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TOPIC: Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website!

Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 1 month ago #4718

  • oldie
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I guess this is the place to say hello - I am new. I was in my mid-thirties when I first discovered that people could visualize. Now I know why, though always an avid reader, I never could understand why writers put all that description in their books.I find that friends cannot understand and acquaintances either deny my experience or are actually upset by learning of such a thing.

Your discussions explain why I have such a constant mental chatter. I had not connected the two. And that I also do not hear sounds but go through an inner re-singing of a song, not, of course, the actual music unless I manage to try to sing it out loud. It probably explains why I could not carry a tune.

There is one way I do sense memories, for example, which may have been covered here - I have just joined and not read much. I find that I sense viscerally. For instance, I could not describe a particular place along the roadside that I have passed many, many times, but when I am passing it I recognize the physical sensation that I experienced with it. It is hard to describe. If I try to "picture" something, I can sometimes "move" it inwardly, viscerally. This is a kind of memory. But it is not a constant experience, at least not consciously. Has anyone else done this?

I don't know how to fill in my profile - I am female, a former school teacher, and now a retired 93 year old. I found in teaching young children that I could tell stories with vivid descriptions from my reading and looking at pictures, not from any inner picturing. However, the children rewarded me with marvelous, powerful, colorful pictures they created in crayon and paint from the stories I told.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 1 month ago #4719

  • Blackstage
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Welcome oldie! Glad to see another school teacher here!

I work usually with older pupils, but also have them draw a lot of pictures INSTEAD of asking them to visualize. The ones who can visualize do so anyway in general, but I am trying to give the non-visualizers more connections they may not get otherwise.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 4 weeks ago #4760

  • Hgtg42
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Only recently come to understand this way my brain apparently works--thanks to seeing this post on the Cracked website: www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-202...magination-away.html

I'm 51. I also suffer from sleep apnea which I know has affected me since at least my early 20s but wasn't diagnosed until mid 40s. Sleep apnea affects memory in a similar fashion to Alzheimer's. So I find myself in a position of not being able to remember if I've always had aphantasia or not. I can confirm there are lots of memories that just seem to be deleted from my brain. In the last 6-8 yrs I have become more conscious of my memory to where I could only describe it as working as a text based memory with no pictures.

The Cracked article is pretty spot on for me. I'm really interested in finding out why our brains work this way.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 3 weeks ago #4767

  • stevemorgs
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I read the same article and tried some of the questions on my daughters, like imagine an apple. What do you see? What colour is it? Does it have leaves etc?

It never really occurred to me that people could really see things when being asked to imagine things or do visualisation techniques. I too see complete blackness with the odd swirling image that is not under my control.

I'm not sure aphantasia has ever caused my any issues, but I do know I struggle to remember peoples names and it takes me lots of goes or writing them down to remember it. Also, I'm terrible with verbal instructions but not sure if that relates to aphantasia, or whether I'm just like that!

Fascinating reading some of the stories here!
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 3 weeks ago #4772

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70 yo teacher former spec ed teacher, total apha , spell horribly. Once wrote a 500 w essay with 50 errors age 17. taught typing as a special 3week course to 15 classes from 7 to 13 yo went well but i still hunt and peck. play piano, recorder , ukelele poorly but can teach all 3, cannot talk and play/type at same time but IQ 150+. got a degree in spite of my spelling(lost many marks in those days for errors) Have memories back to about 3 yo but cannot visualize any of the events. Can some people really hear birds and smell grass in their minds. I can remember what a bird should sound like or grass smells but xcan do neither.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 3 weeks ago #4773

  • Blackstage
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Welcome, James_17!
Teacher here as well! I can spell, thank goodness, in 3 foreign languages as well, it helped me get scholarships back in the day, BUT my maths are excruciatingly horrid!
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 3 weeks ago #4777

  • comix
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I can both remember and "hear" bird song. I am terrible with math but I am a good speller. I have no visual imagery at all. I think there must be a spectrum along which we fall.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 3 weeks ago #4778

