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TOPIC: Can you visualise simple things?

Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1073

  • Steve
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I just discovered this condition last night, and suddenly so many things made sense. I never realised that anyone ever meant anything literal when they said "picture this". Anyway, I stumbled across this website trying to find out more.

I can't picture people, scenes, colours or anything like that, but I can imagine simple geometric things like circles and lines. In fact, I'm really quite exceptional with spatial awareness/reasoning, such as when IQ tests ask you which shape is different by mentally rotating them. Does anyone else find these kind of simple shapes easy to conjure up, but nothing more complicated? (Still trying to self-diagnose, I guess)
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1075

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Oh also, does anyone else have prosopagnosia (face blindness) to some extent too?
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1076

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Cool, good to know. So there must be varying degrees of it.

My mind is still blown...
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1080

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We are quite a diverse group and welcome to the site Steve.

We do seem to have a decent range of ability when it comes to remembering faces. If I see a face I have seen before, even if I do not know their name I am able to recognize it almost instantly, even if years have passed. That does not mean I remember when and where sadly.

As for visualizing, I am a total blank, not even a bit of fuzziness, there seems to be something going on inside my head, like part of my brain has stored a visual memory, but it feels like I cannot turn off my eyes and consciously view whatever is going on behind the scenes, like their is a very real disconnect between my conscious mind and it's background processes.
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1082

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Interesting. Well, I'm very glad I still have the ability to imagine shapes for the sake of spatial reasoning.

The face thing for me is that I can recognise people I know within context, like haircut clothing style, or gait. But if you take an image and just crop it to the face then I wouldn't recognise people; it would just be a face. I've never really known it's a problem because I don't fail to recognise people that I already know, and I blame my shortsightedness if I don't recogise them until after they've said hi. But there has been several embarrassing situations where I've introduced myself to someone and they just look at me like "we've met before"...

Check out this if you're interested: www.faceblind.org/facetests/
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1083

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That visio-spatial bit is probably very critical to skills with math, etc. I am the son of an aviator/aerospace engineer/math teacher who does calculus in his head, I have never had such capabilities, and thus consistently fell short of his expectations. Such as it is, but hey my high verbal intellect does allow to talk circles around him if I feeling less than pleased with him. :evil:
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1084

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That's part of the reason I asked actually. I'm a research mathematician/mathematical physicist; my spatial skills are fantastic, but I guess it's more abstract than visual. It does probably give me an advantage as far as thinking in 4 dimensions goes though :P
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1085

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I sort of took a stab that you are the one Anna aka Monkeymaiden aka thunderlark had tweeted to earlier haha. So I thought that would be pertinent for you! I am the schlub who said she would wring you for all you are worth! And what a lovely experience that is I must say, she feeds my autism spectrum need to vomit forth information like few others =)
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by Nathan Buzby. Reason: typos
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1091

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Unlike Steve, I can't see anything. However, I'm still fairly good at the IQ test shape questions. I suppose I have worked out other strategies for solving that type of problems.

In general I tend to think way outside the box. I wonder if there's a connection.
- We are all aphantastic!
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1209

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In general I tend to think way outside the box. I wonder if there's a connection.

I think my issue is I get confused by simple things because it is very hard for me to think inside the box :cheer:

I do think it is funny though, a lot of express competency with mathematics to some level, but often have idiosyncrasies and areas of at least perceived deficit. I am unsure if this is a result of the aphantasiac neurology or a sampling bias and a lot of us are self critical twerps.

Though one has to ponder, if one can remember a mental snap shot and not have to create a monologue, quote, or paraphrase data to remember it, if we may not be more prone to metacognition in general and thus some increased awareness of self, we can't after all just take things as they are on the surface as much.
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1248

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Steve wrote:
In fact, I'm really quite exceptional with spatial awareness/reasoning, such as when IQ tests ask you which shape is different by mentally rotating them.

Its interesting you mention this. MX, the man who first started the recent scientific interest into aphantasia, had abnormal test results when it came to that sort of thing:

"MX performed the mental rotation task with perfect accuracy. But, unlike the matched controls, the degree of rotation did not influence the time it took MX to decide if two pictures were the same."
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1284

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My spatial awareness is good and I find that I can rotate shapes mentally well, but it don't visualise them. I don't understand how I do it though. My husband can visualise as well as real life but is useless at spatial awareness.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1295

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While I can't visualize things, I am very good at spatial relationships and orienting. But I was good at both before I ever got shot.
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1300

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evk wrote:
Unlike Steve, I can't see anything. However, I'm still fairly good at the IQ test shape questions. I suppose I have worked out other strategies for solving that type of problems.

In general I tend to think way outside the box. I wonder if there's a connection.

Same, curious about how we manage to still do those parts without visualisation.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1319

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I am repeating what I have said before but!

I cannot visualize a thing, however hard I try. BUT I can imagine anything and manipulate that mental image in my mind. I would liken this to the difference between reading a book and watching a film.

