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IsabellaLinton
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23 Feb 2020, 4:00 pm

I recently realised that I choose travel destinations by anticipating scent.

For example, I'm really drawn to old cathedrals and libraries. I'm interested in the scent. Like you said, I'm just as happy to google a visual picture of travel locations, because imagery isn't as compelling as my other senses. I wish I could google the smells.



I love belko61
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23 Feb 2020, 4:06 pm

You know on The Flintstones when the characters stand there and the background just keeps scrolling past on repeat? That's how my life is. I'm always "here" in my head and the background changes -- but I don't pay attention to it.
- IsabellaLinton

Love this analogy! It's like I have no peripheral or something. Maybe it's from tuning out so I function better. Sensory things (like a bird tweeting) can draw me out of it for a second or two, like an anchor. Neither here nor there, always in my head. I have a poor sense of smell though, usually only notice sugar, musty or noxious scents.



IsabellaLinton
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23 Feb 2020, 4:11 pm

I love belko61 wrote:
]Neither here nor there, always in my head.


Exactly. I could travel to the other side of the world but I'd still be spaced out in my thoughts, and all I'd remember would be my thoughts. The backdrop is largely irrelevant - unless it smells good. :heart:



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23 Feb 2020, 4:16 pm

And I like old places too - very tactile, sensual. One of a few places where you can be pleasantly surprised. I like reading olde english as well, and the rules and niceties, interesting lives. But in real life I don't listen to anyone - very independent!



Lost_dragon
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23 Feb 2020, 7:14 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
kokopelli wrote:
Much of my life, I've heard of references to "undressing a woman with your eyes".

Obviously, with aphantasia, I can't actually visualize a woman in my mind as if she has no clothes. I've often wondered about the phrase because I've never visualized a clothed woman as if she had no clothes on. Is that what the phrase means or does it mean something else?

Similarly, I've heard people say that if you get nervous giving a talk in public, then you should visualize the audience as being nude and that will make it somewhat funny to you can you can proceed with much less nervousness.


Yes. To the first thing. Most heterosexual men do indulge in "undressing women with their eyes" in exactly that way: visualize ladies (celebs in pics, or ordinary ladies around them) unclothed ...from time to time. That's exactly what the phrase means.

AND yes I have also heard that advice given about public speaking. If the hundred folks in the audience are all naked, and you're not, then they supposedly are more "exposed" and have more reason to be embarrassed than you do. So it supposed to help you relax and speak better.


I've tried the whole imagine the audience naked / in their underwear thing. Personally, it doesn't work for me. I just felt embarrassed and had a strong urge to apologise to the audience then leave. :lol: The idea of walking in on a naked audience makes me feel like I'm intruding on something. A nudist convention perhaps.

However, I use other methods to relax when doing presentations. One includes pretending that I'm giving the speech to someone I am more familiar / comfortable with (such as a friend or family member). Alternatively, imagining that there is someone prompting me and giving thumbs up in the corner is another method I've used. I might pretend that I'm still in a rehearsal session / still rehearsing it in my mind and that my audience is offering prompts to a performance. Essentially pretending to be in a partly improvised play; delivering my staged lines and using quick thinking to answer and react to prompts or to adapt the lines if necessary. A bit like being in a stage rehearsal with an indecisive director.

I remember when I was seventeen, my class had to individually present on a subject of their choice. Unfortunately, I had been procrastinating on this task until the final day. Fittingly enough I decided to write a speech on the subject of procrastination and poor time management twenty minutes before I presented. I got a good grade and complimented on my presentation skills. :lmao:


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auntblabby
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24 Feb 2020, 1:32 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I recently realised that I choose travel destinations by anticipating scent. For example, I'm really drawn to old cathedrals and libraries. I'm interested in the scent. Like you said, I'm just as happy to google a visual picture of travel locations, because imagery isn't as compelling as my other senses. I wish I could google the smells.

can you tell me what you are smelling in those situations?



naturalplastic
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24 Feb 2020, 6:22 am

Lost_dragon wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
kokopelli wrote:
Much of my life, I've heard of references to "undressing a woman with your eyes".

