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TOPIC: Learning to visualise

Learning to visualise 3 years 2 months ago #2677

  • bobby_28
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hey how r u nw?
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Learning to visualise 3 years 1 month ago #2758

oh hey, a forum just fitting for me!

I'm among the bunch who, try as I may, can only see eyelid-colour in day (if not sunlight) and darkness by night.

it's sad, really. there's so much I want to visualize, so much characters (OC or already existing in franchises) I want to see doing crossover things!

but I can't... and have no real way to do so unless somehow, visualization could be emulated in a way.

bits of me want to say this would be possible through a way -like- Virtual Reality.
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Learning to visualise 3 years 1 month ago #2811

  • louis-simon_24
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I would give anything to cure from this condition.

Since I found out I have this "problem" I've been searching for a way to fix it. So far I didn't succeeded.
I have had flashes in my life of pictures in my mind. I want to be able to see them again.
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Learning to visualise 3 years 3 weeks ago #2881

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You may not want to have it "cured" but I would like to for spiritual reasons. I am trying to find a religious path and the ones that I am drawn to require visuals. I also want to imagine my families face and be a bit more imaginative. If this was Xmen asking for a cure, youd be Storm and I would be Rogue.
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Learning to visualise 3 years 3 weeks ago #2894

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I've experienced visual hallucinations from Vicodin. They were random and not at all under my control. Some were kind of interesting, but on the whole it's not an experience I'd care to repeat. (It wasn't distressing, just distracting.) For what it's worth, I don't think it was the same sort of thing as visual images as people report them.

When I first found out I was different, I tried experimenting. Since I sometimes see very faint images in the hypnogogic state just before sleep, I tried taking control of them. With great effort and practice, I was able to shape them according to my will, for a few seconds at a time - though they were never in color, and they always remained extremely faint.

But I was never able to generate them when I was fully awake, not to the slightest degree. Since it was a great deal of effort for very little return, I gave up on it.

EDIT: As for a cure... I'm happy the way I am, but I'd certainly like to try out sensory imagery. I'd always like to have more tools in the mental toolbox. And I'd like to have more vivid memories of the past.

But if that would mean wholly giving up the way I think now? I dunno.
Last Edit: 3 years 3 weeks ago by Garth.
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Learning to visualise 3 years 3 weeks ago #2911

  • Thomas5737
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I don't think it would change the way you think now. I've lived both sides and my thought process remained the same. The only difference is the ability to visualize in your mind. 95% (made up number) of the time visualization isn't required in a thought process. I used it to recall information and as a chalkboard to hold numbers while doing math. It was also somewhat entertainment when lying in bed and not being able to fall asleep. It didn't help me to fall asleep in my experience it just kept me from giving up on sleep quickly. You could but didn't always have to control it, if you had an active imagination you could just let it play out. Someone could also say something that would disgust you and the image would pop into your head so there are downsides with it. A person who is a highly visual thinker wouldn't want to mention their parents making love because without even trying to or wanting to the vision could pop in your head. I probably wouldn't even have typed that a couple months ago just for the sake of playing it safe but now have no worries that it could occur :)
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Learning to visualise 3 years 2 weeks ago #3091

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Hey Thomas,

Did you develop Aphantasia too? I had full visualisation ability up until a couple of days ago, and now nothing. Taking some getting used to that's for sure!
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Learning to visualise 3 years 1 week ago #3100

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I just posted one thing that might help, at aphant.asia/forum/aphantasia-chat/534-do...s-help-one-visualise . It's visualising a favourite or very well-known place. It works for me; I'd be interested whether it helps anyone else.

Matthew
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Learning to visualise 3 years 1 week ago #3117

  • Thomas5737
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I did. I was hoping for a few weeks that it would suddenly come back just like it left. I have given up on that hope. Its really depressing at first but you get used to it. I haven't found any benefits to it but it isn't a huge hindrance and doesn't affect my quality of life.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3590

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Thomas5737 wrote:
I did. I was hoping for a few weeks that it would suddenly come back just like it left. I have given up on that hope. Its really depressing at first but you get used to it. I haven't found any benefits to it but it isn't a huge hindrance and doesn't affect my quality of life.

