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TOPIC: Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website!

Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 1 week ago #39620

  • lackita
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Welcome. Was it Yoga Nidra? They did that in my yoga class about a week ago and I was at a bit of a loss. I asked the instructor about it afterward and she said just to do whatever I was able to do.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 1 week ago #39622

  • LIVAJG
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Yes it was. I have got used to these relaxation sessions now. I know what is being described but can not see it. Just try and relax, breath steadily and enjoy the moment.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 1 week ago #39624

  • clarity5
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Hi everybody

Its amazing to find this forum, me and my twin sister have been aware our brains were different since our teens, we are now 47. Lots of sheer frustration and confusion. Lots of hours googling "blind minds eye" "no imagination" etc and nothing would come up. We asked many people about their experiences and got so many conflicting responses. Its so much easier now to have a label to refer to. Such a mad experience to know you are missing something but having never had it, never really being able to comprehend what you are missing. Its refreshing to hear about so many similar experiences.

Both me and my sister seem to have other "conditions" too which I thought were related to the aphantasia but from the above posts it is clear that some other aphants don't have these. For example we have topological mapping disorder which is the inability to form mental maps, see www.gettinglost.ca/content.php (just noticed there are lots of new tests to do on their website) and SDAM - severely diminished autobiographical memory .sdamstudy.weebly.com/

I have found this condition bewildering and have often felt very alienated. Especially when the literature out there assumes the ability to bring the senses to mind to be a basic human skill. I have tried to read self help/ developmental books, ironically mainly because of the frustration of not having the minds eye, only to find that you need a minds eye to access the techniques for self growth! Some books even have a section entitled "so you think you can't visualise?" and I think great that's for me! but then the book goes on to say "imagine the last time you went to your fridge, see yourself go down your stairs and open the door ...See! you can visualise." By this point I am spitting feathers and shouting No! I REALLY CAN'T VISUALISE!"

Anyway at least things are becoming quite a bit clearer at last!

Great to have you all on the forum :0)

So much more to say but off to bed...
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 1 week ago #39626

  • GP
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I think I read the same BBC article (www.bbc.com/news/health-34039054) as a few others on here, and discovered the shocking truth that other people can visualise things (!). I have signed up as I want to explore further (e.g. related disorders like prosopagnosia). I am particularly interested in how to modify the way I work as an IT business analyst to accommodate the fact that my brain works differently to most people's.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 1 week ago #39630

  • clarity5
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lots of tests are available at the gettinglost website.

Currently, the following interactive tasks are available at www.gettinglost.ca/content.php?159-Take-The-Online-Tests

The Cambridge Face Memory Task - This task requires you to memorize and recall the faces of six individuals. Our collaborators have identified that there is a tendency for individuals with prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces) to also experience topographical disorientation (more information here). We included this task to further gather data on the relationship between understanding faces and understanding places.

The Landmark Evaluation Task - This task requires you to view pictures of objects, and rate their size and permanence. We included this task to collect more data on the relationship between navigational ability and an the subjective evaluation of landmarks. The stimuli for this task were generously provided by Dr. Eleanore Maguire and Dr. Stephen Auger.

The Spatial Configuration Task - This newly-developed task involves generating a mental representation of the positions of five objects in a simple space-like virtual environment. This task was included as one of our primary measures of spatial ability. You can watch a tutorial video demonstrating this task here.

The Mental Rotation Task - This classic spatial task requires you to compare two objects, and indicate if they are identical objects, or mirrored-versions of each other. You can read more about similar tasks here.

The Four Mountains Task - This task requires you to memorize an virtual arrangement of four mountains, and then recognize the same mountain arrangement, only from a different perspective and different weather conditions. This task was inspired by the task of the same name originally developed by Dr. Tom Hartley.

The testing platform provides feedback for the Four Mountains Task, the Mental Rotation Task, The Spatial Configuration Task, and The Cambridge Face Memory Task. After completing these tasks, you can view your scores and feedback on gettinglost.ca/testplatform.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 1 week ago #39631

  • Anna Maria
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Hello, I am not sure whether I should post my first post here or create a new topic... I found about aphantasia about 2 hours ago... But that's just the label. The fact of me not visualizing is nothing new for me. I think it might have been since birth, but how can I say? I don't remember. I suppose I should ask my mother, maybe she knows.
Yesterday I talked to my husband at length about it. He couldn't get that I don't see pictures in my head, while he himself is so talented an artist... I just don't normally talk about it. No need really. I live with it. Strange thing is I really love reading. I love words and learning languages. My only talent I think - languages. I do remember things though, in a sense, I can describe them, though not very well. I am good a repeating sounds. But recreate an image? Be an artist, not for me. I thought that maybe I just didn’t understand the word imagination the same as other people do. After all I have dreams, not very vivid - 99% of the time, but I do. And a few times in my mind, all of a sudden I saw something mentally. Today though I read, that it's normal in aphantasia. How bizarre is all this! But not depressing at all, rather intriguing.
What else. I'm from Poland. I used to work at university, teaching... literature. Well. I have always loved books, and it was English philology, cause like I said I'm good at languages and learn them fast. It's not like I brag, I hope... It's a God given talent, not something I achieved to be proud of. So – I like words and dialogs and books. I never much saw, unless very hazily. But I could make interesting interpretations so that’s how I became an academic. It’s over though, for not important reasons (not important for this narrative ;) anyway). Now I just teach English and homeschool my kids.
And I am here to find out more about… myself. I just thought that perhaps I don’t understand all this visualization thing or mental eye and so on. It just dawned on me yesterday that I AM different than most people in that respect. Thus, hello everyone – I will read some post time permitted, to get used to all this. Although in some ways I am used to it. After all, I don’t recollect anything different…
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 1 week ago #39633

