does It Make?

The topic of aphantasia is empty of value. However, many individuals have been led to believe that they themselves have a mental defect because they do not think identically the same as how some other people think. Therefore it is proper to explain a few of the many natures of 'aphantasia / phantasia', for the purpose of letting people know that there is nothing wrong with the manner of how they process inner imagery.

Everything in Nature is different. Nothing is identical, the same, nor equal. Everyone will always be different. It really is okay to be different.

This article very briefly touches on a few of the core topics. Before an individual accepts of themselves that they are aphantasia or something else, it is suggested that the individual take time to further investigate the numerous academic papers that are available online. Prove for oneself whether the classifications are valid or invalid.

Academic Papers Purposefully Omit Historical Evidence

Leonardo da Vinci is recorded to have lived from April 15, 1452 to May 2, 1519. According to Wikipedia and several other sources speaking of aphantasia, "The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880". Dates vary, but it is generally said that it was the 1960s when some academicians began giving the topic a little attention, and by 2005 the topic was becoming more popular amongst academicians.

Many known children in the 1960s were familiar with the commonness of some people seeing visual images in their minds, as well as some people not seeing visual images in their minds, and in-between the extremes was an unlimited quantity of variables. To see or to not see imaginary images was interpreted to be so common that it was unworthy of being given names of classification.

Today, many American and English academicians are claiming that they have newly discovered that some people see imaginary images while some people do not see imaginary images. Leonardo da Vinci's writings are over 500 years old. The academicians' claims are not true.

Academicians Claim That Their Visual Imagery is a Measure of High Intelligence

The modern academic papers frequently insinuate that the 'Hyperphantasia' people who see many imaginary images in their minds, are more intelligent than everyone else on earth.

No modern academician is as intelligent as was Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo da Vinci's writings suggest that he was likely somewhere between 'aphantasia' and 'hypophantasia'.

History and documented evidence prove the academicians' claims to be false.

Pupillary Responses

One paper speaks of the authors having measured the physical size of pupils when individuals see and then imagine shapes. The paper presents the idea that hyper- hypo- phantasia individuals' pupils expand when the individuals close their eyes and imagine visual imagery, and that aphantasia individuals' pupils do not expand when they close their eyes and think of the previously seen sight.

In known public schools, students knew of pupil dilation since at least the 1960s. It was deemed to be commonsense that pupil dilation would occur when imagining imagery, and that pupil dilation would not occur if there were no imagined imagery.

Surely (hopefully) medical doctors and opticians have known of the effect for hundreds of years.

However, the modern academicians' papers claim that they have discovered that hyper- hypo- phantasia individuals' pupils expand when the individuals imagine imagery, and that aphantasia individuals' pupils do not expand when attempting to imagine images. The academicians then claim that the size of pupil dilation is dictated by "cognitive load", which simultaneously suggests that hyper- hypo- phantasia individuals' minds are thinking (high intelligence), while the aphantasia individuals are not thinking (low intelligence).

Positively proven many thousands of times is that academicians and scientists do not know anything about thoughts, dreams, memories, sensory perceptions, emotions, nor anything else of the mind. The academicians are not able to measure "cognitive load", else they would already know that aphantasia individuals' "cognitive load" is active within a different manner than that of imagining images.

If the academicians' claims were true, then the hyper- hypo- phantasia academicians would have scored well on the Sensory Quotient tests of mental cognition. The opposite occurred: the academicians scored the worst. The individuals who do not make use of imagined imagery ('aphantasia' individuals), scored the highest.

Biased Participants

All known 'phantasia' projects made use of pre-qualified individuals who had previously self-evaluated themselves as hyper- hypo- phantasia- or aphantasia. All known 'phantasia' projects chose participants from social media, existing emails, and college student bodies. No known 'phantasia' project procured participants from the general public.

The 'phantasia' projects' reported number of participants ranged from 69 to the 240-280 range. The 'phantasia' projects' predetermined and preselected conclusions were based upon the results of approximately 1 person in 100,000,000 people. The 'phantasia' projects claim that their results from about ~.000001% of the population are accurate and relative to everyone on earth.

The fraudulent high intelligence and autism project was similarly deceptive.

