No mind’s eye, but I don’t think it makes people with aphantasia less intelligent.
I’m on the wrong side of forty and just discovered that I can’t visualize as others do, known as aphantasia (no mind’s eye). I can’t see images in my head. No color. No details. At best, I can visualize only part of an image, and it’s black and white and extremely blurry. I can’t see my wife or son’s face, or my departed relatives. Nothing from my childhood. I can recall events, but they’re just descriptions. My wife has always said we need to take more vacations to create memories. For me, the perception of those memories are just the knowledge that we went somewhere. Now I know what she means. Unfortunately, I don’t get to share the visual imagery.
I thought “day dreaming” was just a metaphor for having your head up your ass. Or, “counting sheep” is meant in a figurative sense.
After processing this newly discovered information, it explains why I think and rationalize differently than most people, which is something I’ve always known. My thinking process is extremely analytical and logical. I’m highly tuned into the world around me, and automatically have the ability to understand how things work. I can perceive all scenarios that can take place in most situations beforehand.
I don’t know if having aphantasia is a good or bad trait, or where minds like mine are located in the evolutionary chain. I can say that my mind works off of dialog, descriptions and numbers instead of visual imagery. Like a computer vs a movie on the TV. My I.Q. is 131. I never took a book home or studied in high school, but passed all my classes with As and Bs, including the advanced classes. I missed 2 questions out of 150 on the TASP test, an academic skills test for college, and was nominated for Who’s Who Among American Students. Because I was a student that was known to have a “don’t give a shit” attitude, I was accused of cheating. Who in the hell did I cheat off of when I had the highest score in the school? And I held that record for years.
I’ve never failed an exam and hold numerous certifications and licenses. I can study a few weeks and pass an exam that takes others months to years to prep for. In technical school, I held the highest GPA for each of the five years. I’m also a published author, so I can apparently still tell a story without having clear metal images. I’ve built my house from the ground up. I do my own mechanical, electrical, plumbing, etc. I’ve never taken my vehicle to a mechanic. I don’t hire anyone to repair or build anything. I’ve always done it myself. With this being said, I don’t think aphantasia makes a person less intelligent. We just have a different way of processing information and seeing the world.
Having aphantasia has shed light on why I always have to stay busy working, designing, creating, building, writing or messing around with my multiple hobbies. I have to physically do what others can visualize.
Last Edit: 6 months 2 weeks ago by Wade H. Garrett. Reason: Made additional changes and corrections.
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