Reading all these messages, I definitely believe there is indeed a spectrum and I fall on the lower end of it.
I can remember smells vividly and I hear music in my head all the time. I think exclusively in sounds and concepts, however I can create images in my mind for split seconds if I try very hard. I can rarely remember people's faces and I have a hard time recognizing people I've only met a few times. However, I find it easy to remember pictures I saw.
I have no problems with spelling (and languages in general) or maths.
Anyone else with "mild aphantasia"?
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 2 weeks ago #4787

  • james_17
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Hgtg said that his memory is text based with no pictures , I really got thinking about how to describe this to my siblings to alert them that there may be a genetic component. When I bought my 1 st IBM PS1 with 64 k memory and 2 51/2 in floppy drives , viewed on a monochrome green monitor, no speaker just ascii 13 beeps. Now we have .... Yes definitely a spectrum disorder. Pick pictures moving still colour , mono or like me sepia, full tunes, speech, ambient noise or none, odor is another full category as are dream recall and lucid dreaming. From what I've read there also seems to be a difference with onset.
So much to learn and discover ... : :unsure:
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 2 weeks ago #4790

  • JessicaNorth427
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Hello! I am 24 and only just discovered that other people can visualize things in their head a few weeks ago. This boggles me and makes no sense. I was reading this website and I believe I have Total Aphantasia. Like, I've got nothing. I've talked to both my parents and 2 of my 3 siblings about it and so far, only my mom seems to have it too. Is it hereditary? I'm really fascinated by this and would love to learn more!
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 2 weeks ago #4791

  • comix
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It is fascinating isn't it. I heard after my Mother passed away that she also hadit but I only have that second hand. Neither of my children have it, my grand daughter was born blind, and of my two my great grand children only one is old enough to tell me that she sees nothing when she closes her eyes. Maybe it is hereditary - I would love to know
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 2 weeks ago #4793

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Hello i am a 41 year old married , mother of two. i havent been able to visualize or dream for two years or so since i first noticed, i just see black no matter how hard i try. i also have chiari malformation which requried me to have a brain decompression in March of this year so i dont know what caused Aphantasia but its terrible going from visualizing to not at all ever again. but i also have executive function deficits i know my skull was grown up and inward pressing on my brain stem, im just happy to be here .
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 2 weeks ago #4794

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Sorry for your loss. Many of us do not remember dreams, but the dreaming may be taking place. Try to leave your self clues or messages about your possible dreaming.

Aphantastics to my observation are smart, capable, imaginative, creative, and very able. This is not a handicap , just one form of being. Some aphantastics are authors writing lovely descriptive passages even though they can not latter visualize. some are doctors , engineers, scientists, many seem to be teachers. We do not have to learn to live with this , we just go on with our active full lives.
I philosophize occassionally but type so slowly, I try to keep it short. (All that spell checking takes even longer)
Welcome to the forum

Jim
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 2 weeks ago #4797

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Hi. I'm taking Psychology 1010 at my university, and a few weeks ago while learning about meditation my professor gave a guided one. In which she asked us to visualize a friend, family member, or someone we were really close to or loved. Whenever people had asked me to do this in the past, I thought that they meant just think about the person, which I did. I started thinking about my mom. But then she asked us to visualize their hair, their smile, what they felt like, how they looked when they were surprised or laughing. I got nothing, and since the rest of the class was the meditation session, I left early.

I started to wonder if other people could do such a thing. What a useful thing that would be, to be able to pull up images of stuff! The harder I tried at picturing my mom, the more I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me. I asked my friends, brothers and sisters, parents, and a lot of people, and they could all picture stuff. So then I googled it, and Aphantasia came up, which eventually lead me to this forum.

I'm 17 years old. I'll be 18 quite soon. We suspect my younger sister may have Aphantasia too, though she's only 10 and it's hard to tell. It's not total Aphantasia. I can mentally feel textures and smells, but not tastes. The main way this affects me, I've noticed, is recognizing people. I can walk by people I know and not know that I know them. I have a good memory for names, but only when I remember who a person is and why I have seen them before. I watched the TEDEd talk on Aphantasia, and I agree with the speaker when she says that one of her cues that she knows someone is when she sees them recognize her.