  • GP
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Very interesting tests at gettinglost. Confirms my relative inability to distinguish faces. Will complete the other tests later.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 3 days ago #39664

  • sherry_34
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Hello, friends,

I discovered "aphantasia" just this past weekend. My fiance stumbled upon it while doing research for a psychology class, and was talking about what a strange phenomenon it was ("There people that actually cannot see things in their mind!"). I stood there looking at him with my jaw dropped. I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about.

I have been struggling with memory, anxiety, and a constant internal dialogue for as long as I can remember. I have thought I was a careless or thoughtless person - How is it that I cannot remember anything from my past? Even important things!?! On our first anniversary, my fiance and I were discussing our first date, and he was heartbroken that I couldn't remember what we were wearing, or that first romantic thing he said to me, or what band we were listening to. It wasn't that I didn't think it was important (on the contrary, it was one of the most important moments of my life), but that's what he thought. What I couldn't tell him was that I couldn't even see his face when I closed my eyes. I have looked at him every day for six years now, and I still cannot see his face. I have spent time memorizing his features so I could think of him when I close my eyes, but I have never had an image. I was heartbroken that I couldn't remember, but had no excuse.

I realized my memory was worse than the average person's memory, but I didn't understand. I have always been intellectually gifted - math has always been easy; I excel at solving puzzles and finding new ways to think through problems; I have always been top of my class and the first to grasp a concept. So why can't I remember my life? Important moments in my life? My partner's face? My mother's face? It breaks my heart to realize I cannot remember my childhood - only a few moments that, for some reason or another, made enough of an impact to stick. That moment was five years ago. Since then, I have tried a hundred different ways of trying to remember - few of them have worked, but I always thought I just wasn't trying hard enough.

The moment he described aphantasia, and some of its symptoms (no mental images, Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory), I was overcome with a feeling of hope. This is it - this is what I have been trying to deal with without understanding. I didn't even KNOW that I wasn't "seeing" images. I assumed that how I "see" things (constant internal dialogue and very in-depth factual concepts, like blueprints) was what everyone else claims is "visualization" - that I just wasn't trying hard enough to see and remember. My fiance and I had hours and hours of discussion and comparison of how we think and "see" and understand this weekend.

Within the past year, I have found tricks that have made me less anxious and have improved my memory. I practice mindfulness meditation, and bullet journaling. This combination has made a significant impact on my ability to recall and to connect with the world around me. I cannot see the world when I close my eyes, and I cannot remember most of it once it has passed by me, so it that much more important to me to connect with the world around me while my eyes are open.

So, I am very happy to have found this community. Thank you for welcoming me - I am filled with hope and I look forward to making friends, finding new ways to manipulate this strange condition, and finally begin to understand how my brain works.

Warmly,
Sherry
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 3 days ago #39665

  • Satten
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Great post Sherry. You've captured my exact experiences and frustrations!
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 3 days ago #39666

  • LIVAJG
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Great post - it was like reading a description of myself
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 3 days ago #39667

  • wensdazechyld
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Hi Sherry. Welcome to the club. Your story and symptoms are very similar to my own. I have had the discussion many many times about not being able to mentally recall a face - people that can visualise find it a difficult concept!
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 7 months 2 days ago #39668

  • Jojo W
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Sherry_34: Very happy for you. I have not adjusted that well. I am 66 and just found out recently how different I am from normals. At least now I know why I am so disconnected from the world and people I love. Still struggling with my mind. It is good to read of others adjusting so well.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 6 months 2 weeks ago #39704

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Hi, just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Kelsey from South Florida. I just discovered last night that the majority of people can actually see things in their imagination. My mind is blown! I've always thought that "imaging" was figurative and that people were recollecting ideas and thoughts. I really want to learn as much as I can about this and look forward to "seeing" this together with you all. (See what I did there? ;) )
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 5 months 5 days ago #39835

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Howdy, everyone! I'm a freelance writer, author, blogger and a bunch of other things. And I have one burning question: are we aphantasics, aphantasiacs, aphantasmics, or something else?

