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I have Aphantasia, my 'Minds Eye' starts working--what in the Hell am i seeing and why *this*?

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posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 01:41 AM
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a reply to: Justshrug


Im curious, you've read my first three posts, what do you think the 'stars' are? What do you think i end up seeing?


You might want to look at Cosmic ray visual phenomena.

There are some interesting parallels with your description of the visual phenomenon you're experiencing. Including the use of test subjects with fully dark-adapted eyes.

Your enhanced sensitivity to terrestrial EM fields may allow you to experience some variation of the Cosmic ray visual phenomena.

An experiment you may want to try is go to different areas to sleep. Try different orientations. See how that changes the appearance and behavior of the starfield. My theory is that if these stars are somehow related to local EM fields, changing locations and orientations should alter the characteristics of the phenomena.

Just something else to think about.

-dex




posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 02:56 AM
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a reply to: Justshrug

Omg I had no idea I have this too! Wow! This just blew my mind! I seriously had no clue this was a thing! Thank you for this! So much makes sense now!



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 03:00 AM
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originally posted by: scraedtosleep
a reply to: Justshrug

Your condition would make being strategic very difficult. Have you ever tried to play chess? I would be curious to know if you even can.

I find you fascinating. I don't wont to make jokes but I can't help but realize that your a guy that has never engaged in "self pleasure" without an outside stimulus.


Im terrible at chess. You would think i would be better at it than i am. And yeah, masturbation is basically impossible without video pornography. After I found out about Aphantasia, I asked all my closest friends around me if they could summon, at will, prior sexual interactions. Everyone of them , guys and girls, looked up and to the right or up and to the left and said "yeah, right now i see my ex naked"

I ask them if its animated liked a moving picture...they say "yeah" and the look on their face is like that was the dumbest question they've ever heard. I can't even imagine what it would be like to *visualize* even my most memorable sexual experiences.

I remember them. But that data-point of recall is more like a logged entry and not anything that carries emotional or any 5-sense attachment to it. Its like an entry written into a captains log, on a wooden vessel crossing the vast Pacific in the mid-19th century. I can get an impression of the flowing script of the entry on exposed, delicate paper but its like a flash-impression of the event itself.

I can't actually remember what it *feels* like to be in love. Though i desperately yearn for that feeling again, like a hidden gravity pulling at my consciousness. But i can't remember what it felt like the last time i was in love with a woman. Or the time before that, or the time before that.

And now, knowing that i have Aphantasia, and knowing that this specifically affects my memory-recall of being in love, I can generate a sadness in this inability to fully *feel* what it might have been like to have been so in love. But, ironically, because I simply cant fully recall emotional states, even my faux sadness at that loss of feeling is like an echo.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 03:01 AM
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originally posted by: Dancejunkie35
a reply to: Justshrug

Omg I had no idea I have this too! Wow! This just blew my mind! I seriously had no clue this was a thing! Thank you for this! So much makes sense now!


I cried for at least three days when i found out about this. What most affected me, immediately, was the passion that i had at childhood for reading as many books as possible. I fell into fiction and during those times in school when the children must bring in books to read during reading time, i was bringing in 400-600 paged epic stories while all the others had 60 page sleeves. My most immediate loss, feeling like i missed out on what it means to be a human being, was the fact that most of humanity would read a book and 'see' this playful animated engagement of the characters and battles. I wondered how i could have ever even been sucked into reading in the first place. Then i realized that even in my incapacitated state, it was the closest thing i had to owning and being an human with a working imagination. i cried.

Be blessed and recognize what strengths this might give you

*** the way that i know this is what i did (without direct memories), was because i still had those huge books, worn through and heavily-leafed at the edges, as i grew into my teenage years. I knew that i had read them again and again, because they were there, and i kept re-reading them as i started to hold my first memories and ability to recall in my invisible database.
edit on 11-9-2018 by Justshrug because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 03:02 AM
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I have a chum with this condition. She's 65 and never knew that there was such a thing as visualisation and "mind's eye" she thought people were just daft! She became part of a study when I and others commented that not beign able to see your grand daughter's face in your head wasn't normal. She knew she had children grandchildren etc but couldn't "see" them nor describe them to anyone. She'd recognise people and places when she saw them again but ask her what her holiday was like or describe a sunset....not a chance!