Cheating Participants

One paper spoke of dismissing several participants because the participants had cheated on a test's answers. Apparently the participants gave 'correct' answers to all of the questions, but the correct answers were for a previous version of the test, and not correct for the current test version. The participants had obviously planned beforehand to cheat.

It is an extremely common behavior for people to cheat on tests, especially IQ tests and any other test that allegedly measures intelligence. Any test that offers multiple-choice answers will be cheated on. The only known test of above-average mental abilities that prevents cheating is the Sensory Quotient (SQ) test of mental cognition. Many individuals did indeed attempt to cheat on the SQ tests, and it was obvious because numerous high IQ society participants' answers were similarly crazy to other participants' from the same high IQ society.

The academicians' 'phantasia' tests were already invalid because the tests had multiple-choice answers from which the participants could choose the answers that would be graded as supporting the results that the participants wanted (i.e. the participant could pretend that they were anything from hyperphantasia to aphantasia).

The academicians' 'phantasia' tests were also purposefully designed to permit only one predetermined outcome. Example: suppose you were a Christian, and a test gave multiple-choice answers of [1] I am a Buddhist, [2] I am a Muslim, [3] I am a Wiccan, [4] I am an atheist. You would not be able to answer accurately nor honestly. Some individuals are fully different than what the 'phantasia' tests permit, and thus, the 'phantasia' tests prohibit accurate answers. The absence of accurate answers permanently invalidated 100% of all of the tests.

Peer Review

"He who in reasoning cites authority is making use of his memory rather than of his intellect." (Leonardo da Vinci #26)

The typical paper has 20 to 40 cited references to other authors' papers: peer review. Copy-paste-plagiarize-paraphrase is the nature of academia.


As noted within various papers, the research projects had received monetary gain. Some, most, or all of the papers were written for financial and status profit.

Imagery Is Not Analyses

"The imagination does not perceive such excellent things as the eye, because the eye receives the images or semblances from objects, and transmits them to the perception, and from thence to the brain; and there they are comprehended. But the imagination does not issue forth from the brain, with the exception of that part of it which is transmitted to the memory, and in the brain it remains and dies, if the thing imagined is not of high quality. (Leonardo da Vinci, #80)

The general gist of the papers is the belief and claim that looking at pictures, looking at MRI pictures, looking at pupil dilation pictures, and looking at imaginary imagery is the act of mental cognition. Unfortunately, Vinci's writings suggest that he also was predominately eyes-open visual. Vinci's focus was on the brain, while he did not speak of breadths of cognition.

Looking at two-dimensional pictures and memorizing unknown words cannot create four-dimensional breadths of cognition.

Easy proof is that no known English-speaking academician is able to describe what and mean. If hyper-phantasia were so superior and god-like as what the academicians claim, then it would be easy for an academician to describe what and mean. Academicians cannot do it. The inability to describe the words permanently proves that the academicians' claims are false.

Leonardo da Vinci Also Did Not Know of Sensory Cognition

"A large part of the head of the lion is given up to the sockets of the eyes, and the optic nerves are in immediate contact with the brain; the contrary occurs in man, because the sockets of the eyes occupy a small portion of the head, and the optic nerves are subtle and long and weak, and owing to the weakness of their action we see little by day and less at night..." (Leonardo da Vinci, #115)

Academicians live within a flat world of flat senses. Large lion optic nerves do not mandate superior sight. Large human brains do not mandate superior intelligence. Acute sensory perceptions occur by how the senses are used, not by nerve quantities. Heightened sense of smell was attributed in Charles Darwin's book to be enabled by larger "mucous membranes" (The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin), and "proved that Negroes and Indians could recognise persons in the dark by their odour". If a person is unable to recognize a person by their scent, then that is a mental problem (sometimes named 'uncaring laziness'). If a person is unable to recognize that infant children have fewer body cells than adults, and yet some or most of the infants are able to sense what adults cannot sense, then that too is a mental problem.

It is curious to smell intruders from about 600 yards away, but to then observe wild animals not smelling the intruders until they are within 100-200 yards distance. Most academicians cannot smell intruders, even when the intruders are standing within three feet distance. Some humans have better senses than most animals. Again, it is not the nerve count; it is by how the senses are expressed.

