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Aphantasia


janesix
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I stumbled across something strange ...apparently there are some people who dont and cant form mental images in thier head. And it's common for a lot of people to only be able to form fuzzy images. It's rarer to form normal images in the head,and then there are those who can project, or form images outside of their head. 

It's strange to me there are such differences. 

How do you see images? In the head, outside the head, or not at all?

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1 hour ago, janesix said:

I stumbled across something strange ...apparently there are some people who dont and cant form mental images in thier head. And it's common for a lot of people to only be able to form fuzzy images. It's rarer to form normal images in the head,and then there are those who can project, or form images outside of their head. 

It's strange to me there are such differences. 

How do you see images? In the head, outside the head, or not at all?

It depends upon what I am doing, if I am working on a mechanical object taking it apart or reassembling it I can visualize the object assembled or disassembled. If I am just recalling something I am able to clearly visualize what Inam recalling in my mind. 

Peace. 

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8 hours ago, janesix said:

I stumbled across something strange ...apparently there are some people who dont and cant form mental images in thier head. And it's common for a lot of people to only be able to form fuzzy images. It's rarer to form normal images in the head,and then there are those who can project, or form images outside of their head. 

It's strange to me there are such differences. 

How do you see images? In the head, outside the head, or not at all?

I get only the vaguest kinds of pictures when reading.  I love to read but tend to love styles of authors who describe action rather than painting pictures.  

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8 hours ago, Manwon Lender said:

It depends upon what I am doing, if I am working on a mechanical object taking it apart or reassembling it I can visualize the object assembled or disassembled. If I am just recalling something I am able to clearly visualize what Inam recalling in my mind. 

Peace. 

Wow I wish I could do that, a wonderful talent!

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As I have explained before on UM,  I have self  induced Aphantasia, and for almost 70 years couldn't see the simplest image in my mind.

I am slowly redeveloping a little bit of abilty.  

However, this is only the case while I am awake.

While asleep I have always had very life like dreams and been able to control and construct them at will Ie controlled lucid dreaming 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
On 11/23/2021 at 8:57 PM, ZOXS said:

I have very little ability to visualize in my mind.

My dreams are usually quite vivid but not quite as real as life.

My problem is called hypophantasia which means I have little ability compared to aphantasia which means no ability to visualize.

On the other hand, hyperphantasia means you are better than average.

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Just noticed this.

I have hyphophantasia.  I can sometimes form a slight image in my head, but it doesn't stay.  The old conundrum "try to not visualize an elephant" never made sense to me.  I know what an elephant looks like.  I can even draw one with reasonable accuracy... but when I do, there's no picture of an 'elephant' in my mind and if I try to visualize one, the "picture" stays for only a few seconds.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I actually have the opposite, whatever that is. I cannot 'not' see images every time I close my eyes, its always random images meshing together into something different, can get really intense and distracting too, so hard to focus and visualise because of it, actually hindering so many aspects of my life lately. Anybody know what this is? 

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On 11/13/2021 at 7:31 AM, janesix said:

I stumbled across something strange ...apparently there are some people who dont and cant form mental images in thier head. And it's common for a lot of people to only be able to form fuzzy images. It's rarer to form normal images in the head,and then there are those who can project, or form images outside of their head. 

It's strange to me there are such differences. 

How do you see images? In the head, outside the head, or not at all?

I never realised this about people, but I do all of them.

When picturing something somewhere I only picture the parts of it which are relevant to what I`m thinking about, its not the whole scene.

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Visualising something in my head is easy for me.  No problem at all.  Scenes, animals, people, objects all can be seen with my minds eye.  Even words appear along the inside of my forehead when I am trying to spell a difficult word.  But ask me to do the same with numbers, and they won’t stick at all.  Mental arithmetic has never been easy for me because the numbers won’t stay where I can see them!!

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In my case what i see in my minds eye isnt like looking at the world its more like when some sci fi flick has hologram floating out in front of the person like in iron man when tony was trying to make a new element.

For example i like to doze off solving some issue with something im putzing with, i will rebuild my cars engine, ****** etc or if i need to fab a part for a project i will try different ways in my minds eye see what works and what doesnt,

I play about 6 hours of music on my club nights and i will put a list together in my mind, i see it as the artists or art of course it varies in the night depending on crowd and requests.

Truth is i thought everyone did this.

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  • 3 months later...
 

My wife is Aphantasiatic, we discovered this a few years ago and I shared about it in another thread here at some point...

As it turns out... Aphantasia also applies to not being able to hear things in the Mind's Ear as well.  This we discovered when she was trying to recall a song and I suggested she hum the tune.  When she said "how can I do that?", I replied, "just listen to it in your head and repeat it".  She gave me the sideways tilted head of confusion and next thing i knew I was looking into auditory aphantasia and it is indeed the case.  Not everyone can listen to things in the mind.

Whereas I hear detailed music in my mind every day.  Every instrument, entire songs, full orchestrations.  Turn volume up or down.  She does not. 

I assumed being able to imagine and hear music was normal to everyone, along with seeing detailed scenes and images, it seems a certain percentage does not.

As I said, I hear music in my mind's ear every day.  Songs arise like thoughts, most seemingly randomly, though sometimes in context with something occuring around me.  I often wake up to a song in mid refrain in my mind's ear.  

 

I hear them in complete detail with all instruments.  I used this ability on occasion back when I sang professionally if someone in our group forgot the pitch pipe.  Certain songs acted like 'anchors' in a way and by listening to the song in my mind's ear, I could sing the tone for the group and off we'd go.

 

My wife does not and cannot hear anything in her mind's ear.  Nor can she form any mental images. 

 

Our inner lanscapes of mind can vary wildly from person to person, yet we all live an absolutely full life from the center of our own awareness. 

And that is utterly fascinating to me.

 

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