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Poll: Degree of Aphantasia

Total Aphantasia, no imagery/sound/taste/smell/touc​h 110 70.5%
Can imagine sound 39 25%
Can imagine touch 5 3.2%
Can imagine taste 2 1.3%
Can imagine smell No votes 0%
Can imagine imagery No votes 0%
Total number of voters: 154 See more
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TOPIC: I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is...

I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #35

  • Thomas
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Should you be able to imagine more than one thing, please select your most powerful imaginary sense.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #36

  • monkeymaiden
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Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by monkeymaiden.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #98

  • Nathan Buzby
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When I try to explain my memory for touch, it is not the same as the real thing, but I can get hints of pressure, tingling, and certainly make myself itch or tickle, but it is a phantom of the real experience. If I think about breath on my neck, I can feel the warm spot, but it is not as detailed as the real thing.
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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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #144

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Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by monkeymaiden.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #157

  • Nathan Buzby
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it's nice, but still does not compare to the real thing...just tucked my little girl into bed, and though I don't stay too long because of cats, dust, and sneezing, I cherish those moments were we just get to cuddle. And I am not a touchy huggy person, but for my daughter, whatever she needs, whenever she needs it.
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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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #1411

  • bikersurfer
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Total lack of imaging; visual, smell, etc., etc. My sister can't relate to this, nor can my nephew, her son. I am curious to find whether my brother is a visualizer. I suspect he is. I am most appreciative of this forum as it has given me a degree of comfort knowing you all are out there and understand, at least in this regard, how l see the world (or don't see it ). I am quite motivated to discuss aphantasia with others now to see how common /uncommon it is. Most people can't begin to grasp it, or they are skeptical.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #1438

  • Xila
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Can you guys hear sounds in your mind? How do you think?
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by Xila.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #1439

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By "sounds in your mind", Xila, do you mean like tinnitus, or...?
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #1442

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Can you imagine someone's voice in your head, or your own voice?
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by Xila.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 2 months ago #1478

  • power731
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Can't see any imagery at all but I get a general "feeling" of something is there. Basically all I see is the back of my eyelids. Also I cannot dream at all though I believe that is connected to my aphantasia.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 1 month ago #1743

  • CIRL
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When you say voice, do you mean with accents?
I can say that when I talk, internally to myself I don't hear my accent or a voice. I kind of just thought that it was thinking in words.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 1 month ago #1772

  • KM
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For sound I can recollect the tone, etc if it's a song. Im not musical at all but I can hear the song play in my head with instruments and the singers voice, but I can't imagine people's voices as they are talking. Maybe I need to have my loved ones sing. :)
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 1 month ago #1775

  • Mike_M
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Xila wrote:
Can you guys hear sounds in your mind? How do you think?

Yes, I can recall sounds in my mind - a piece of music or someone's voice, say - but it's not in the same 'brain space' (sorry, can't think of another way of putting it) as the things I hear through my ears, and it's not nearly as strong. The detail is there (timbre of the instrument, voice etc) but it's not 'loud' and doesn't affect thinking or anything, in the way that a loud real-world sound would. Also, I can only do it with sounds I know quite well - music I've heard many times, or my doorbell, or a telephone ringing. At the moment it's Janis Joplin singing 'Summertime'....
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by Mike_M.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 1 month ago #1778

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monkeymaiden wrote:
Nathan Buzby wrote:
I can get hints of pressure, tingling, and certainly make myself itch or tickle, but it is a phantom of the real experience. If I think about breath on my neck, I can feel the warm spot, but it is not as detailed as the real thing.

That is kindof amazing. I would love to be able to have the sensation of my daughters hands cupping my face when she was a toddler.

I'm not sure that even people with full tactile recall would actually feel the imaginary sensation on their skin... I'm pretty good at recreating tactile sensations in my head - for instance, I can look at any surface in the real world and imagine what it would feel like to run my finger along it - but it's in my head, not my fingertips. However it's accurate - if I check it by actually running my finger along the surface, it's the same - except that I sometimes misjudge the temperature of the object, so it's cooler or warmer than I expected. But it certainly isn't as 'strong' a sensation as the real thing - rather like the difference between looking at a photograph of an object and looking at the object itself, I suppose.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 1 month ago #1780

  • Mike_M
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Thomas wrote:
Should you be able to imagine more than one thing, please select your most powerful imaginary sense.

OK, this isn't exactly what you asked, but... on a scale of 0 to 5 (0 = nothing, 5 = almost real):

Hearing: 4
Touch: 4
Taste: 3
Smell: 1
Sight: 0.5
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 1 month ago #1790

  • natron77
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Using Mike_M's scale:
Hearing: 4
Touch: 0
Taste: 0
Smell: 0
Sight: 0.5

I can "visualize" (for lack of a better word) music, quotes, the sound of a voice, etc. pretty well.
I can't form any mental representation of touch, taste, or smell.
I can sometimes visualize tiny portions of a whole (my wife's nose, or her eye, but never her whole face). I can also imagine what an object might be within 3D space (like imagining a wireframe of a hand grabbing an object nearby), but that may be more related to spacial reasoning than sight. I use a similar approach while walking in total darkness, which I'm pretty good at.