Also, I'm on the borderline end of the spectrum. A few vague flashes here and there, but my thoughts are mostly mechanical/kinetic/emotional.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 5 months 5 days ago #39836

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Welcome to newbies. i am 73 and really did not realize the extent of my "not seeing', Inner blindness, or as some people called me, 'a blindy until in my 60's. Some people also called me "a stupid" because I do not realize there are people around me unless they are in front of me, so to speak, or close family. However, others through my life have realized and have assisted me with advice as to what is around or happening. As like many other aphantasiacs (?), I am an artist and at time draw or paint what i can't see or is worrying me. Although in art from a young age I did not complete a degree until I was 60 - family , work and illness were more important. Since then, I have completed a professional doctorate in art, my thesis proving to my detractors that I was not really "a stupid".
So please, do not feel that your differences must hold you back. Strive, you are able. :)
Last Edit: 5 months 5 days ago by ozgransu. Reason: spelling error
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 4 months 3 weeks ago #39875

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Hello--I'm Eric.

I recently discovered I have total aphantasia. I don't have an inner monologue. It is completely dark and silent in my mind. My thoughts are concepts, ideas, and facts. All of my memories are hard facts, no reliving.

I was sad and slightly depressed in the beginning, now I have accepted it. I only wish I could picture my kids face--and miss them more than I do.

I feel like an alien or a robot sometimes.

I have a BS in biology and my job is to perform Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring during surgeries that may affect the function of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 3 months 2 weeks ago #39987

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I want to say 'hi' as well.

I knew all my life that I am different and special - and I loved it. I handled situations differently - just the way it suited me.
About 5 years ago I found out that I can't visualize - but others can. I talked to a lot of people (but did not find out, it was called 'Aphantasia' till today!) and I realized that they felt pity for me - I could not understand why. I googled about my condition but all I could find were posts where someone was telling people like us that we just have to TRY HARDER and to overcome that disease. It made me angry because my life is great, I achieved so many things, I did not have any real drawbacks.
Very early in my life I learned that I need to enjoy the very moment, because it is all I got. So I do! There are soooo many guidebooks on the topic "live in the very moment - here and now!" - and I can do that naturally.
In relationships I tell the others ….. do not ask me “are you still made at me because of the argument we had 3 days ago” …. because I forgot already, no hard feelings anymore (unless you tell me WHAT we argued about – then it can come back) ;) .
I had hard times in my life as well and I still can remember them as “hard times” – but no vivid memories, no living it through again – that is great!
Yes, it is true I do not know how my grandmother (whom I dearly loved) looked like – but I do have pictures and she is living in my (other) memories.

Funny story … I got to know an undertaker / a mortician and I told him about me not being able to visualize and he just said: “Hey! Great! You could do the really bad cases (like someone smashed by a train) – because it might be hard to do you work on that dead body, but it would not haunt you!”

As you might have noticed, I do love my life and I feel fully functional. But today I found out that there are other people like me and it made me happy. And it astonishes me that this is the case :) .

My name is Karin, I am 47 years old and I am living in Salzburg/Austria.
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 3 months 2 weeks ago #39989

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Hi,

I'm a happy, successful 51 year old attorney. I've had aphantasia for as long as I can remember. I first heard of the condition several years ago and a lot of things 'clicked'. I do not view myself as disabled in any real way. How do you miss something you never had? I think we are probably more aware of our surroundings than regular people...if we aren't paying attention we won't remember it. I have been thinking that the condition is in many ways beneficial; living more in the moment, never bored, less stressed by bad vivid memories and at least for me...higher vocabulary and reading comprehension. This may be due to a thought process that consists mainly of a talking inner monologue. I wonder if a study would find that aphants are generally happier? Also, thinking in terms of ideas and concepts trains the mind to be better at certain things than others I think. If I had unlimited access to pics and videos in my mind I'd never get anything done!

Funny story you may identify with; about 15 years ago I had a party at my home and found a few people getting a kick out of the fact that in my kitchen all my food labels on soup cans, boxes with food, etc were all turned to face outward in my kitchen. This was everywhere; in the pantry, cabinets, fridge and even open shelves. They laughed and said I had OCD....I just couldn't understand, "how would anyone be able to remember all their food choices or what they had to eat, if they couldn't go and look real quick?"

Anyway, I can't wait for more studies of the condition to come out. Wouldn't it be crazy if they found a way to allow us to see pictures in our minds like other people? What an intense experience that would be!
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Welcome to aphant.asia the aphantasia website! 3 months 1 week ago #39995

  • joanne_47
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So hello everyone! I am completely new to this phenomenon and yet apparently have aphantasia. People actually CAN visualize/smell/hear/what have you? I draw one big black blank. Always feel stressed never able to visualize anything. This is amazing. Is this real? Sorry, but wow... what do I do now? This affects so many areas of life... :huh: :huh:
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