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Aphantasia - Blind in your mind

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posted on May, 22 2016 @ 08:43 PM
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Hi there ATS.

So here the other day I was listening to a local radio program and the following subject caught my interest.

Its about a condition where the person is not able to see pictures in their mind.
I instantly thought "To see pictures in your mind? There must be something I misunderstand".

The program had a girl who have this condition and she was talking with a brain-specialist about this subject and as the talk went on, I stood with this really weird feeling of disbelief "The ability to see pictures in your mind, thats exstra-ordinary!" But as I found out, it is normal to see pictures inside your head.

Ever since I heard the talk about this, I was kinda annoyed. I thought to myself that I was still misunderstanding this subject. I could not grasp that others was able to see pictures inside their head! So I went on to ask my girlfriend and when I asked her:
"When you think of something, do you see a picture inside your head?"
"What do you mean? Yes I do see a picture, why?"

I was still in disbelief, so I asked my three friends and thats where I knew I wasn't misunderstanding anything, they said the exact same thing as the brain-specialist and my girlfriend.

The 'condition' is called Aphantasia.
I find everything about the brain fascinating and thought this was pretty cool, but also annoying for me when I've never been able to see anything inside my head. I have looked at the moon countless times but I still can't bring a visual up in my head. When I think of my best friends I see nothing. I only know how they look like, that their eyes are blue or hair is black.

So I thought I would bring this up and ask if others is 'missing the ability to think in pictures' in here.
And if so; Are you good at numbers? Are you creative? Do you find it easy to remember facts?

Also, as I understand it, its different how clearly people see pictures in their head some more vividly and others not.

To those of you who can bring pictures up, how vivid is it?
Do you use this when you need to remember something?
Do you see colors or is it in black and white?
How often do you bring up pictures in your mind?
How many details do you seen when you think of someone? Like their wrinkles, how big their nose is and so on?

I love how the world sometimes can surprise you!




posted on May, 22 2016 @ 09:48 PM
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a reply to: ypperst This is really interesting. I can ''see'' an image in my mind, but I have to really focus and think about it. It's not a vivid image that comes to my mind in an instant.
I've always had a hard time with guided visualizing meditations.
Maybe there is a scale or spectrum of this condition because words are easier in my mind than pictures. I'll have to read your link later, because I have a tiny headache right now.
Thanks for bringing this up!




posted on May, 22 2016 @ 09:51 PM
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Do you dream?''



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 09:52 PM
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I enjoyed this post very much. I did not know about this either!

I feel I must commend you on how you handled finding out you fell into this category. A less optimistic person would let it get to them and they'd feel "wronged" somehow. However, you take it as just another amazing aspect of the brain/life, and that's awesome!

I can see pictures/people/images in my head. When I'm bored I'll often play through favorite episodes of shows or movies. (in a shortened version of course.)

You also mentioned faces. I feel like those are honestly some of the toughest to nail perfectly. I'm not sure if this is just me, but next time you're in a deep conversation with someone and while making eye contact, "study" very intensely their features. When I do this, they almost always begin to look different from what I remember. Even family members!

The brain is weird, man...



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 09:58 PM
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originally posted by: onequestion
Do you dream?''


I think this is a very good question, because yes I do dream. And thats where I ask myself this question: the part that makes these visuals, is that also the same place that creates dreams? If so, how am I able to dream?

But then again, I know I dream, but do I dream the same ways as you do?

When I remember a dream, I dont really see anything, I just know what happened in the dream.

Just like when I try to remember how my apartment looks like, I just KNOW how it looks like. The couch is over there, my computer is here.

Its pretty darn hard to describe.



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 09:59 PM
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a reply to: seaswine

It's funny how when you try to make a face it's not easy
Maybe that tells us something about what the mind experiences from another person.



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: ypperst

I wonder if your pineal gland is the same as mine?

Maybe it's genetically different.

Maybe there's something to learned in that area.

So you never visually experience you dream?
edit on 5/22/2016 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:01 PM
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originally posted by: seaswine
I enjoyed this post very much. I did not know about this either!

I feel I must commend you on how you handled finding out you fell into this category. A less optimistic person would let it get to them and they'd feel "wronged" somehow. However, you take it as just another amazing aspect of the brain/life, and that's awesome!

I can see pictures/people/images in my head. When I'm bored I'll often play through favorite episodes of shows or movies. (in a shortened version of course.)

You also mentioned faces. I feel like those are honestly some of the toughest to nail perfectly. I'm not sure if this is just me, but next time you're in a deep conversation with someone and while making eye contact, "study" very intensely their features. When I do this, they almost always begin to look different from what I remember. Even family members!

The brain is weird, man...