There exist several plausible reasons of why Darwin's genre could not smell with quantity nor quality, and the reasons still exist in modern civilizations.

Eternal Proof That The Scholars' Aphantasia Claims Are False

A boy was measured and recorded by a city's best known, most popular, and most trusted medical doctor to have the world's best eyesight and hearing; greater than everything taught in science and medical schools. The boy could see greater details of the moon than what was shown in photographs. His descriptions of Mars were more detailed than what was shown on television. The boy's near-vision was so sharp that he could almost see individual tissue cells. The boy's visual details were beyond extreme (hugely superior to Vinci's claims of lion vision). The boy's hearing was so acute that he could hear the furry padded footsteps of a mouse outside of his window, hear people talking from almost a mile away, and be consciously aware of all other sounds occurring simultaneously. The boy's senses of taste, olfaction, and touch were similarly sharp. He could read books in total darkness by feeling the ink on pages. He and another boy had the highest IQs in school. He was the lead 'A' string violinist in school. His art was detailed, but never shown to the public. He invented devices that make use of effects that modern science does not know to exist. The boy had what is termed a 'photographic' memory. The boy won 1st place in his first chess tournament, which was also the first time he had ever played against real chess players. The boy's initial beginner USCF chess rating was higher than numerous nations' national chess champions. The boy could better and intricately describe an object or room over a year later, than what academicians are able to describe an object or room while seeing with their eyes in the present moment. The boy could intricately describe the sights, sounds, aromas, tastes, and tactile sensations of all perceptions simultaneously. Academicians cannot intricately describe any sensory perception, not so much as one at a time. The boy's achievements include music, art, literature, architecture, inventions, physics, and a very long list of other activities in which he was ranked #1.

The boy's history is documented with dates and descriptions.

The boy did not see imaginary images when he closed his eyes. According to modern academicians, the boy would have been "aphantasic".

The boy's method of sensory perception and memory retention is simple, but the method will never be publicly spoken of, thus not permitting academicians to copy-paste-plagiarize-paraphrase and then falsely claim that they themselves discovered the method.

The absence of imaginary visuals is absolutely most emphatically not a mental handicap as what academicians lyingly claim.


All known 'phantasia' academic papers purposefully ignored the historical evidence of Leonardo da Vinci and others'. The papers also purposefully ignored the in-depth English writings that have been in print since the late 1990s, which give details about high 'cognitive load' non-visual imagery. All known academician papers on 'aphantasia' are imaginary and false.

"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius." (misattributed to Wolfgang A. Mozart)

Mozart's music was not mature, nor did Mozart's music reflect the nature of love, which sums to the obviousness that the quote contradicts itself. Nevertheless, the idea of love being 'the soul of genius' has validity. Love is as a slow Icelandic cello solo, whereas academicians' papers are as a careless kazoo within a symphony of primitive sticks hitting logs. Voice tones describe honesty and deceit, aromas describe health and intentions, touch describes warmths of durations, tastes describe histories, and sight describes how the other four were assembled into form. By how an individual assembles their words, the word patterns describe the author's mental patterns; the academicians' papers' words describe the authors' mental patterns; the patterns are disconnected, aberrant, of no durational connections, the tones are of vanity and carelessness; the patterns speak clearly that the papers are disingenuous. Love is as like the gentle flow of deep sweet waters accompanied with the Icelandic cello; academician papers are as like rough rocks being tossed from a cliff as high-pitched sounds of discord are voiced from above.

The world of senses is beautiful, always beautiful... Nature is beauty... the only tone that harmonizes with Nature's symphony, is love... a heart-felt caring... .

Love is not an imaginary image.

Related articles: [1] A Critique of Aphantasia, Hypophantasia, Phantasia, Hyperphantasia - The Degrees and Types of Ability to See or to Not See Images in One's Mind, [2] Hypophantasia, Phantasia, and Hyperphantasia are Not Superior to Aphantasia, [3] Hyperphantasia Versus Aphantasia - Which Is Better?, [4] Hyperphantasia to Aphantasia - Self Test, and [5] Sense of Taste and 思 - How it Works and Does Not Work.