I am fairly sure that I do visualize in the moments as I wake up, it is an odd experience to me. I'm sure I visualise in dreams as I dream about real people and situations.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1327

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This is my first time to vist the aphantasia site. I also didn't realize until recently that I was different from other people in this regard. A few times in group meditation when asked to visualize something I would indicate that it was difficult for me and was told that people have differing abilities in visualizing and that I should just imagine it, which I am able to do without a visual image. I am not able to visualize even simple shapes; however, I score exceptionally well at tests where asked to determine which shapes are the same from differing perspectives. I score high on IQ tests, am extremely creative in various media (drawing, painting, sculpture, fabric arts, design).... all without being able to "visualize" on a mental screen. I have wondered if I am so focused on the outer visual world that I don't "need" to have that mental imaging... but now that there is all this this talk about aphantasia online I am feeling sad that I am missing out. When I close my eyes and try to visualize something, I do see swirling colors. At times I visualize a picture briefly of interesting shapes on a bright chartreuse background or a saffron colored background . Oh, and I do have vivid dreams, in color, which I enjoy very much. Now I am wanting to be able to do that when I'm awake (like most other people, apparently). Until I started feeling disappointed about this recently, I don't believe it prevented me from living an active and fulfilling life.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1328

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I have trouble LEARNING faces. I work as a receptionist and it takes me the longest time to associate names with a face. I have no trouble remember names though and am an excellent memorizer and speller. Very good with languages. But I have to interact with someone for awhile before I can remember who they are from seeing them walk into the room.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1329

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That is very interesting. It's an abstract process for me. I would have said that I actually FIGURE IT OUT before. It's as if I rotate it in THOUGHT... not on an inner visual screen.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1332

  • Nathan Buzby
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Welcome to the team! there are pro's and con's like any other neurological wiring, sounds to me like you have done just fine thus far!
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1335

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Absolutely nothing, not even something as simple as a line. This freaked me out a long time ago, so I asked a friend if he could clearly see a blue cube in his head. He was pretty surprised that I couldn't...
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1342

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Fraid I'm terrible at math. It's hard to visualize anything mentally with math, when the numbers fade too quickly to do any mathematical thing.
But spacial reasoning tests? No problem, I'm average or slightly above. I can rotate the images, but not necessarily mentally. Faces? Nope. Names? Terrible memory. I can't remember shit, which is strange when my mother and father have excellent memories.

Languages however -.....I speak at least the basics of 4. I'm learning 1 language so quickly that the programs I am using can't quite keep up with me - 100 words learned in 7 days. The other, plodding along decently well....for me. 200 words learned in a month and a half plus 150 characters (Japanese) in another two months. The 3rd is basic conversational already, on hold on learning more till I have the other two down. And I speak a few words (maybe 50) in a 5th language but hope to forget it soon enough cause I really didn't enjoy the language. So yeah, languages are easy for me!

It's really strange to see the range of abilities, given I found this condition had a name today, and a website, brand new, etc. It's reminiscent of another A disorder I used to call myself - Asexual. I was near the beginning of that movement as well and have even given talks at colleges alongside the creator of the website. Sadly, I no longer fit the term well enough for me to identify with it anymore. So I'll enjoy this new ride with all of you!
I've searched for years for a name for what I thought was different about me. 33 years of not having a memory like my mother - and now I know why.
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Can you visualise simple things? 2 years 2 months ago #1347

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Welcome Cacille! I enjoyed your ability to meta-cognate on your own capabilities. One thing I like to propose is that we sometimes confuse memory with the ability to recall memory, worth considering, given your linguistic skills for example, I would guess your memory is less shit than your ability to recall information at will without a prompt. Just something to contemplate, not remotely saying that is the case! But I am going to guess you enjoy thinking about how you think.
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Can you visualise simple things? 4 months 4 weeks ago #39280

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I didn't realise I had this until I was tripping on about 80 shrooms and for the first time I managed to imagine a voice in my head, before then I had only ever had my own monologue being narated in my own voice. I can put on Accents etc. but I told the boys I was with at the time and they thought I was crazy as if It was normal to here voices in your head. When I picture a beat in my head all o can here is me humming the beat. When I picture an apple, I can factually recreate an apple in your mind, but to me it's more like a movie script that implies an apple that doesn't exist yet. Aswell as this, I had afew hallucinations on LSD which allowed me to accurately visualise a car that I knew was behind the wall. my mates thought I was just tripping super hard, I mean I was, but it's because I had never ever managed to turn my factual information about something I can't see into a real image. I'm thinking of attempting to microdose some LSD for afew weeks and see if it makes a difference to my ability to visualise.
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Can you visualise simple things? 3 months 1 day ago #39396

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Steve wrote:
I just discovered this condition last night, and suddenly so many things made sense. I never realised that anyone ever meant anything literal when they said "picture this". Anyway, I stumbled across this website trying to find out more.

I can't picture people, scenes, colours or anything like that, but I can imagine simple geometric things like circles and lines. In fact, I'm really quite exceptional with spatial awareness/reasoning, such as when IQ tests ask you which shape is different by mentally rotating them. Does anyone else find these kind of simple shapes easy to conjure up, but nothing more complicated? (Still trying to self-diagnose, I guess)

One thing I realized I do is that I can 'draw' spatially in my head without seeing it. Kind of like using your finger to draw a shape in front of you, I 'know' I am drawing it in my head, but I cannot see it. I have decent spatial memory, and it's because of this "blind" drawing that I do. It's almost like if you draw something in the air in a room where the light is off - you know you drew it, but you couldn't see it. That's how I feel when I 'draw' shapes in my head. I use this for spatial memory where I can remember a system of where things were by placing them in different spatial locations without seeing them. I think maybe its easier to say my eyes move as if they were looking at the image, but I don't actually see it. I thought I was 'remembering' things visually in this way until I realized that people weren't using a figure of speech when they said "picture" and "visualize". I've never seen the shape, it's always been just 'knowing', like the knowledge is automatically turned into words.

This is how I remember things like faces. I know that I know someones face, and I could describe it, but it's like my brain opened a file cabinet and pulled out a picture and the room is dark so I can't see anything, but I can describe all aspects of it. My brain just filters it all into words because it can't see it, so I'm left with knowing what it looked like without actually seeing it.
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