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TOPIC: memories of taste and smell missing, too

memories of taste and smell missing, too 5 months 1 week ago #5236

  • Cate
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I realized many years back that I had Aphantasia, without knowing what to call it. I was furious that my husband could picture or sons' faces or entire scenes from a movie and I couldn't. Then, this week I discovered that he can also taste and smell a fresh biscuit from the over that had been baked for him by his grandmother when he was little! I couldn't believe it! I can remember that I love a certain pizza place, or the smell of the beach and boardwalk in my hometown, but bring the smell and taste back in memory! Grrrr.... Does anyone else have this deficit as well?
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memories of taste and smell missing, too 5 months 6 days ago #5237

  • Tilma
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yup.
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memories of taste and smell missing, too 5 months 4 days ago #5241

  • kellyz
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Hi Cate,

It is the same for me- and surely for most people. Surely?!...

I only found out what aphantasia is two days ago but know that I have always had it, there is literally no mental imagery going on in there :lol: When I began reading about it I suspected my mum would have the same from conversations we've had in the past and she in fact does. We were talking about how we recall memories and for her she can recall smells as if she is actually smelling them which blew my mind a bit! I certainly cant do that, that seems even more whacky than seeing pictures in your head to me. I'd be very interested to know if taste or smell memory are common things like images are. Or if people can conjure up a smell of an apple pie in the same way that they might be able to see an image of one in their mind (lol, still not over that being an actual thing!)
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memories of taste and smell missing, too 5 months 4 days ago #5242

  • Cate
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Hi, Kelly! Thanks for your response! I have known about the visual memory for years, since I realized my husband was re-watching a scene from a movie in his mind. This tasting and smelling food memory is just something I discovered this week. I am shocked yet again!

I know some people don't feel like it's a disability, but as a teacher I need to be able to remember things like where a child is sitting in my classroom when they are out of the room - maybe to pass things out or look for something, but I can't do that. I also hear teachers saying for students to picture something in their mind and I always remind them that not everyone can do that, but we seem to be such a minority that it's not like they have to consider that for everyone.

My aunt told me that she had a head injury and it made it possible for her to see things in her mind. I wonder how that's possible and if it's possible to connect something for me! Would I opt for a surgery if it would work? I just might!
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memories of taste and smell missing, too 5 months 1 day ago #5246

  • bg91968
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Yup

I also can not experience pain in my head, even though I can experience the fear of the pain and the event that caused it, such as a belly flop off a diving board.

Not sure if this is positive or negative, but I would have to say it is the most positive aspect of Aphantasia.

It is my understanding that people can "feel pain" as well as seeing images, smelling things and feeling things in their minds eye.

I also have always had it, even though I discovered it this year at 59. I wish there was some mental exercise that would fix it.
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memories of taste and smell missing, too 4 months 3 weeks ago #5248

  • Sensorium
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Accurate taste and smell memory seem to be much rarer. And tactile memory, I think, is rarest of all. I have 'em all - I naively thought that everyone could (barring, say, damage to the sensory association cortex) until reading about aphantasia. In retrospect I feel like I should have noticed years ago. It's kind of a mixed blessing, too, as I have vivid memories of (say) a really good cabernet I had last year but also extremely vivid memories of a spoiled pre-made hot chocolate I had as a kid (complete with icky mouthfeel, nausea - seriously, I just gagged from thinking about it).

I'll tell you a trick, maybe it will help? Being reminded of something by one sense tends to bring up the others. This is particularly true of smells. Close your eyes, take a whiff of one of those pine-scented car air fresheners, and see if you can summon up a memory of Christmas (I hope your family used real trees at some point).

As for pain memory, well, I have that in spades, too. While it's not fun, it's not exactly something I try to think of, but it does come in handy for perspective. I have a couple of "gold standard" events that I can mentally compare present pain to and say "It's not nearly THAT bad".
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memories of taste and smell missing, too 4 months 2 weeks ago #10513

  • 杜明雪_85
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I can't even experience smells or tastes in dreams, so even after I learnt about aphantasia, I still assumed that no one could generate mental smells or tastes, until I saw relevent discussions.
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memories of taste and smell missing, too 4 months 1 week ago #37048

  • Blackstage
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Cate, I am a teacher, too. There is a HUGE amount of detail lost to me because of Aphantasia that could have made my career if 30+ years much more enjoyable, easier and let me fly in a few particular areas. Because of not being able to visualise internally, I left 4 wonderful jobs, where I was highly appreciated and valued because there were such an enormous amount of visualization techniques in the curriculum itself, also in faculty meetings, 'child study' type discussions. It was simply too difficult for me to go on with the intensity, the extra energy that I constantly needed to balance it all out. Those days are past and what I learned serves me well in current jobs, but I still grieve for those wonderful people I left behind. Hmmm, maybe my long grieving has much to do with me unconsciuosly trying to hold on to memories?!!!

If possible I believe I would also opt for surgery., even if it would bring back some terrible experiences for me. I have also experienced much joy in life and would love to have some of those memories return. I believe each one of us can learn techniques to 'hold down' a variety of memories, etc. when not applicable, appropriate, and call them up when helpful ( for example to remember children sit in the classroom) etc. But to not even have them to to fall back onto in the first place is really quite debilitating. Over many years I have developed other ways of doing things, changing things around, etc. Yes, I have other very strong qualities because of it all, but wow, I can never turn my thinking off. I am wired that way for self preservation, I suppose. Self preservation wins over relaxation, lol.
Last Edit: 4 months 1 week ago by Blackstage.
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