AuthorTopic: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"  (Read 15694 times)

Offline DracoDragon42

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #20 on: April 28, 2016, 01:31:17 am
The blind drawing exercise I described seems to fit the general bill, actually (visualize+hold+draw). The blind part seems to be key -- I am gradually coming to think that at a base level I draw much better if I can't literally see anything at all while I have the pen down! Which is bizarre, but might be about visual feedback disrupting my own "visualization" + coordination process.
That actually makes a lot of sense, because when I'm laying in bed and its very dark where I can't really see anything, I have a very vivid imagination and a lot of times, I will think of characters, and their animations and stuff that I want to draw. It's also really cool because if I'm imagining something while I'm falling asleep I might have a lucid dream about what I'm imagining. Also one thing that I've done before is listen to music and close my eyes and imagine what I think the music would be in a visual form. I think I'm gonna try what you said about drawing with your eyes closed and see what the result is. I feel like it would be a good exercise for visualizing things while drawing.

Offline kullenberg

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #21 on: April 28, 2016, 03:36:36 am
Just want to say something on this post, because its really cool what you're talking about here. I understand what OxDB is talking about, how (if I understand correctly) you don't physically see a dinosaur in a field, you just imagine that same field with a dinosaur in it, in your head, and it makes it so that the dinosaur is in the field, in your head. It's weird and hard to explain but whatever. So, something that's weird is that I think my brother might have something completely different than any of this. To explain it to me he said, that when hes drawing, he can basically see what he wants to draw on the paper, but his hand gets in the way. That makes me think that he has an elevated sense of this. So, yeah.

Not him, but going by his description my mind works similarily. In my case my visualisations can get (but not always - some things are more difficult than others to picture) so prominent that they appear to actually phase in and out of reality, almost like a interdimensional being materalizing for a brief moment... It's literally like a picture superimposed over reality. It's a somewhat fleeting image but it's enough to actually make me uncomfortable at times - for instance, I was a the swimming hall and while underwater I got the urge to picture a big shark approaching me from the other end. I saw a flash of it and it made me quite uncomfortable. I had to pause and take a few moments to recollect myself before swimming again. I know, sounds super childish - because well, it is. I'm a gown ass man at 34 yet my mind is still very child like in many aspects. I suppose some people like me never grow out of it.

Offline tsej

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #22 on: April 28, 2016, 03:53:29 am
@Kullenberg do you get a weird feeling in your stomach or feel a little anxious when trying to do that consciously?
Correct me if I'm wrong

Offline kullenberg

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #23 on: April 28, 2016, 04:06:31 am
@Kullenberg do you get a weird feeling in your stomach or feel a little anxious when trying to do that consciously?

Hmm no I don't think so, but the mental image it produces may trigger such anxiety. Is that something you experience or have you heard others have it?

Offline tsej

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #24 on: April 28, 2016, 04:15:48 am
Yes, I can visualize things and hear them with my eyes open, rather I find it easier to do it that way but it makes me feel weird and anxious. Well, I already have high levels of anxiety since I was a child anyways.
I guess..it makes my limbs feel light? Another thing that happens when I get really anxious, so I drew parallels there.

It's not a superpower or nearly as impressive as it sounds, but yeah. It's not even close to what people might see when they're hallucinating.

edit: By "hear them", I mean I can imagine the sound it will make and I can hear it. I don't even know how to explain it.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 04:19:58 am by tsej »
Correct me if I'm wrong

Offline ptoing

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #25 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.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 08:31:29 am by ptoing »
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Offline Ai

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #26 on: April 28, 2016, 10:38:23 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.
Interesting; I'd say that sounds quite similar to my experience.

Quote
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.
I don't disagree with the distinction of 'aphantasia' or think that any intentional deception is involved. I just want to be clear about what 'aphantasia' is REALLY supposed to BE, before I go drawing conclusions about it. When I read 'people who can actually manifest sense-perception in their minds without there being external input', I ask:

* 'what is the step-by-step process of sense-perception?'
* 'Is there really no external input? Are other senses feeding into the visual sense at all?' ,
* '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)
* 'In what ways are two individuals' sense perception comparable, and in what ways are they incomparable?'

(In other words, I believe 'taking each other by our words' is inadequate for real communication in this case because the subject we are attempting to discuss is far too vague to begin with. It's what I'm doing too, because I have no answers to the questions above, but here I would classify it as 'socializing' more than 'communication').
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 10:41:20 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #27 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:

Quote
* '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.

Quote
* '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.
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Offline 32

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #28 on: April 28, 2016, 11:40:13 am
This is pretty interesting :)

It's hard for me to think of my imagination not functioning the way it does. If I'm drawing I get quite a lot out sitting here thinking about what different designs and animations might look before putting pen to paper. Of course often my minds eye turns out to be dead wrong about what would look good or even what would be physically possible  :D.

I think the act of physically drawing is a necessary stage of the process as it is impossible for me to hold an entire figure or animation in my head. I would say the visualisation portion of the work is more like getting a sense of what the gesture of a pose or animation (character stuff is 90% of what I do) will be like rather than actually getting it to a level where I just need to copy it down to the page.

Would it be impossible for you to design something in your head and then draw it down? Say a novel outfit or creature? To what stage can you think your way through a drawing? Only as far as "I'd like to draw a sword" not "oh yeah it could look cool with a pointy part on the blade there"?

Offline ptoing

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Re: Aphantasia - not having the "mind's eye"

Reply #29 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.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.