When I discovered I had this problem and talked about it online, one of my friends noted that he lost this ability during an illness and the ability returned 2-3 years later when he recovered. He still has a gap. People he met before the onset and after the recovery...he can visualize their faces. People he met during the period in which he could not visualize... he cannot visualize their faces. Once he meets someone from the second category, he can visualize them from that point forward.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3591

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That's interesting. I just had the flu when I lost mine but I'd gladly welcome it back. I had a poor memory before aphantasia and it is a little worse now not being able to reenact visually.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3601

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If there were a 'cure', I would be open to it. Obviously, just doing visualization exercises doesn't work, but I would like to see scientific studies done to try to 'unlock' the ability to use the mind's eye (and ears, nose, mouth, and touch).
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3676

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The fact that Thomas and Pb1 suddenly lost the ability to visualize unexpectedly terrifies me. It's such a massive and central part of my cognition that the thought of losing it is almost existentially scary, almost like Alzheimer's, for me.

But on the other hand... I had an insight today. Someone had music playing down the hall, just barely audible from where I was working. As is often the case where the song isn't clearly heard, but is familiar enough to me, my memories patched in the holes of the melody seamlessly and (because I rarely pay attention to lyrics) subbed in word salad gibberish in the singer's voice. It then struck me that this barely-conscious patch job on the music was directly analogous to how the brain fixes up the actual raw input from your eyes - filling in the blind spot, deleting the blood vessels and nerves that overlay your retina. And, unless people with aphantasia are always seeing the blind spot in their vision and so forth, some capacity for visualization must necessarily exist, since the brain is obviously fabricating the sensory input based on what it imagines must be in that spot!

So I'm thinking it must be trainable and learnable after all.

I'd suggest starting with Dali's method of coming up with scenes: take catnaps while holding something metal over a pan or pot. You fall asleep, get a fraction of a second of dream scenery, the loud noise brings you to full wakefulness.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3677

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As someone who was always able to visualize until recently I have very little hope that it is something that can be learned. I dream with vivid imagery, I don't always remember my dreams, its probably at the same rate as before. Also when I'm about to fall asleep the images appear but as soon as I realize it and take back over consciously they disappear and I am unable to get them to return.

It isn't so bad though, you find alternate methods to complete tasks. Sure there are some things that you just can't do and it hurts the memory in certain instances but I wouldn't be terrified of losing the ability. Probably just mildly concerned. I would probably give $500-$1000 (I make 30ish K per year so I'm not wealthy or it may be higher) to recapture the ability but I wouldn't go broke for it.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3678

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Sensorium I have tried for over 40 years to learn to visualise and have probably tried every method more than once to no avail
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3688

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I really don't miss it. I find it bewildering that my wife and children and most anyone else have mental images floating through their reality and frankly it seems disconcerting to me. Sure, I would like to experience it once, but only in the way that you are curious about what the world looks like to a colourblind person or how a dog experiences the world. I wouldn't want it as a permanent state though. Perhaps this relates to what Solomon writes about deaf people refusing cochlear implants in " Far from the Tree." I can't imagine that anyone would refuse to have the sense of hearing. However, some deaf people believe that their condition is not a handicap but an integral part of who they are. I feel the same way about my aphantasia.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3706

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Tilma wrote:
I really don't miss it. I find it bewildering that my wife and children and most anyone else have mental images floating through their reality and frankly it seems disconcerting to me. Sure, I would like to experience it once, but only in the way that you are curious about what the world looks like to a colourblind person or how a dog experiences the world. I wouldn't want it as a permanent state though. Perhaps this relates to what Solomon writes about deaf people refusing cochlear implants in " Far from the Tree." I can't imagine that anyone would refuse to have the sense of hearing. However, some deaf people believe that their condition is not a handicap but an integral part of who they are. I feel the same way about my aphantasia.