I've always had Aphantasia, as far as I can remember. When I dream, I often feel like I'm looking at everything in my dream out of the corner of my eye, I know what it is but I don't really know exactly what it looks like. I can't draw or paint without a reference photo, or a series of reference photos. It makes me feel like all of my art is plagiarism of some form, so I don't really share it with anyone. I love to take pictures, especially when I'm doing something memorable, so that I'll know what it looked like later since I have no visual memory. Since my mom found out, she often bombarded me with questions about this or that, or how I can dream with pictures but have no visual memory. It's kinda funny. I've always loved to read, and love watching the movie after I read the book because I feel like I understand the story better. But I manage without a film too.

Anyway. I hope this little bit will help you feel more connections. I get excited when I find someone feels the same way I do.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 2 years 5 days ago #4817

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I'm 37, I think verbally, and spatially but have no inner 'stream of consciousness'. First thought myself odd in early high school when we had to do 'SoC' writing assignments and I was usually just stuck staring at a blank page. Back then I used to be a decent artist but only really reproduction (if I had something to work from). Original ideas seem not to be in my repertoire, but give me a problem to solve and I can find all kinds of ways to approach it. I've been in construction most of my life (carpenter and jack of all trades), and not being able to visualize a project is a hindrance, but my excellent mathematical abilities compensate. Take tile work for instance, I either have to put everything in place and move it around to figure out my custom designs but more often am able to just simply take a geometric approach to it.My mind is usually completely blank when not in use, and this gives me a very good mental focus ability. I am very intelligent and a sponge for information usually absorbing general concepts more easily than specifics.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 11 months ago #4859

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Hello, I am a tri-cultural triple-niner: I was raised and lived between three cultures and scored highly on intelligence tests. Now 60.
I had not really been aware of my aphantasia till this summer with the media coverage. I believe that I may always have had it.
When counting sheep to encourage sleep I do precisely that, I have no ability to visualise the sheep. I cannot remember my dreams.
When asked to visualise calm scenes I feel myself lying on a beach in the warm sunshine but no visions appeared or were necessary.
I do get zagged visual disturbances when I have ocular migraines. I always enjoyed reading a great deal including novels and poems.
I am very interested in the ongoing research.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 11 months ago #4862

  • wensdazechyld
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Hi all. I'm a science teacher who first discovered - in part - that I had aphantasia as a young teen when I asked a friend how it was she could draw such fantastic images whilst I had trouble with stickmen! She said she just kept the image of what she wanted to draw in her head. It baffled me then and frustrates me now that I can't lol. I had no idea (because I'd never thought about it) that people can also experience taste, smell, touch/texture in their minds too. I can't do any of those at all. Not in the slightest. And it's only upon reading the website that I found out I'm missing that too. Sigh.

When it comes to sound, I hear me in my head just fine (there is CONSTANT chatter) and can hear certain voices that I know well - Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Leonard Nimoy. Though that's about it for voices (not even my mother or grandmothers voices are there!). I was a singer and had the most amazing ability to recall music as a child - though that disappeared in my teens too (I wonder if puberty is the start of Aphantasia???). I still have a good ability with music, picking up new material far quicker than most people. But I can't hear all the parts in my head for example - more just a 'sense' of what it should be but without having the actual sounds there. I get earworms regularly - but find it will be a focus of a small section of music no more than a couple of bars, and focusing on only one voice or instrument even though I know what all the other parts should be doing.

I wonder if I'm a total aphantasic but with mental adaptations that have permitted me to 'feel' as if I hear sounds more than I do. I certainly don't get images, tastes, or textures, and even when dreaming there may be some visuals but they are sketchy at best, and never any smell, taste, or texture.