Obviously, with aphantasia, I can't actually visualize a woman in my mind as if she has no clothes. I've often wondered about the phrase because I've never visualized a clothed woman as if she had no clothes on. Is that what the phrase means or does it mean something else?

Similarly, I've heard people say that if you get nervous giving a talk in public, then you should visualize the audience as being nude and that will make it somewhat funny to you can you can proceed with much less nervousness.


Yes. To the first thing. Most heterosexual men do indulge in "undressing women with their eyes" in exactly that way: visualize ladies (celebs in pics, or ordinary ladies around them) unclothed ...from time to time. That's exactly what the phrase means.

AND yes I have also heard that advice given about public speaking. If the hundred folks in the audience are all naked, and you're not, then they supposedly are more "exposed" and have more reason to be embarrassed than you do. So it supposed to help you relax and speak better.


I've tried the whole imagine the audience naked / in their underwear thing. Personally, it doesn't work for me. I just felt embarrassed and had a strong urge to apologise to the audience then leave. :lol: The idea of walking in on a naked audience makes me feel like I'm intruding on something. A nudist convention perhaps.

However, I use other methods to relax when doing presentations. One includes pretending that I'm giving the speech to someone I am more familiar / comfortable with (such as a friend or family member). Alternatively, imagining that there is someone prompting me and giving thumbs up in the corner is another method I've used. I might pretend that I'm still in a rehearsal session / still rehearsing it in my mind and that my audience is offering prompts to a performance. Essentially pretending to be in a partly improvised play; delivering my staged lines and using quick thinking to answer and react to prompts or to adapt the lines if necessary. A bit like being in a stage rehearsal with an indecisive director.

I remember when I was seventeen, my class had to individually present on a subject of their choice. Unfortunately, I had been procrastinating on this task until the final day. Fittingly enough I decided to write a speech on the subject of procrastination and poor time management twenty minutes before I presented. I got a good grade and complimented on my presentation skills. :lmao:


That last thing was awesome. A great solution.



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23 Jun 2020, 8:24 am

Some recent research.

‘Phantasia – The psychological significance of lifelong visual imagery vividness extremes’

Quote:
The Eye’s Mind’s latest paper Phantasia – The psychological significance of lifelong visual imagery vividness extremes is in press with the journal Cortex. With findings based on data from 2400 participants, the paper is the first major scientific output made possible by the wide public interest in imagery extremes.

Key findings:

aphantasia is associated with scientific and mathematical occupations, hyperphantasia is associated with ‘creative’ professions
participants with aphantasia report an elevated rate of difficulty with face recognition and autobiographical memory, participants with hyperphantasia report an elevated rate of synaesthesia
around half those with aphantasia describe an absence of wakeful imagery in all sense modalities, while a majority dream visually
aphantasia appears to run within families more often than would be expected by chance


http://sites.exeter.ac.uk/eyesmind/2020 ... -extremes/



'A cognitive profile of multi-sensory imagery, memory and dreaming in aphantasia'

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Abstract

For most people, visual imagery is an innate feature of many of our internal experiences, and appears to play a critical role in supporting core cognitive processes. Some individuals, however, lack the ability to voluntarily generate visual imagery altogether – a condition termed “aphantasia”. Recent research suggests that aphantasia is a condition defined by the absence of visual imagery, rather than a lack of metacognitive awareness of internal visual imagery. Here we further illustrate a cognitive “fingerprint” of aphantasia, demonstrating that compared to control participants with imagery ability, aphantasic individuals report decreased imagery in other sensory domains, although not all report a complete lack of multi-sensory imagery. They also report less vivid and phenomenologically rich autobiographical memories and imagined future scenarios, suggesting a constructive role for visual imagery in representing episodic events. Interestingly, aphantasic individuals report fewer and qualitatively impoverished dreams compared to controls. However, spatial abilities appear unaffected, and aphantasic individuals do not appear to be considerably protected against all forms of trauma symptomatology in response to stressful life events. Collectively, these data suggest that imagery may be a normative representational tool for wider cognitive processes, highlighting the large inter-individual variability that characterises our internal mental representations.