The study concluded 2yrs ago saying basically she was faulty and nothing they could do. I believe there were just 5 people in the study as its such a rare malady. I just can't wrap my head around it...seems so bizarre but yet completely normal to her.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 03:32 AM
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a reply to: scraedtosleep


Obviously imagination is not required to be intelligent.


Actually, quite to the contrary, I've always engaged in creative pursuits. I basically solve problems for a living, often with code. I could go into the gory details of making a really complex business app but it suffices to say it's all imagining things and then creating them in code. I was also an independent web designer for years. Hobby wise, I write (here's an ATS story), draw, I've painted, done a little sculpting, dabbled in music, etc — hell I even did a stint in community theater. I'm always "inventing" things, even as a kid I was a tinkerer who would hack together contraptions. Speaking of which I pretended like anyone else as a kid, played with toys, etc. I did not have an imaginary friend and the thought of having one seems really alien to me. I dream, often vividly, sometimes really epic dreams and yes, I "see" and "hear" in them. And of course, I can imagine scenarios, empathize, imagine what people are thinking, what they'll say, etc.

What I don't do is "see" things with my eyes closed or carry on a constant internal monologue. That's not to say that I can't imagine saying something or imagine how a conversation will go and play it out in my head or replay a conversation that I've had. Like when I'm posting something, I'm thinking out what I'm going to say a few sentences ahead and I might even mouth the words silently. I'll even say things to myself like "wtf are you doing?" (occasionally out loud).

So maybe it's really the same sort experience, I just wouldn't describe it as it's represented in the image in the OP or as some of you have.

Which brings me back to visualization. If somebody says, "Imagine an apple" I can with my eyes open, conjure a mental representation of an apple and it's not a list of things about an apple, I can imagine a specific apple. I can imagine details: the curves, the color, the highlights and shadows, etc. I can imagine how an apple tastes, the sound of biting into it, the feel of chewing it, how it tastes when you get toward the core. And at the same time, there are flashes of things associated with apples that bubble up. (green apples are sour, I love apple pie, caramel apple pie with walnuts al a mode, red delicious, Adam and Eve, the Adam & Eve adult toy commercial, the Apple logo, a woodcutting of an apple, dried apples)

And it's not just that, I can look at something and then draw it later or describe it in detail.

However, when I close my eyes, I don't "see" an apple in any way that I would reasonably compare to seeing one with my eyes. And as I said, whatever it is that I experience, I can do it with my eyes open which is what makes me think that maybe other people really are doing something different because unless you're straight up hallucinating, I don't think you can "see" an mental image of an apple floating in front of your face with your eyes open in a way that it's like how you're actually seeing everything else.

Maybe I'll try improving my visualization skills al a the OP.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 03:42 AM
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originally posted by: PhyllidaDavenport
I have a chum with this condition. She's 65 and never knew that there was such a thing as visualisation and "mind's eye" she thought people were just daft! She became part of a study when I and others commented that not beign able to see your grand daughter's face in your head wasn't normal. She knew she had children grandchildren etc but couldn't "see" them nor describe them to anyone. She'd recognise people and places when she saw them again but ask her what her holiday was like or describe a sunset....not a chance!

The study concluded 2yrs ago saying basically she was faulty and nothing they could do. I believe there were just 5 people in the study as its such a rare malady. I just can't wrap my head around it...seems so bizarre but yet completely normal to her.


The last i read about it, there was no 'cure' or 'treatment' for Aphantasia, but as there is only one ongoing study and almost no controlled modalities or methodologies have been applied to the condition, it would be premature to end at that. My whole point and platform for leaping forward with these experiments, was that I believe i can train and rewire my mind to develop--and hopefully exert some level of control over--a functioning 'minds eye'

My intuition tells me that i have always had a functioning minds eye, just that the lights are turned off, for whatever reason. In other words, I've felt that even when i stared into the black abyss of the empty movie theater screen, I feel like its animated, and things are 'happening' -- but something flipped the light switch off so i cant directly acknowledge it is happening.

