Can you picture something in your mind's eye?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphantasia

If you can't, you're just like me. Looking for others who have it so I can hear about your experiences and how you think you deal with your problems. I just learned about this and how its not normal. Most people say I don't want to talk about this over dinner, and I thought picture yourself on a beach was just a phrase people said.

At first when I was like “Huh? is that a trick question?”, I was drawing a complete blank.

After getting it, yeah, vivid red star. Even “handling” a red star as if it were cut out from shiny paper/foil.

Then crescent wrench, Flintstonemobile, tire/wheel, etc. Check, check, and check.

Thought at first there were gaps in what people could visualise, and red stars (color + shape) would be an exception. Nope, no trick. :laughing:

So… unno, never really encountered that.

Nope nope nope… #1 for me. Just can’t see anything even if I’m thinking of it conceptually. Feels like it should be easy but I’ve got nothing.

Try yellow moons, pink hearts, green clovers?

Nothing. The concept is “there” but no visual image.

Reading top search engine results about aphantasia, and apparently those who have it also often have poor facial recognition. Well, I’ve never been able to visualize faces or figures. Parents, people I’ve known my whole life, nothing.

I imagined similar to number 6. I read something similar people do not have internal monologues with themselves when thinking and the concept of “talking to yourself” was not a universal thing. Didn’t read it from a medical journal though but thought it was interesting.

I’m not sure that is a good test.
I can build a whole flashlight with parts I need to make in my head but have real trouble picturing that wee red star :smiley:

Oh no… what else am I missing :stuck_out_tongue:

Someone once asked me what language I think in. What would you say?

I don’t think in language but rather “concepts”. She thought it was funny: “So you think in thought bubbles?” Not that I don’t have monologues, but it’s not exactly internal even if not voiced. i.e. it’s like the vocal chords are either moving or about to.

Seems like I need a BLF mental flashlight! What’s the ETA on that project?

One of my mentaly created flashlights?
Take a look :smiley:

CRX, it does not mean you cannot build anything. The CEO of pixar had it. There is a reddit dedicated to it. Many people who have it are much more technical and think in words. https://old.reddit.com/r/Aphantasia/ The sticky has a creative person talking about it. https://invidiou.sh/watch?v=ewsGmhAjjjI

Here is a 4chan thread talking about it, many programmers and more technical people have it as well. One interesting thing is I rarely read fiction when I read. https://boards.4channel.org/g/thread/74629913

Oh, my!! That is some incredible creativity, workmanship, and photography!

Still, when I close my eyes… they’re gone! :wink: But they’re so pleasing to look at!

I know. I was just surprized that I couldn’t visualize the red star when I can do it very well with other stuff.
Maybe I just got lights on the brain :smiley:

I’m not necessarily seeing the object it seems, but the thoughts and memories are translating to concepts in my mind not exactly an image but when I concentrate on an object or location it gels together for an instant but I can’t seem to hold it. Lol, I’m also having trouble describing this but I’m still not sure if this condition is affecting me or not.

Fascinating. So I imagine you much prefer watching movies than reading books? Reading must be very boring if you can’t create a virtual world in your mind. Daydreaming is my favorite hobby and I have such a developed ability to abstract thinking that I always feel kind of detached from my own body.

I thought this virtual world in the head was the expression of the soul…

weirdly if I don’t close my eyes it’s easier to see these things

They think that it is another way that many of us process visual information. I don't think of it as a disability as much as a different way of thinking. I don't really like movies either, I think that they are usually a waste of time. Reading for pleasure is boring, I like to read books like thinking fast and slow as well as how to not be wrong. These are books that take me months to read. Movies I generally get bored of, when I watch them I tend to speed them up. That is just me though, I am sure others deal with it differently but not reading fiction books is pretty common with those who have aphantasia.

I am extremely visual. I see, think and talk in pictures. If I'm modding a light or doing some other task, I see it in my mind's eye, complete, lit, working. Built an island for our kitchen. Tossed every online plan I found. Built it out of my own head, saw it completed before I started. Once I "get" the video I'm unstoppable.

I walk the dogs and take on a couple hills to get the workout. (I'm 65 btw so it gets tough!) What do I do? (since I'm a train buff) See myself at the throttle of a heavy freight train with locomotives on the hind end shoving hard on the train to get it over the mountain. Whatever works. Difference is: I am not walking the dogs; I am in the cab, hand on the throttle, the sounds, vibration, noise, everything. I'm immersed in the video in my head and it is completely real. Next thing I know I've marched right up the hill at whatever speed I can lug-it-at and the video goes away. Always been like that.

When doing yoga and meditation the images I see are very clear and vivid. White light being drawn in (healing breath) and black smoke being exhaled (the stress and toxins) leaving the body and dispersing in the air. The vision just comes, effortlessly. It is not imagination. Imagination has to be forced. Picture the red star mentioned (forcing it, that's why you don't see it in the mind's eye) I instantaneously see it. It's just there after the suggestion, eyes open or closed. This stuff gets pretty intense!

I see dead painters

I have a very strong mind’s eye which, when i meditate, can be quite hallucinatory, but i didn’t realise this wasn’t the case for everyone until i too read the Pixar article mentioned above.
Once i learned about Aphantasia i realised i knew quite a few people who had it but didn’t know it was a thing, so i’d guess more people have it than is perceived.

But, like Phouton i can also think in concepts, and my thoughts have facets to them that i haven’t encountered with my physical senses (sight, sound etc), which makes translating them hard, but i believe my minds eye is seperate to that. The first being feeling, the second visualisation.

In terms of torches, if i were to create one from scratch i would first feel what i wanted to create and then my minds eye would be used to visualise that concept, and then i would use my knowledge to reduce that visualiation to something that is physically possible.

I think that’s how it works anyway, i’m sure ‘lost is translation’ is very much applicable here :smiley:

I listened to an interesting podcast about that Aphantasia: Blindness of the Mind's Eye - Stuff To Blow Your Mind | iHeart