I lost a significant amount of my hearing at age 3. If there were anything that would restore my ability to hear high pitch sounds and the ability to distinguish between an "f" and a "th" sound and/or the ability to just hear the way that other people here, I would take it in an instant. Hearing aids, unfortunately, do not compensate the same way that eyeglasses compensate and I wear them only when I must. I suspect it would take at least a year to adjust to normal hearing and I suspect the same if I could visualize. I'd love to be able to visualize and I've been trying all the tips offered on visualizing but nothing works. At night, as I'm half-awake and half-asleep, I can see colors and patterns and some images, but I have zero control over what I see. Any time I try to visualize, I get nothing.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 11 months ago #3787

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what happened that caused you do become aphantastic?
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Learning to visualise 2 years 9 months ago #4150

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Me too! I'm a scientist and have always considered myself Aphantasic. It's always bothered me, as I dream vividly, but have always had difficulty remembering dreams. For this reason I began experimenting with relatively low doses of psilocybin while meditating, and have been able to visualise actual imagery, not just fractals. This may suggest that Aphantasia is due to the brain network connectivity, (or lack of) between specific areas of the brain involved in mental imagery.

The Pearson Lab at UNSW in Sydney is about to begin a study using fMRI, which should provide some interesting results.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 8 months ago #4321

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This is interesting to hear. I think visually enough already, just without visuals, that all the "metaphors" like picture in your minds eye made perfect sense as metaphors, and I suspect I have subconscious imagery. This would be interesting to try, but I don't have resources to do it safely. I'm curious if hallucinations are neurologically similar the mental images. If they're a completely different neurological phenomenon, then I don't know if they'd help that much.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 8 months ago #4326

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I seldom visit this site any longer, since each time I do I'm amazed at all of the ridiculous assumptions and totally false conclusions that people on here continue to post. For crying out loud people, do your f***ing homework! While there is still only a minuscule amount of published scientific material on Aphantasia compared to other more well-known conditions, there most certainly is enough to learn the difference between the hallucinatory process and visual imagery. Before posting inane and patently false conjecture, take the initiative to research this most interesting cognitive condition that you possess. Educate yourselves and then hold serious and challenging discourse instead of this mostly worthless drivel.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 8 months ago #4328

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jmever wrote:
I seldom visit this site any longer, since each time I do I'm amazed at all of the ridiculous assumptions and totally false conclusions that people on here continue to post. For crying out loud people, do your f***ing homework! While there is still only a minuscule amount of published scientific material on Aphantasia compared to other more well-known conditions, there most certainly is enough to learn the difference between the hallucinatory process and visual imagery. Before posting inane and patently false conjecture, take the initiative to research this most interesting cognitive condition that you possess. Educate yourselves and then hold serious and challenging discourse instead of this mostly worthless drivel.

Yeah, I've got a hunch that hallucinations and visual imagery are completely different phenomena, and that unless a drug specifically dealt with mental imagery, then it would be meaningless to take it.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 8 months ago #4329

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Different phenomena, yes. But utilizing SOME of the same neural pathways to manifest. And insofar as being worthless to experiment with hallucinogens, there can be infinite advantages, both psychologically therapeutic and in other ways enlightening to be received from a safe, professionally charted program of experimentation. I recommend a thorough perusal of the Internet site for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which may be found at: www.maps.org.
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Learning to visualise 2 years 8 months ago #4332

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jmever wrote:
Different phenomena, yes. But utilizing SOME of the same neural pathways to manifest. And insofar as being worthless to experiment with hallucinogens, there can be infinite advantages, both psychologically therapeutic and in other ways enlightening to be received from a safe, professionally charted program of experimentation. I recommend a thorough perusal of the Internet site for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which may be found at: www.maps.org.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely check it out. I'm looking into this as an option, I'm just doing to skeptically and cautiously, with lots of research so I have as much of an idea of exactly what's going on before hand, and with lots of visualization practice first (I can do visualization, I just don't get visuals from it).
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Learning to visualise 2 years 8 months ago #4333

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Gwen_38, Visualization by definition "is any technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a message". So, your statement "...(I can do visualization, I just don't get visuals from it)" is an incorrect use of the word visualization. No matter how many steps of a particular visualization technique that you perform, if a visual image is not achieved, you have not visualized. The fact that so many concepts and accepted beliefs about perception and awareness cannot be expressed except in terms of visualization is a product of the misconception that mental imagery is universal. Until all of these beliefs, these "facts" are reevaluated and retested (including studies and clinical trials) with the inclusion of Aphantasics in all subject groups, a huge percentage of the theories and accepted dogma on cognitive processes and all other disciplines concerning human thought must be considered to be false and specious.
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