I just love how facinating the brain is and find this so interesting, but yes I'm kinda sad that I dont know the feeling of bringing up a image.

Can you really bring up parts of a show, just like you have seen it in real life? That really baffles me!

Yes the brain is so strange!



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:05 PM
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originally posted by: peppycat
a reply to: ypperst This is really interesting. I can ''see'' an image in my mind, but I have to really focus and think about it. It's not a vivid image that comes to my mind in an instant.
I've always had a hard time with guided visualizing meditations.
Maybe there is a scale or spectrum of this condition because words are easier in my mind than pictures. I'll have to read your link later, because I have a tiny headache right now.
Thanks for bringing this up!



It could sound like you have a hard time seeing pictures too I guess.

Always when I was told to count sheeps, my eyes just ended up doing the 'jump motions' that the sheeps would make, because I see nothing at all.

I have it very easy with words just like you say. I can remember pretty much everything important that people tells me(easy for me to catch someone in lies). Also lyrics in songs, its like it gets inprinted in my brain after I have heard it two times.

Good luck with your headache!



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:09 PM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: ypperst

I wonder if your pineal gland is the same as mine?

Maybe it's genetically different.

Maybe there's something to learned in that area.

So you never visually experience you dream?


I wonder that too, this subject brought so many questions to me.

Like, I know when I have had a vivid dream, but when I think about it now I see nothing, just like in the daily life.

Like I can bring up a 'sensation' about a beach. I know how a beach looks like, the sun setting in the background, I just dont see it.
The same goes for my dreams. I know I saw my friend in my dream, I know there was a big green field of grass and so on.



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: ypperst Just took some ibuprofen, thanks!
I took the test and got 25%...low but not unusual? I wonder if people good at drawing or painting see very vividly in their mind?...I can't draw at all.



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:33 PM
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originally posted by: peppycat
a reply to: ypperst Just took some ibuprofen, thanks!
I took the test and got 25%...low but not unusual? I wonder if people good at drawing or painting see very vividly in their mind?...I can't draw at all.



Do you have a hard time with numbers?

In the radio talk they were trying to find something she was good at, for example she is good at drawing things.

Its a good question.



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:43 PM
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I used to play call of duty in my head all the time. make new strategies and everything. Once I learn the maps completely I can just look around like in spectators mode. I can do it with my neighborhoods in real life too, most of the city.



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: ypperst So, the girl without mental images was good at drawing?
I'm okay with numbers... some days better than others. With pictures, I really have to focus on it... I'm usually focusing on things said or conversations had or thinking of a story and there are vague images that quickly dissipate. Real things that I have seen are easier than made up things.
I would love to be able to do a visualizing meditation with vivid imagery, but it's like I can't keep an image and hold it for very long.
I'm also more into how I ''feel'' about things. Sometimes I try not to think at all too much and just be... if that makes any sense... which makes me wonder... do we always have to be thinking about things? Someone once told me without thoughts we wouldn't have a brain that is alive... but that seems counterintuitive to clearing ones thoughts for meditation or what not.
Thanks again for bringing this topic up.
I'm wondering if someone who doesn't have any images in their mind can learn to see them in their mind?
Do you think you could one day think moon and see it in your mind?



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 10:54 PM
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I can use visions in my minds eye to make up for lack of affection when im not in a relationship.



posted on May, 22 2016 @ 11:24 PM
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a reply to: ypperst

well we don't have all the same capacity to visualize and use our mind's eye, it is normal. Just like we are not all good at sports...that is the way I see it.

In my experience, around my circle of friends, the ones who have liked to read books when they were kids, they all could and can do this while reading or during the day.

well, with meditation it is possible to train this, it just takes some patience...if you want to be able to do it. More one meditates and trains visualizations, more it will develop, well mostly it depends on what is your focus is in meditation.

Visualizations can come handy in many ways, but they are not the point...as far as meditation is concerned.

Point is, anyone can train one owns mind if one want to do this!

For some it just takes more practice than others.



posted on May, 23 2016 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: ypperst

i feel sorry for you, i cant imagine how lost i would feel without the ability to visualize,

i see pictures for everything even just speaking, the words i speak flash in my minds eye as an image before i speak them, this is especially helpful for spelling, as i speak / type anything i get individual flashes of images of each individual word like this

i could not tell you the hair color of my own family members without first seeing it in my mind, i dont memorize the details like that as words i have no need to as i can just recall the image of them and describe it from that. i dont believe i could even attempt to think of something like that without the image popping up in my head, its such a reflex to recall an image i wouldnt know how to not do it, how to tell my mind to not show me an image.
edit on 5/23/16 by pryingopen3rdeye because: (no reason given)



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