As I move forward, and start seeing things,I start to form an hypothesis about 'why' my light switch was turned off. And who-or-what switched it off to begin with. I really can't make any declarative statements about any other person with Aphantasia and why their mind's eye doesnt work, but I feel like im moving in on an explanation for my own situation



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 03:59 AM
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I was actually going to ask if there was an opposite bc I think I might have that. I literally visualize everything. And while that’s super helpful in my visual career, it can be a bit overwhelming as well. Not saying poor me at all - just noting that I truly believe there is an opposite and that I truly think I might have it. The biggest problems being even though I’m very forgiving, I have a horrid time forgetting things as I can visualize things from years ago as if they just happened. But I almost never get lost if I’ve been somewhere even once. Very interesting to contemplate how that might impact me / you / anyone from either spectrum.

a reply to: Justshrug


edit on 11-9-2018 by nicevillegrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 04:01 AM
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originally posted by: nicevillegrl
I was actually going to ask if there was an opposite bc I think I might have that. I literally visualize everything. And while that’s super helpful in my visual career, it can be a bit overwhelming as well. Not saying poor me at all - just noting that I truly believe there is an opposite and that I truly have it. The biggest problems being even though I’m very forgiving, I have a horrid time forgetting things as I can visualize things from years ago as if they just happened. But I almost never get lost if I’ve been somewhere even once. Very interesting to contemplate how that might impact me / you / anyone from either spectrum.

a reply to: Justshrug


Yes, this came up in a few posts above. Its called Hyperphantasia: you potentially have an overactive mind's eye and may be prone to daydreaming. Check out the conversations above if you have time. Its a spectrum, its not binary, so people can have vastly differing capabilities for visualizing

edit on 11-9-2018 by Justshrug because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 06:32 AM
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a reply to: Justshrug

I find you OP really interesting. Do you mind me asking if you are able to visualize when you are dreaming? Do you dream?

I found my own answer, by further reading of your posts. I am just realizing that I don't visualize at all, either. Thank you for great detailed posts about your experiences.


edit on 11-9-2018 by pointessa because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 06:50 AM
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a reply to: Justshrug

I found out about it here on ATS. Byrd made a post mentioning that she had aphantasia, and it was a total oh # moment for me. I had no idea. I thought the whole "picture this" thing was just a thing people said and never realised that almost everyone else was actually getting pictures in their head. I asked everyone I met if they could actually picture stuff, and they could. My Mum, step-Dad, brother and son all can. When I got the chance I asked my Dad and he is the same as me, although to what extent I don't really know, he wasn't that interested or phased, didn't really consider it discussion worthy. Me, I find it pivotal to much of who I have become - in retrospect. My brother has hyper-phantasia. He can construct images and memories, play them in front of his eyes. I can't even picture the face of my own son.

My brother pointed me towards an article in the Guardian, several months back, that discussed research that was going on about visualisation which pointed me towards a web site where I completed a questionnaire thing. Answering the questions was insightful, but at my age it's hard to extrapolate nurture from nature, so I don't know how much one thing has to do with another. I am definately an introvert, almost pathologically so. Verbal communication is difficult as my recall generally requires context and triggers. I wander off, digress and diverge, usually failing to deliver my point. I am better in writing.

I also, not trying to sound too much like a lame duck, have had problems with psychosis for the past few years. I have a genetic condition called Gilbert's Syndrome which essentially means that I don't produce a sufficient quantity of enzymes to break down the toxins that I consume, produce and breathe in. This make me susceptible to oxidative stress and hence psychosis. My particular nemesis is estrogen, ovulation is a bitch. Anyway, the point is, after reading Byrd's post and having a major psychotic break, I took up painting. My pictures are ugly but I find tremendous peace in them, like I finally get the inside out, know what I mean?

