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Messages - ptoing
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General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 28, 2016, 11:43:32 am »
I can conceptualise decently well in my mind without having to draw. So in the case of a sword I could think about how I want the blade, be it single or double edged, curved, straight, how the hilt looks, how the crossbar looks, all that stuff. But it is abstract concepts and words, not images that I think in. So in a way it is knowing how it might come out based on previous thing I have seen and drawn myself.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 28, 2016, 11:07:26 am »
I have talked to quite a few people about their experiences with visualising things, not just seeing, but also hearing, smelling and so on.

Of course there was some external input at some point to give your brain the memory of something, for example a favourite cake of yours, your mom used to make when you were little.

Most people I talked with would be able to visualise that cake, seeing it more or less vague, but also getting a sense of smell and sometimes taste too. For some it would be pretty much like having taken a bite of the cake a while ago and still having the lingering aftertaste without the cake actually being in their mouth. I get nothing like that, not even vague, just nothing.

Quick going over your points:

* 'what is the step-by-step process of sense-perception?'
One or more of your senses get/s input/s from outside, be it light, soundwaves, smell particles, sense of touch etc, and then processes this to make you see, hear, feel, taste, etc things.

* 'Is there really no external input? Are other senses feeding into the visual sense at all?'
As I said, of course there has to be initial input at some point, you can not get the sense of tasting a strawberry if you never tasted one. But someone who can synthesise sense perception in their mind could probably go into an isolation chamber and easily visualise strawberries and what they taste like.

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* 'what is the person's real conception of what they are doing?' (as opposed to the usually very vague words they use to describe it)I think this is the biggest issue. I have read about people who have aphantasia never really thinking there was such a thing as "the mind's eye", it just being a metaphor. Then finding out that, no, it is not just a metaphor and there are people who can manifest visuals for themselves with their minds is pretty crazy sounding.

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* 'In what ways are two individuals' sense perception comparable, and in what ways are they incomparable?'I would say that they are comparable in that you can hook people up to an EEG machine and see what their brain is doing while they do things like looking at stuff, and then things that would lead people to visualise things, like reading for example. Of course you could always make the argument that you do not know what other people perceive, and my green might be totally different than your green. I however think that from what we know about evolution and neuroscience among other things, we can be fairly certain that most people, those who fall into the "norm" spectrum, perceive things very similar at a sense level. How they interpret things of course will vary due to factors such as upbringing, culture, biases, what have you.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 28, 2016, 08:26:53 am »
Ai: I have done blind contour drawings before, as in drawing something without looking at the paper, just looking at what you draw. They come out like most peoples drawings who have not done this a lot, wonky, but often recognisable.

As for drawing totally blind the result is pretty much the same, but often more wonky, because I do not have very clear tracking of where the pen is. Moreso when I have my eyes closed even.

Also, on the topic of definition and selfreporting, I guess we just have to take each other by our words. I believe that there are people who can actually manifest sense-perception in their minds without there being external input. I see no reason why friends would lie to be about this. And you would have to believe me that I am 100% incapable of doing this, always have been, as long as I can think back.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 27, 2016, 04:35:49 pm »
I can envision things very vividly, almost perfectly lifelike. When I walk around in the real world, I can envision a Dinosaur stomping through the fields almost like it's really there. I often remember my dreams, I had plenty of lucid dreams (though not many in more recent years, so I wonder if it's an ability that is lost as a mind ages or the result of fairly frequent and sometimes heavy beer "usage") and all my senses seem to work even in dreams.

The dino part just sounds crazy to me, I can not imagine that at all. Sounds freaky.
And yeah, I think alcohol can affect how you dream, so that might be the case. That said, I also had more lucid dreams when I was younger, and I do not drink. But I also know that it can be practised.

And yet, even with the ability to imagine things lifelike like that, I do not possess the skill to just easily recreate the vision into something tangible on a piece of paper or another medium for others to observe.

I would say this is just where practise comes in.

For me, the struggle with becoming good at visual crafting (avoiding the term art for most of what we do is not art by any cultural definition I think, unless "art" is simply an abbreviation for "artificial" as in made by a conscious creator and not given by nature) is the struggle to get better at translating the imagined from the realm of non-corporial ripples on the mind into a picture of that imagination which can be observed and "touched" in the real world by other minds who will then again turn it into ripples of their own which may or may not be like my ripples.

I think this is the same for all artists, or at least a huge portion of us.

So, I do not think the phenomenon of not being able to recreate something accurately from the mind, whichever form of existence it has in there, be it verbally or non-verbally, is necessarily bound to be an effect of Aphantasia. It's either that or maybe my mind just somehow fools itself when it thinks it has those clear visions and is in fact completely aphantasiac which would be an easy excuse for a lack of creativity and an inability to easily make something out of imagination (or lack thereof).

When it comes to recreating something as art, then no, nothing to do with aphantasia. If that was the case you would not get people who have it, like me, make art. Again, I think it comes down to practise, and creativity can be practised as well, and is largely down to your visual library, things you studied and observed, and made studies/sketches of. The idea of the mind thinking it has visions but it not having visions does not really make sense to me. Either you see stuff, however vague or lifelike, even if it is not really there, or you don't. I don't think there is a thing like imagining that you imagined something.

