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TOPIC: Default is having a Mind's Eye.

Default is having a Mind's Eye. 3 years 6 days ago #3169

  • estrauss
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I have just learned about Aphantasia (I've known I had it for a long time, but didn't know it had a name) and have filled out some questionnaires about it in the last week. I am struck by the very strong implicit assumption that having a Mind's Eye is the default and not having one is abnormal. If 2-3 percent of the world's population has Aphantasia, that's about the same as the population of Nigeria (Or Brazil, or Russia, or having blue eyes & red hair). In the questions below, Imagine replacing references to being unable to form mental images with being from Nigeria

• When did you become aware that you were unable to form mental images?
• Did this discovery have an emotional impact on you?
• Do you think that your lack of a ‘mind’s eye’ has had any other effect on your thought processes?
• Did it affect your career choice?
• Has it had an effect on your relationships ?
• Do you think that your lack of a mind’s eye has had any particular advantages

Ethan
Last Edit: 3 years 6 days ago by estrauss. Reason: Typo
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Default is having a Mind's Eye. 2 years 11 months ago #3653

  • phoenixmoon
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To answer your questions I am 55 and founded out when I was about 8 in a music lesson.
It had a huge emotional impact at 8 I thought I was the weird one the one who was different and not normal.
I was accutly aware at school and when asked tonuse it in lessons or it was given as a way to help learn etc I would bland out and the thought I as alone grew.
Had I known I was not alone and people had not Said i must be stuopid if ni can't see things I would have had a very different school life abd a very different csreer path.
No real effect on relationships My ex said I was stupid and of course I see in pictures everyone does its Impossible not to.
I don't recall bad times in detail that causes me to go back to them
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Default is having a Mind's Eye. 2 years 11 months ago #3703

  • ussfa344
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• When did you become aware that you were unable to form mental images?
The first indication that something was amiss ­­­­occurred within­ few days after getting out of the hospital. But a formal diagnosis did not happen until 13 years after getting shot.

• Did this discovery have an emotional impact on you?
Yes. It made me a bigger a-hole than I already was to discover that once I bought the prize it was mine to keep.

• Do you think that your lack of a ‘mind’s eye’ has had any other effect on your thought processes?
yes. When I had a functioning minds eye, it was one of many tools I could use to solve problems. Now that tool is gone.

• Did it affect your career choice?
Yep. I changed jobs trying to get away from people that recognized me on the street and wanted to discuss their petty problems. I had no idea who they were.­­­­­­­ Eventually I became a farmer and rarely had to see other folks.

• Has it had an effect on your relationships?
Don't get me started. Women really don't like it when you can't distinguish them from others -- especially when you screw up in front of their friends. I've "touched" the wrong woman twice, thinking they were someone else. And once, I actually made it with the wrong chick. Hey, they had the same name and worked at the same place. I didn't discover my error until we were taking a break.

• Do you think that your lack of a mind’s eye has had any particular advantages.
I can't remember what my ex wives look like. I hear plaintiff is double coyote ugly now. Hell, maybe when was when we were married -- I can't recall -- fortunately.
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Last Edit: 2 years 11 months ago by ussfa344.
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Default is having a Mind's Eye. 2 years 11 months ago #3708

  • Juliasnz
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I also just recently discovered that NOT having visual imagery was not "typical"... I'd never thought about visual imagery I guess because it is hard to miss something if I've never had it... I think in my case it may actually be a massive advantage and a bit of a mercy :)

• When did I become aware that I was unable to form mental images? A couple of weeks ago my husband was busy describing where he wanted to put things in our new house and eventually I got frustrated with him describing everything... how it would look etc... and I just said something along the lines of "You can keep talking but I can't see anything... it's all just words, LOL" He got a bit tetchy that I couldn't "visualize" his grand plan... So, I explained I just don't see ANYTHING when people talk... there's nothing in my mind... it's BLANK... ROFL

• Did this discovery have an emotional impact on you? Well, yes and no. I'm fine being mentally blank... but I was so puzzled by his surprise that I don't "see" mental images I hopped on the computer and typed in search "I don't see anything when I try to visualize something" After sorting through the results I eventually stumbled across Aphantasia and went <<< See! I'm not weird plenty of other people don't "see" stuff in their minds either!! YAY... But then I realised... Hmmm! This explains why I can't recognize people and that has got me a bit nervous because in my work I do meet people who are dangerous and I now KNOW I cannot accurately recognize them because I don't "know" what they look like... arrrrggghhh!