Thanks for the thread, it helps.






posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 07:01 AM
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originally posted by: Justshrug
Im terrible at chess. You would think i would be better at it than i am. And yeah, masturbation is basically impossible without video pornography. After I found out about Aphantasia, I asked all my closest friends around me if they could summon, at will, prior sexual interactions. Everyone of them , guys and girls, looked up and to the right or up and to the left and said "yeah, right now i see my ex naked"


Lol. I am also appalling at chess, and maths seems to need faculties of visualisation that I don't possess...and memorisation...# no! Apart from one of two exceptions, my educational experience, and pretty much everything else if I am brutally honest, has been defined by people assuming that I am a bit dense or "touched". If I had a quid for every time I've been called stupid, I would be a very rich woman indeed.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 07:58 AM
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originally posted by: NarcolepticBuddha
a reply to: Justshrug

Wait..

People can actually see stuff when they close their eyes and think about it?

Damn that's impressive. I wish I could do that too!

Begs the question though, if people could do this, why buy movies, or art, or ahem..pornography?????????????????????????????????????????????????







Because some people are to lazy to even 'think'



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 08:35 AM
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I read your first paragraph, and I thought wow that's kind of what it's like for me. That's probably why I have all these great ideas when I see all these colors for Art but when I actually start trying to make the art it looks nothing like what I imagined.... because I can't even imagine it.....

THEN I read your second paragraph. Hmm. I'd love to know more about this, and I wonder if that is my problem or if I just suck. LOL!

I have about 3 memories from before I was 9 and after that the only childhood memories my brain kept were the awful ones.
Except where my grandfather is involved for some reason my brain remembers everything. He was of course my best friend in life so how could I ever forget him...

I have to think about things like the apple in ways like "okay it's red and crunch and juicy and I love the way they taste, I am partial to yellow or green apples etc...."

Also, I am INTP rather than INTJ

I heard a song recently and part of the lyrics struck me

Steve Aoki - Pretender

"I'm a good pretender
I'm not really cool
I'm a good pretender
'Cause I'm just like you
I do not belong here
You all clearly do
But I'm a good pretender
So I'm just like you"

Struck me because I know I'm wired differently I just can't figure out all the ways, or why. I just know somethings different and always has been, but I'm excellent at pretending I'm totally normal. Of course my close friends know I'm far from, but to the average person or co worker... I can wing it. I can pretend.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm Autistic.... Sometimes I wonder if it's something else. I don't know. But this was a cool thread, I've never heard of Aphantasia before and I'd like to learn even more about it. Thanks for inspiring some education!

-Alee



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 11:24 AM
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Interesting. Never heard of this.

I can’t imagine not imagining.
So you never daydream, can’t fantasize about an imaginary scenario?

Do you dream when you sleep.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 11:41 AM
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originally posted by: nicevillegrl
I was actually going to ask if there was an opposite bc I think I might have that. I literally visualize everything. And while that’s super helpful in my visual career, it can be a bit overwhelming as well. Not saying poor me at all - just noting that I truly believe there is an opposite and that I truly think I might have it. The biggest problems being even though I’m very forgiving, I have a horrid time forgetting things as I can visualize things from years ago as if they just happened. But I almost never get lost if I’ve been somewhere even once. Very interesting to contemplate how that might impact me / you / anyone from either spectrum.

a reply to: Justshrug


I think I have the oppposite of this as well in hyper mode. I really get carried away with my visualizing or daydreaming.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 01:05 PM
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originally posted by: pointessa
a reply to: Justshrug

I find you OP really interesting. Do you mind me asking if you are able to visualize when you are dreaming? Do you dream?

I found my own answer, by further reading of your posts. I am just realizing that I don't visualize at all, either. Thank you for great detailed posts about your experiences.


Yes i do dream in great detail, every night. Aphantasiacs, by in large, report higher rates of vivid dreaming and recall of the dreams than the 'Normies'



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 01:10 PM
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originally posted by: NerdGoddess

Struck me because I know I'm wired differently I just can't figure out all the ways, or why. I just know somethings different and always has been, but I'm excellent at pretending I'm totally normal. Of course my close friends know I'm far from, but to the average person or co worker... I can wing it. I can pretend.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm Autistic.... Sometimes I wonder if it's something else. I don't know. But this was a cool thread, I've never heard of Aphantasia before and I'd like to learn even more about it. Thanks for inspiring some education!

