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TOPIC: So, I can actually process visual data

So, I can actually process visual data 1 year 3 weeks ago #4306

  • gwen_38
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I mentioned this a little bit in the Brain is a computer, but no monitor thread, but I'll go into more detail here for my own "How I think" post.

I have a cpu, and no monitor, like many of the people here. I do have a graphics card, though, and can process visual information about an object. I do not experience it visually, but I can feel its existence. I can make invisible dots in my head and juggle them. It's like I experience anything I imagine with my propioception (inner sense of body part location). I can touch it mentally in the same way that I can touch my foot mentally. I know the relative position of every detail on an object, even though I cannot see it. I know what color each part is, but there's no color in my mind, ever. I can get some pretty detailed constructs this way. It feels a lot like sculpture, or 3d modeling, when I build something in my mind. I can animate them like puppets. Takes a lot of mental effort, though. If I'm reading a book, reading the book helps me generate puppets and scenery, all of it is completely invisible. I just know it's there, and what it would look like if I could see it in real life. But I'd only be able to see it if I found it in real life. The idea of seeing something visually, though, is weird. Never thought it could be possible. I can imagine imagining visually, how I think it'd feel if I did that, but I can't imagine visually, I can't experience sight in my head. Daydreams are completely unlike my dreams (which are visual), but for visually minded people, they're fundamentally similar, except in a daydream you're awake.


So I don't know exactly what to call my way of thinking. I'm definitely mind's eye blind, but I feel like I've completely compensated for it in other ways, so I can draw well from memory, create new things and draw those, and pass spacial reasoning tests really well. I do it all blindly. I'm still bad with faces, though.
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So, I can actually process visual data 1 year 3 weeks ago #4317

  • aphantasia
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You just wrote down what I came to write :) I have the exact same experience as you do! So I never thought I was missing something, I did all tests well, didn't I? And yes, it takes a lot of mental effort, my 140IQ powered brain quickly comes to a grind unless I compartilize. I think "oh but how would this or that work on my object-in-mind?" or "then how was that corner fitting again?". I then focus on that part, quickly, as if I could actually see that part. My mental image follows the thoughts that pop-up in my mind (I'm a language, full-sentences thinker). As long as the questions aren't too complicated I can 'think' it out. Only when my brain lacks power, I go to drawing.

I'm horrible with drawing (always have been), but everyone that sees something I made knows how and what and can work with it (I do mention every detail in my plans as to guide people through my thoughts).

Only thing different with you is that I have a selective memory at best. At around age 6 I noticed my memory became worse (not better) while I got older. Which was a pita at school or studying at university. I sometimes could even say on which page in the book and on which location on that page the answer to a question would be. But I could not write the answer down. It ended in me failing university, to the surprise of many (because I clearly had an above average intelligence - which shows you how little IQ actually means). So when I now hear that others can actually SEE stuff in their brain instead of having to pull it out from memory... and without having to create a mental coordinate-system to manipulate by rotating, adding constructs or imagining how it'd look spatial and colour-wise... WITHOUT seeing the actual picture in my mind... It seems a bit unfair to me :) (And it also explains why geography was such a horrible subject for me which was impossible to pass at high-school.)

When it comes to faces, I don't think I perform badly. Remembering NAMES though... That's something completely different :) And I think I excel in remembering where everybody was standing when I was interacting with them (I noticed this when working food retail; if people started moving I had a hard time finding them back. But when I was in a group with friends, even years later I could pretty much tell where everybody was standing to each other). When it comes to remembering faces of strangers, I lack completely too :) If I've spoken to you about something important, I'll remember you though. If you were a routine order... And you start walking around... I think you'll have to start looking for me to get your order :)

I also wonder (see my first post on the forum) if you ever tried psychedelics...? If so, curious if they didn't work for you either.

Regards, no doubt I'll be back soon :) For now, enough rambling!
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So, I can actually process visual data 11 months 4 weeks ago #4495

  • tplummer
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That's similar to what I experience.

I can't visualize anything in my mind, so I can't imagine two parts fitting together or anything else with any form of detail that would rival my eyes'. However, I can process visual data at speeds that rival non-aphantasiatics (I'm hoping that's what would you call it). I think the best way to describe it is to physically see the object(s), while you have a blindfold on, but being able to still see the objects. I'm able to process and extrapolate data from the visualization, even though in my mind's eye it is as barren as a black hole (in all senses).

I do have a horrible memory, but I can draw. I have no problems with names or faces.

I have tried psychedelics, and through that I was able to "see" the structure of my memory and visualize objects, but it seems like through manipulation of sensory input instead of awakening my mind's eye. I "saw" my memory as a three dimensional sphere, with the sphere acting as a shelf, and memories stored on a fourth dimension extending seemingly inward into the sphere. If I recall correctly my immediate memory was on the lower left quadrant of the sphere closest to me, and in relation to the fourth dimension, seemingly on the same plane as the sphere. I did take 4 tabs of acid to see that, though that was my first time ever taking it.
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So, I can actually process visual data 11 months 4 weeks ago #4497

  • aphantasia
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I'm absolute shit when it comes to drawing :) Otherwise, we are en-par. And I think I just have to give up on my pink elephants dream :/
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