I LOVE music, and have been an avid listener my whole life, perhaps I gravitated towards it because I can interact with it better than my other senses?
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 2 years 1 month ago #1803

Using Mike_M's scale:
Hearing: 0
Touch: 0
Taste: 0
Smell: 0
Sight: 0
Juxtaposition: 5
Direction: 5

I gave hearing a zero because although I think solely in my own voice. I have no ability to create simple tones or hear things in my head. I can't even use someone else's voice. When I think it is the same in my head as when I speak aloud, I simply don't move my mouth. If I'm thinking too hard about something to myself, however, it will often spill out through my mouth and I'll find myself talking to myself.
Juxtaposition wasn't on the original scale but that is the closest I can get to describing how 'imagery' works in my mind. I know the layout of my house, for example, but I can't see it. I know it, like I know what position my fingers are in behind my back. Furthermore if I were to imagine I had wings, I can imagine where they are relative to my body as I can feel how my toes are situated in my shoes. The same sense is how I can imagine what's behind me, assuming I know.
It's the same for direction, the difference is that I get very distraught when my sense of direction gets confused and I find myself putting a lot of effort into getting that straightened out as soon as possible. Furthermore, every place that I think about has a direction and distance relative to me.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 8 months ago #2672

  • KRamis
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I chose touch but I'm not sure if it is really accurate. This is one of my guided meditations I do to fall asleep. I imagine (no pictures) myself paddeling a canoe on a river. I do not feel the oar in my hand but I can imagine what it feels like to when the oar goes through the water, the resistance of it. I do not see the sun but I can imagine the warmth of it on my upturned face. I don't hear the water but can imagine how the flowing water would sound. I don't feel the seat but I can imagine the rocking motion. If I am still awake at this point I start to get stumped. The canoe goes to the bank and I'm suppose to go to the meadow and sit and observe the surroundings. Instead of just sitting I think of doing something calming like digging in the dirt or smelling flowers. If I start to lose it I go hop back in the canoe and paddle until I fall asleep.
I do not see things in my mind and I'm okay with that.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 8 months ago #2675

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Mike_M wrote:

Also, I can only do it with sounds I know quite well - music I've heard many times, or my doorbell, or a telephone ringing. At the moment it's Janis Joplin singing 'Summertime'....

Yes! I can listen to songs in my head, even something rather complex like "Ghost Love Score" by Nightwish, but they have to be songs I'm familar with, not something I've just heard a few times. I know my roosters' crows and can imitate them as I hear them daily, but forgot what the tundra swans calls sounded like a week or two after they left our pond last fall. I can "hear" text I'm reading in the voices of different actors and actresses and I can hear their accents (Alan Rickman, Sean Connery, Jackie Chan, etc.) but the odd thing is, I can't do that with friends and family. Hmmm, actually now that I think about it, if they have accents, I can remember their voices as well, like my best friend's Filipino father. He passed years ago, but I can still hear his voice and accent. I can also hear my Mexican friend's voice and accent.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 8 months ago #2676

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Mike_M wrote:
I'm not sure that even people with full tactile recall would actually feel the imaginary sensation on their skin...

When we watch a horror movie, my husband flinches and gets uncomfortable during some of the scenes. After I found out most people don't have aphantasia, it finally made sense to me and I asked him if he could feel the knife going into his own arm when he watches a scene like that, and he said he could, not as strongly as the real thing of course.

I also now realize that yes, I really was supposed to remember and describe exactly what my migraines felt like - where in my head they were, how intense, type of pain, etc., when I went to the doctor on a day when I wasn't having one.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 8 months ago #2685

  • Velvet
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Using Mike_M's scale:
Hearing: 0.5
Touch: 0.5
Taste: 0
Smell: 0
Sight: 0
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. - E.E. Cummings
Last Edit: 1 year 6 months ago by Velvet.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 8 months ago #2686

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Mike_M's scale
hearing: .5 to maybe, just maybe 1
touch:0
taste:0
visual:0
smell:0
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 8 months ago #2696

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I can't answer the poll, it doesn't have meaningful choices available.

My sensory recall is quite variable, depending on many factors. I have a non-visual-image way of conceptualising relationships between things, which provides an extremely real recall of a situation, but I must carefully analyse or imagine a situation to make it seem real. My body reacts to my imaginings, even though they aren't visual. It's a low-level awareness of what the effect of the sensory information would be, rather than the actual sensory information.

I do get "bursts" of sensory recall which quickly fade (longest I've ever held an image was about 5-10 seconds, but it's never perfectly solid, usually has holes; average burst fades completely away in half a second) but it has always been unreliable, so I focused my brain on other areas of memory which were reliable for me. For sounds, sometimes I will get brief sound clips that repeat over and over in my head, often unwanted. These usually happen during times of anxiety, or times of overly high energy levels.

When I want to manually choose to imagine what a face looks like, I can keep recalling my analyses of the face (relationships between the facial parts), each piece of the face appears then rapidly fades away to grey, but if I keep my brain processing extremely fast, I can cycle through dozens of parts of the face before they have time to completely fade, thus creating a "semi-solid image" for the duration I am hyper-focused. It's just too much work to rely on it for anything. I can imagine geometric relationships fine, and that spatial semi-visual awareness is usually enough for me to get by on.
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 7 months ago #2773

I can imagine all senses except sight and harder with sound
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I'm curious as to how total your Aphantasia is... 1 year 6 months ago #2928

  • maiklasl
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I can do sound rather well - I can play a song (if I know it well) in my head with all the detail I'd hear on the radio.

I want to bring another thing forward though: I've found that with my eyes closed I can imagine my vestibular (inner ear - orientation and motion of body) sense rather vividly. With some effort of concentration to get it started, I can close my eyes and imagine I'm falling, flying, swaying, hung upside-down, or get myself dizzy.

Related?: I strongly suspect I grew up with an under-sensitive vestibular sense just like my son (whose been diagnosed as such). As an adult I've found it's gotten much stronger - I no longer have any trouble getting dizzy and in fact get uncomfortably dizzy especially easy.
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