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-65705-7



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13 Dec 2020, 12:24 am

kokopelli wrote:
Just out of curiosity, for others with aphantasia, do you enjoy vacations and travel?

I'm completely blah on vacations and travel. Part of it is that I tend to get anxious when I go anywhere, even to another nearby town, and can't wait until I go home again. The only times I've been 200 miles from home in nearly two decades was for medical reasons.

I used to be able to travel without anxiety and I did enjoy the trip. But when I got back, I could remember the trip but to me it wasn't any more real that if I had read about it in a book or magazine article. Essentially, to me, any travel I did in the past is very flat.

For example, I can remember riding the Alaskan inland ferry, the Malaspina, from Bellingham, Washington to Skagway, Alaska and then hiking the Chilcoot Trail to Lake Bennett in British Columbia, but my memories of the trip are no more than what can be written as paragraphs in a book. That was in 1977 -- when we got to Ketchikan, Alaska, the newspaper headlines were about Elvis's death -- he was still alive when we got on the boat.

In other words, I don't really retain much in the way of memories of what it was like on the trip.

Do others have the same issues? When you go on a vacation, how well can you remember the feeling of what you experienced in the vacation?

Yes I do enjoy travel and I love geography and I never had that something like that ever happen to me. But I heard Ketchikan and whole state of Alaska as a whole is just very beautiful, just by looking at pictures and watching a show called Aerial America.



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19 Nov 2022, 8:30 pm

skibum wrote:
One of my very best friends has that. He is also Autistic. He cannot visualize at all. Not even a tiny bit. Once he is done looking in the mirror, he cannot even remember what he looks like. He also cannot remember what his children look like. He simply cannot make mental visualizations. But that has not hindered any aspect of his life in any way. Other Autistic traits have tremendously but the fact that he cannot visualize has not hurt him one bit. He just uses other methods to do what we do with visualization. I would not allow a doctor to convince your daughter that aphantasia should hinder her. She has had it all her life and has never visualized. She has no concept of what visualization is. It should not hinder her at all.


So would you say that MOST, or ALL, that have Phantasia see pictures in their mind as if they are seeing them with their eyes, and can maybe even replace what they are seeing in front of them with what they would rather see.



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19 Nov 2022, 9:25 pm

strings wrote:
I have aphantasia, and see no mental images. I was unaware of it until fairly recently, and for many decades I just assumed people were wildly exaggerating when they said they could see things in their mind's eye. In my case, at least, I never felt I was missing out on anything, and I suppose I just developed my own way of thinking about things without the benefit of imagery, and without realising anything was lacking. I believe all my thought processes consist of holding a silent internal dialogue with myself.


Same here. I STILL don't know if they actually see things in that way. I actually have tried to develop the ability to do that since before I was even 5. In retrospect, I don't know how I even decided to try to do that, but I never succeeded. And by trying to do it, I mean with closed eyes seeing pictures as IF my eyes saw them on the back of my eyelids. The closest I ever seemed to get was the appearance of MAYBE an image, but if I tried to look directly at it, it would disappear.

Well, I can remember things as pictures, but they are certainly NOT photographic quality, and not in front of my eyes. Even some documents I have read that said aphantasia is RARE, being less than 15%, and possibly as little as 2%, say that those having hyperphantasia, which sounds like most would describe phantasia, is only 10-15%.

When I ask random people, it seems about 50% say they have what I would describe as aphantasia. I never once thought of imagination in the literal sense, as a visual IMAGE. In fact there was a lot of talk about people not having the ability to see voluntary mental pictures as they perceive dreams. They also say that they doubt dreams can even be in color.

