Thursday, April 15, 2010


I came through this word while watching a TV Program which focused mainly on Leonardo da Vinci's most popular painting 'Mona Lisa'. It specifically insisted upon the conspiracy in the painting. The program claimed that Mona Lisa is 'Androgynous' which means melding of both male and female sexuality into one. Scoptoma is a phenomenon where the eyes see what the mind believes. Psychologists use the term Scoptoma to describe the frailty of the human mind to perceive only that which it expects or wants to perceive.

The program highlighted that if we happen to see the painting as a woman, sure it shows like that way. But if we happen to look at it as a man then we will be thrown to some of the hidden truth behind this mysterious painting. This is exactly the Scoptoma effect, the mind sees what it chooses to see. I really like the fact how the program explained this word through this painting, not sure of the secret behind Leonardo's painting though. Sometimes it happens with all of us in life where we blindly look at things with our preconceived mind rather than with an open mind. I felt it interesting to share it in my blog. Hope everyone's wisdom determines the true value of life.



    I BELIVE IN WAT U FEEL........



  2. I'm quite familiar with the experience and phenomenon the word SCOPTOMA represents, yet I can find no legitimate reference to this word or even an etymology. The only references I find to it are other blog sites and the like. Can you please refer me to legitimate references such as journals of psychology, medicine, science, ophthalmology or even one single mention in a respected dictionary or encyclopedia?

    Otherwise, although I acknowledge the phenomenon itself, I have to question that this is the word used to legitimately label it.

  3. Hi KRJ,
    Thanks for checking my blog and leaving a comment. As I mentioned, I came to know about this word through a program in National Geographic channel. As I checked further I realized there isn't much information about this word in the internet too. I am afraid I don't have any idea what could be the detailed scenario for this term. I am sorry for I could not help you in this. Let me know if you could find any relevant meaning for this. Much appreciated.


  4. What I’ve found is that while I’m familiar with “scotoma,” a word originating in 16th century Greek meaning dizziness, and now evolved to describe a medical condition of the eyes that causes blind spots, there’s no mention anywhere by any linguistic authority of “Scoptoma,” as you also found. I thought perhaps you'd made a typo, though I’m familiar with the phenomenon you ascribed it to, that condition having nothing to do with any physical problem with the eyes, but rather a trick of the mind, just as are optical illusions. It’s interesting that the word “scotoma” is also used in psychological terminology to describe a mental blind spot—an inability to understand or perceive certain matters. Now, that sounds very much like the phenomenon you’ve labeled “scoptoma.” Is it possible you misunderstood the word used in the National Geographic show you mentioned? Do you recall what the program was and do you know where I might watch it online?

    Nonetheless, just because the word “scoptoma” is not a technical, scientific or medical term, there must be an etymological trail, as with all words in use. But, it certainly hasn’t made its way into any reputable, dependable dictionary of any sort, medical or otherwise, that I could find after extensive research. Most likely, its trail leads to someone who made it up quite recently, or simply misused it, mistaking it for “scotoma.” As is the nature of things on the internet, I suspect it began to spread here and there, to other blogs and the like. To an extent, at this point, I suppose it can be considered nothing more than nonsense (the word, of course, not the phenomenon), or pop-culture slang or a colloquialism, as it’s certainly not now what one would consider a real word. But, someday, who knows? All words, of course, were made up by someone. Slowly, words become accepted into the general lexicon, even as a result of misusage, and such is the nature of language.

    I’m reminded of a word that Edgar Alan Poe is often credited with coining, “tintinnabulation,” which is an Americanism, circa 1830, that has its roots in the Latin “tintinnabulum.” But, in this case, “scoptoma” has no such historical roots that I can find. That leads me even more to believe it’s simply a misusage of “scotoma.”

    I thank you greatly for taking the time to get back to me. I’m very interested in hearing your further thoughts on this.

  5. Hi KRJ,
    First of all sorry about the late reply. And thanks for explaining in detail. I am sorry I don't remember the program I watched in National Geographic specifically. All I could recollect is they were explaining with the popular painting of Monalisa and then they came up with this word. The program could be about Leanordo Da Vinci, as you might have heard about the controversial picture of his "The last supper" painting, similar way they were explaining about "Monalisa" painting as well but not sure though. I am sorry about my bad memory power.

    As soon as they explained this word, I indeed searched the web to get into some detail, to my surprise as you said I happen to hit the word Scotoma instead of Scoptoma. And so I thought this program could indeed be right about the word and that was the reason for having blogged about this. All I believe is that it's not a typo. And then as you said it could be misused that is very much a possibility.

    It would be nice if we both could get some source to know about this word in detail but for now sigh...we are out of luck.

    I loved the Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" book. That was the main reason for watching this program in NGC which landed me with this word. It could be something related to this book, either about the controversy or mystery surrounding Christ or it could be the Leonardo Da vinci for creating so much controversial painting. Or else simply it could be about the monalisa painting. Actually I remember once I was watching a program about Leonardo Da Vinci, the program was explaining how likely Leonardo could be creating such hidden messages with his paintings. But I am uncertain whether this is the program which lead to this word. I am so sorry for not giving u a clear clue.

    Thanks a lot for your time.

  6. The more I discuss the "scoptoma" vs "scotoma" issue with others, and the more I research it, the more I'm convinced that the use of "scoptoma" is a misusage gone viral. Such is the nature of the evolution of language.

    You mentioned that it would be nice to find a source for this. I believe we do have a source. That source is our own research into it finding no documented etymology from reliable linguistic sources. We don't need to be sheep by thinking that we can't reach accurate conclusions about the nature of things without being told so by TV, corporations or the government. We are not out of luck as long as we THINK. Unfortunately, much of society has been brainwashed into believing and behaving as if unless it's on TV or the internet, or sanctioned by some government official, it is or isn't true.

    By the way, forgive me for pointing this out, but it is "Mona Lisa," not "Monalisa." I can't help it--I have a severe writer/editor's disease.

    And I thank you for your time!

  7. Sort of a P.S. here to my last reply to you: Did you actually SEE the word "scoptoma" on the show you mentioned. Did they display the word, in text, during the broadcast? Or, did you simply HEAR it? If you only heard it, is it possible you heard wrong?

  8. Hi KRJ,

    Thanks for correcting me with Mona Lisa which was a typo in the comment section as you could see I have used it correctly in the original post. And I don't think I made a mistake with Scoptoma. It is Scoptoma.


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