I notice a number of people commenting have said about their IQ's. I'm not sure why, particularly as nobody is specifying which test the IQ was measured under and if it was a professional measurement or merely an 'online' test (they're all different and few are standardised). But in the aim of being comprehensive, I have an IQ of 159 under British Mensa.

I'm also Dyspraxic and ASD, with the root cause probably being CCAS, developed at birth due to a Vitamin K deficiency which led to Haemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn. Who knows if there's a link between any of that and the Aphantasia. Oh, and I'm 42 going on about 25.
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by wensdazechyld.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 11 months ago #4863

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Ouch - that's harsh!!! Never having had the 'brain senses' those of us that have always been this way don't know what we're missing so can't grieve over its loss. But to have had the senses and then to have lost them would be awful. It's nice to see you're staying positive even with so much going on x
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 10 months ago #4942

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Hi and thanks for starting this up. A little about myself...people considered me very smart when I was in school and I guess they still do (I'm 33 with 3 kids now and am a geotechnical engineer) because I have a great ability to memorize random facts, statistics, numbers, formulas, and have always been a good writer. On the flip side, I always had a terrible memory when it came to remembering just about anything else such people's names or events in my life. I struggle to learn the most basic tasks, especially when they involve learning from watching someone else. I literally remember almost nothing from my childhood except for more traumatic events. I have the drawing ability of the average 8 year old (I can confirm this by seeing the drawings from my sins grade 2 class). I generally converse with people by just asking a lot of questions and feeding off their stories because I struggle a lot to recall any stories or anecdotes from my own life to tell. I never even considered the possibility that also could be explained by alpha tasks, which I'm only just discovering my now. It's truly blowing my mind to make this connection and realize there are a lot of other people who have this. I'm hoping to learn a bit more about this "condition" and how other people cope with it.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 10 months ago #4958

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Hi there,

I've known since I was a teenager that I couldn't visualize images while my step-dad could. He's an artist, so I thought HE was gifted in that ability, just like his ability to paint. I never realized that I was in the minority. Now I'm learning that the condition may affect my other senses, too and that really blew my mind. I'm interested in learning of others' experiences, how they learn and dream, whether their other senses are also affected.

~Kelly
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 10 months ago #5008

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Hey I'm 24 and I just started university for the visual arts.

I've known I didn't think like other people since I was a kid. People always explained the minds eye and I couldn't see anything. When tv shows would flash back to memories I always thought it was just a fictional portrayal that everyone in society accepted because it was fiction, but by highschool I realised that it wasn't the case. I started trying to google "When you imagine can you actually see things" but of course that's way to vague and didn't make sense. For years I had no answers and finally a friend linked an article on FB about a year ago and everything was explained.

I talked to my mom about it and she has it to but my brother doesn't. I even discussed it with more of my extended family and it seems to just be my mother and I. When bringing it up with friends they mentioned how they thought that's what helped me with my visual art. Because I don't have a vision of the way something is supposed to look I can't disappoint myself the way they can with their imagination. I am still really self critical but I think they have a point.

My boyfriend pointed out that he can imagine taste, smell, and sound as well. I can imagine sound a little bit, in fact I have quite the ear for music but other than that it's a blank.

Anyway it was nice to find a community.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 10 months ago #5015

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Hello, just joined, until I heard about aphantasia on the radio a couple of weeks ago I just thought I had no imagination, when I close my eyes I see nothing, can't count sheep and have never had a dream that I remember.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 9 months ago #5020

  • Slannesh
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Hello

I am a 40 something Manging Director and salesman, I am a total aphant with no ability to recall sound, image, taste, smell or anything else. I am good at Maths and very empathic. I can read body language well, I was diagnosed as dyslexic at an early age however I am also a voracious reader I have a funny feeling that for me dyslexia was actually lazyness. My spelling is poor. I struggle with faces and names but am good at useless facts and information.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 8 months ago #5108

  • gordon_27
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What a great site, this is a revelation, just having a name for the condition and a description that I recognise.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 1 year 8 months ago #5109

  • Blackstage
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Welcome, Gordon! Enjoy the reading here!7
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