For the record, I HAVE had realistic dreams in color. If I get lost in a book, I will even experience IT in color. When I saw "the never ending story", I really felt that it was a great big nod to that. But I could NEVER visualize Falkor as if he were a real creature in reality. I never had any imagined friend, or knew anyone that, to my knowledge, ever did.
It seems that being able to see something like a picture would be useful, but I don't get that kind of detail. I guess it is hard to explain. It is almost like, I don't have foveas. If people try to read a book, at least with MOST people, they can't really read a book unless their foveas(the center part of the photoreceptor area on the retina) are focused on what they are trying to read. My EYES have foveas, but my mind is seeing images as if I am looking with NO foveas.

It is kind of like being at an intersection. You can look anywhere on the street, even at a given sign on say the right. You may BARELY perceive the red light in the air, and won't be able to read any sign near that light, but you KNOW when the light turns green!

For the most part I remember things audibly also! For that, I ALSO don't actually hear with my ears.



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20 Nov 2022, 10:11 am

Supposedly, the mere act of vision is visualization. Supposedly, actual vision is limited to a small area of sight and the rest is imagined or visualized. That makes me think the topic of Aphantasia is complicated.

To test myself whether I have Aphantasia, I ask myself whether I can visualize a child's drawing of a house, grass, sky, sun, clouds, etc... or stick figures.

I don't think I can visualize faces on demand but I can recognize them. There must be an element of unconsciousness to it.

Apparently, I have some visual deficits but the whole thing is certainly complicated. I wonder if people with Aphantasia are actually better or worst at a visual memory test. It would be interesting if they were better.

I like art but I am not a sensory person. What if someone like Vincent VanGough had Aphantasia. His most famous paintings certainly aren't very detailed.



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20 Nov 2022, 10:20 am

I like hearing voices in dreams. I don't have the ability to imagine voices awake. That is something I feel regret about. My visual imagination seems well enough. Other people or at least some people appear to be imagining or generating a memory of voices. That must be awesome.



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24 Nov 2022, 9:33 am

JimJohn wrote:
Supposedly, the mere act of vision is visualization. Supposedly, actual vision is limited to a small area of sight and the rest is imagined or visualized. That makes me think the topic of Aphantasia is complicated.

To test myself whether I have Aphantasia, I ask myself whether I can visualize a child's drawing of a house, grass, sky, sun, clouds, etc... or stick figures.

I don't think I can visualize faces on demand but I can recognize them. There must be an element of unconsciousness to it.

Apparently, I have some visual deficits but the whole thing is certainly complicated. I wonder if people with Aphantasia are actually better or worst at a visual memory test. It would be interesting if they were better.

I like art but I am not a sensory person. What if someone like Vincent VanGough had Aphantasia. His most famous paintings certainly aren't very detailed.


Maybe this TOO is a misunderstanding! I know that I really see what I see, with my eyes, and it extends to the outer part of my vision. I don't have blind spots, but only see about as far as my eyes can go. There IS one LITTLE exception though. My ability to mentally process what I see degrades outside of the area the fovea can see. IT can only see a very TINY part of what my eyes can see, but has far better resolution. And THAT is why I have to move my eyes to take a closer look, or even read. But I use the rest of my eyes for lots of things, like determining if there is danger, or if a street light changes color, recognizing a person, etc....

As for the aphantasia question? I asked 3 people recently about this, and ALL said they could see things in their mind, etc... After talking with them, it seems that they really only SENSE it, in fact at least 2 said that word! It is like a school I once went to when I was 3-9yo I can't close my eyes and SEE it, but the sense of seeing it, so to speak, is so strong that I could draw out a map, and tell you all about it. The green benches in the area between the auditorium and a little store they had, the two drink machines, how the store was laid out, etc....

There is a memory teacher that promised a lot, so I subscribed to a course he had. And he mentioned aphantasia, and how he had it. Anyway, he recently sent me ANOTHER ad. Part of it says:

Aphantasia, which means a complete lack of mental or imagery or no “mind’s eye”
Phantasia, or a “normal” ability to visualize in your imagination
Hyperphantasia, mental imagery that is said to be as “real” as seeing with your actual eyes
UNQUOTE

I don't know about you guys, but I have TWO take aways from this!
1. Aphantasia says MENTAL and IMAGERY! "or" COULD have been a mistake, but it likely isn't, so it speaks of TWO types.
2. Only Hyperphantasia says it is as if with your eyes. I REALLY doubt 50%(as some claim) have this! Even the 15%(claimed by most I have read) sounds high. Just judging by what I have heard other people say. Recently, I even heard a person say that ALL of the US presidents used notes in speeches. You would think that would be rare if they could simply memorize it.