-Alee




For most of my life, because of that spiritual void feeling that i carried with me, i felt robotic or slightly dead inside. I wondered if i was a psychopath (no, i am NOT!). I do feel emotions, very strongly, i just cant bring them up at will in a recall without external triggers.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 01:14 PM
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originally posted by: violet
Interesting. Never heard of this.

I can’t imagine not imagining.
So you never daydream, can’t fantasize about an imaginary scenario?

Do you dream when you sleep.


Yes, very vividly, every night. I remember between 3-8 dreams every night. Dreaming uses a different part of your brain than directed conscious visual recall.

Daydream? Never. I did not even know it was a real thing that someone could do till i learned about Aphantasia. I can't even imagine what that is like or how it could happen. I cant imagine having access to such a faculty, how that would affect my focus. It's hard for me to grasp the idea, in application.



posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 03:28 PM
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***Continued from initial three-post OP:***
Before I share with you what I saw, I need to touch on two things: the first (I) being that I had a vastly different expectation built up for many months and hundreds of hours of practice, about what I *would* eventually see. I want to share more about this because it’s another piece of the puzzle that I'm attempting to put together to find *real* answers about this phenomenon; the *Metaphysical* phenomenon that started more than a year ago following my NDEs (Here is the link for that post from 6 months ago)

Because I'm exploring human consciousness, I'm trying as much as I can to figure out how the system works in absence of any objective tools or measurement capabilities. Unfortunately, *because* it is human consciousness, everything I want metrics on is a subjective endogenous experience. Therefore, what’s left as the best tools in my toolbox for discovering the rules and boundaries is to run as many iterations as possible and then apply deductive and reductive reasoning to determine some truths. Then run *more* test iterations to observe congruent/non-congruent behavior.

I must be open to the possibility that everything I’ve seen and felt in this ‘starscape’, this burgeoning simulacrum of what might one day be a functioning mind’s eye, is something I've fantasized or manifested with no deeper meaning.

At least initially, that has to be on the table as a real possibility. But I know now that it’s not at all something I’ve simply made up. I think that if I did make it up, I would have likely seen something closer to my expectation, thereby providing myself with a nice little helping of confirmation bias to support my theory. And if I were fluent at ‘making-shish-up’ I would love to stop scaring myself as well.

And also, I know it’s *real* due to the second point, (II) because I get extremely significant physical sensations accompanying the visual interactions with the stars in the form of electromagnetic pressures applied to the same three places on my body that always receive those sensation with a paranormal experience.

In these precise locations, I feel a strong swelling and penetrating force, as if each of them were small spherical airbags and other external high-pressure airbags begin pushing into them: (i) the center of my skull cavity (ii) the center of my chest, roughly 2 inches higher than my nipples and (iii) the area directly behind my belly button. Every time I receive these sensations, I *know* that my consciousness is reaching out and connecting to this web.

Now, coming from a life spent as a dedicated militant atheist and a consciously skeptical engineer-like background, I know what this sounds like. These last few sentences being just as abstract and impossible to relate to as someone trying to describe to me what it’s like having an over-active imagination in their mind’s eye (Hyperphantasia). I can’t relate, I can’t understand because I don’t have the tools/wiring and have never had the experience. That’s really just where it ends, sadly.

I’ve tried to explain my interactions and understanding of ‘what’ human consciousness is and ‘where’ it is located to some of my dearest friends and family. People who earnestly want to hear what I believe. But I realize that even using a handful of diagrams and pictures as visual aids, the entire concept is *so* outside a persons’ experience that it becomes a foreign language exchange, and *I* am the barbarians at the gate mumbling “Bar-bar, bar-bar-bar—bar-BAR, yunno-BAR?”

It’s just too damn abstract, like trying to imagine a number with 300 zeros after it in terms of ice cream cones. Or if I were born with sight as a sense—the others only had four senses—and I begin trying to explain to people what it is like to see with my eyes. Even the idea of ‘colors’ becomes too abstract, becoming only an association they apply to the type of kool-aid I'm proffering.



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