Isn't creating something out of nothing(nothing as in the total absence of or an incomplete pre-formed imagination) on paper or anywhere else one of the most creative things one could do if not the definition of creativity itself? Making something from "nothing"?

I don't think anyone is making anything from nothing, we all have influences, things we have seen, a visual repertoire so to speak. I have this as well, it just does not get accessed in a visual sense in my brain. I think a large part of creativity is how much you can store of what you perceive, and how easily you can access and then recombine it. How you access it is probably not all that important, just that you can somehow access it.

The recombination then can take place in the mind, and from there onto the paper or whatever medium you use. In my case I do most of it digitally, though I do it in my mind as well, just not visually, again, hard to describe.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 27, 2016, 11:56:40 am »
I would say it is both analytical as well as intuitive. I used to doodle a lot when I was drawing on paper more (something I really should get back to), and I used to do blind scribbles and then make characters out of those scribbles, like this one here:

A lot of the stuff that happened in those experiments I took up as things I now do a lot. One of those was the weird nostrils I do, though those did not happen as a result of a blind scribble.

The left/right brain thing is quite different though, as for that there would not even be any evidence that you make out yourself. You do not know which parts of your brain are active, your brain is pretty much a black box to you.

But people with aphantasia can tell you that they can not visualise things in their mind, and people who can, can tell you they can. So in that way the "conclusions" part does not really make sense.

The conclusion so far is that some people have worse visualisation skills than others, and some have none at all.
That is pretty much it so far from what I know, what might cause it, and how it works, we do not know.
Or if there is any way to somehow "fix" it. Then the question would also be what the impact on a brain that never did this kind of thing for ages, and now suddenly doing it, would be.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 27, 2016, 11:35:47 am »
Partly maybe, but not fully. They are simpler shapes that a human face. And it is not like I have a bad memory. I have a very good memory overall, just that I access those things in a nonvisual, abstract way. Again, hard to describe.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 27, 2016, 10:50:00 am »
My general thought patterns are very associative, so yeah, my mind does tend to wander. It is also something that I had to learn to suppress in conversation, because people found it hard to follow my jumps in topic (understandably)

I have had the hyperactive brain thing quite a few times, and had an episode of quite bad insomnia in my late teens, so yeah.

Does not matter how I try to visualise something, I just can't. Zilch every time.

I don't think that it is a little thing, as it can have a quite profound impact on you every now and then,
but I agree that it is not something worth stressing over in general.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 27, 2016, 10:33:01 am »
Not stressing out over it, thanks for your concern, though.

As far as trying to make a conscious effort to remember things, like my mom's face. Doubt that would work. There are characters I have drawn a lot, personal ones, and stuff by Helm, like the Yus Bird and his ZX robot. I can draw those just fine, and consistently, but I still can not visualise them, no matter how hard I try.

And yes, this is a very new field of study, and I think atm there is only Dr. Zeman working on a proper study, from what I know.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 27, 2016, 10:07:09 am »
I think people who have aphantasia access memory differently than those who have not. And maybe dreams have less to do with memory, who knows. But thinking about it, my dreams might be lacking some things, such as less of a sense of touch and I also don't remember if I ever smelled while dreaming, I certainly do not smell in dreams anymore after losing my sense of smell, but that is a different story.

Your point about the "sanity/clarity" aspect is an interesting one, but it's not like this is guaranteed. Things like paranoia and similar mental states still can happen, and you can still have hallucinations. For example I have peripheral movement hallucinations quite a bit, where I think that something in my peripheral vision is moving around, some insect or what have you, but a lot of the time it is nothing at all. Something I have gotten used to over the years.

When it comes to art I think maybe it helps in certain ways. For me the process of making a picture is very much a journey of revealing the image to myself, a lot of the stuff I do is entirely subconscious and I don't really have a lot of insight into what I am doing from a rational standpoint, as in I could not really explain it super well. This however makes making art for me interesting. It is a way to externalise things which I have no other access to, without being creative.

I am not sure how much it helps in terms of not daydreaming, I never was the best when it comes to time management and procrastination, and I tend to think a lot about stuff, just having an internal dialogue. But once I get down to do something and get into it I have a very good focus and learn things quite fast usually. The matter is more actually getting to that point.

I don't think that this is a disability, but I don't think that the term condition is problematic here, because that is what it is. However, I have had bouts of depression in the past and the fact that the inside of my mind is void of images, sound and so on, can give you a pretty powerful feeling of emptiness and disconnection that is hard to describe.

Also things like being able to visualise my girlfriend, who lives in the Philippines, or other loved ones, relatives and friends who have died, would be nice. I know what someone looks like, and I have a very good facial memory in terms of recognising people. But describing someone outside of really hard facts, like eyecolour, where they have moles, etc., is pretty much impossible for me, and I doubt that I could draw many people from memory, if any.

General Discussion / Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"
« on: April 27, 2016, 09:17:44 am »
I dream just fine, and sometimes very vivid, have lucid dreams every now and then, so no problems there.
But I think for some people it also goes to not being able to dream, or at least not being able to remember their dreams.

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