• Do you think that your lack of a ‘mind’s eye’ has had any other effect on your thought processes? Yes, I recognize people by their voices and have exceptional hearing... even though I've played the drums for over twenty years... I can still hear a pin drop in a distant forest, rofl...

• Did it affect your career choice? I'm not sure. I have an excellent memory for details, especially numbers, but I don't remember names without a huge effort...

• Has it had an effect on your relationships ? LOL, see first answer... I guess now hubby & I know I think differently he might cut me some slack on my need to PHYSICALLY see stuff rather than listening to verbal descriptions and trying to imagine them!

• Do you think that your lack of a mind’s eye has had any particular advantages? Definitely! I was diagnosed with PTSD a couple of years ago, despite not having visual flashbacks (I get unconscious emotional reactions to triggers... but thankfully, no intrusive images!) That is a HUGE advantage... I've seen some incredibly awful things and being able to keep a blank mental canvas is something I'm incredibly grateful for
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Default is having a Mind's Eye. 2 years 11 months ago #3717

  • Benpai
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- When did you become aware that you were unable to form mental images?
I was talking to my friends about reading books and I realised that they almost see movies playing out in their heads while reading, and I wondered why I didn't. We looked it up and realised I had aphantasia.
- Did this discovery have an emotional impact on you?
Yes, many of my friends actually refused to believe me when I told them and thought I was trying to get attention. I was also upset that people could actually see images in their mind and that I was unable to do this and didn't even know.
- Do you think that your lack of a ‘mind’s eye’ has had any other effect on your thought processes?
I am a generally smart person and I work things out pretty quickly, yet I still can't remember the order of the months, times tables, and when doing simple counting, I have to use my fingers.
- Did it affect your career choice?
I'm only 17 so this doesn't really apply, but I know I am good at designing websites, and I love really good designs and colour schemes. I am also good at music, so I doubt that it would affect my career choice.
- Has it had an effect on your relationships ?
Haha none yet :P
- Do you think that your lack of a mind’s eye has had any particular advantages
Well, I know that I'm good at remembering what people say, like I can repeat back word for word something someone has said to me after a day or two, but other than that, I can't really think of any advantages. (lots of disadvantages though)
None of my friends believe that aphantasia is real, so I want to help raise awareness!
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Default is having a Mind's Eye. 2 years 11 months ago #3819

  • ussfa344
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• When did you become aware that you were unable to form mental images?
The first indication that something was amiss ­­­­occurred within­ few days after getting out of the hospital. But a formal diagnosis did not happen until 13 years after getting shot.

• Did this discovery have an emotional impact on you?
Yes. It made me a bigger a-hole than I already was to discover that once I bought the prize it was mine to keep.

• Do you think that your lack of a ‘mind’s eye’ has had any other effect on your thought processes?
yes. When I had a functioning minds eye, it was one of many tools I could use to solve problems. Now that tool is gone.

• Did it affect your career choice?
Yep. I changed jobs trying to get away from people that recognized me on the street and wanted to discuss their petty problems. I had no idea who they were.­­­­­­­ Eventually I became a farmer and rarely had to see other folks.

• Has it had an effect on your relationships?
Don't get me started. Women really don't like it when you can't distinguish them from others -- especially when you screw up in front of their friends. I've "touched" the wrong woman twice, thinking they were someone else. And once, I actually made it with the wrong chick. Hey, they had the same name and worked at the same place. I didn't discover my error until we were taking a break.

• Do you think that your lack of a mind’s eye has had any particular advantages.
I can't remember what my ex wives look like. I hear plaintiff is now double coyote ugly now. Hell, maybe when was when we were married -- I can't recall -- fortunately.
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
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