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24 Nov 2022, 10:49 am

2ukenkerl wrote:
JimJohn wrote:
Supposedly, the mere act of vision is visualization. Supposedly, actual vision is limited to a small area of sight and the rest is imagined or visualized. That makes me think the topic of Aphantasia is complicated.

To test myself whether I have Aphantasia, I ask myself whether I can visualize a child's drawing of a house, grass, sky, sun, clouds, etc... or stick figures.

I don't think I can visualize faces on demand but I can recognize them. There must be an element of unconsciousness to it.

Apparently, I have some visual deficits but the whole thing is certainly complicated. I wonder if people with Aphantasia are actually better or worst at a visual memory test. It would be interesting if they were better.

I like art but I am not a sensory person. What if someone like Vincent VanGough had Aphantasia. His most famous paintings certainly aren't very detailed.


Maybe this TOO is a misunderstanding! I know that I really see what I see, with my eyes, and it extends to the outer part of my vision. I don't have blind spots, but only see about as far as my eyes can go. There IS one LITTLE exception though. My ability to mentally process what I see degrades outside of the area the fovea can see. IT can only see a very TINY part of what my eyes can see, but has far better resolution. And THAT is why I have to move my eyes to take a closer look, or even read. But I use the rest of my eyes for lots of things, like determining if there is danger, or if a street light changes color, recognizing a person, etc....

As for the aphantasia question? I asked 3 people recently about this, and ALL said they could see things in their mind, etc... After talking with them, it seems that they really only SENSE it, in fact at least 2 said that word! It is like a school I once went to when I was 3-9yo I can't close my eyes and SEE it, but the sense of seeing it, so to speak, is so strong that I could draw out a map, and tell you all about it. The green benches in the area between the auditorium and a little store they had, the two drink machines, how the store was laid out, etc....

There is a memory teacher that promised a lot, so I subscribed to a course he had. And he mentioned aphantasia, and how he had it. Anyway, he recently sent me ANOTHER ad. Part of it says:

Aphantasia, which means a complete lack of mental or imagery or no “mind’s eye”
Phantasia, or a “normal” ability to visualize in your imagination
Hyperphantasia, mental imagery that is said to be as “real” as seeing with your actual eyes
UNQUOTE

I don't know about you guys, but I have TWO take aways from this!
1. Aphantasia says MENTAL and IMAGERY! "or" COULD have been a mistake, but it likely isn't, so it speaks of TWO types.
2. Only Hyperphantasia says it is as if with your eyes. I REALLY doubt 50%(as some claim) have this! Even the 15%(claimed by most I have read) sounds high. Just judging by what I have heard other people say. Recently, I even heard a person say that ALL of the US presidents used notes in speeches. You would think that would be rare if they could simply memorize it.


Misunderstanding is a constant in my existence and view of things. Not that my view of things is anything special.

I don’t think that people that are really good at speeches memorize every word. The fact that presidents are constantly giving speeches and being told what to say by speech writers and constituents would create a necessity to have notes or a teleprompter. They all have a teleprompter.

I think some people have an ego investment in giving speeches without notes. If notes help get specific facts right without detracting from the delivery I don’t see how they are a negative unless someone is supporting their ego by seeing it as a negative. I am sure it is a balancing act. It is not like presidents can’t give a speech without notes given enough time and motivation.



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26 Nov 2022, 6:06 am

I don't know if this is related to aphantasia, but I don't have much of a recollection of what was discussed in a meeting. At one company where I worked, the president of the company would go on a business trip and when he returned, he could describe every meeting and what was discussed in the meeting including who said what.

At best, all I can give is a general gist of how the meeting went with few details.

After learning of aphantasia, I started to wonder if he might have been able to replay the meeting in his mind.