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Nier
Deinonychus
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27 Apr 2011, 3:18 pm

Have any WP’ers ever experienced any unusual pattern-recognition abilities (visual or audible or...) ?

I had an odd experience recently where I was reading when very tired, having had several weeks of insomnia. My brain seemed to lose it’s normal filters and when I had read one particular word, suddenly instead of focussing on the word I was reading my attention was spread out equally over all the visual field – so the peripheral was as noticeable as the central part.

What was odd was that I could clearly see every instance of the word I had just read on the page, all at once. The word was repeated 6 or so times, and I could see them all at once standing out – it looked as clear as if they were highlighted with spotlights or standing up in 3D.

It would have taken less than a second to tell someone how many instances of that word were on the page...it’s not something that is common for me but is a little insight into how some people function on a regular basis. It was quite interesting and a shame I can't repeat the ability on demand ! :)

I have read the theory about people with ASD having fewer cognitive filters in place, so they can see more of what is really there & so special abilities can occur when less of the information that is present in the world gets blocked out by the brain.

So i'd be interested to hear if anyone has experienced similar, whether relating to 'lack of filters' or pattern-recognition or any other tenuous connection you can think of...

One thing i'd like to know is whether this is related most often with 'autism spectrum brains' or if it can it occur with any neuro flavour.

That’d be especially interesting to this undiagnosed adult as it just would help me to slowly unpick the confusing mess of symptoms and causes & help me to understand a little better. :scratch:



herbeey
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27 Apr 2011, 4:26 pm

This is unexpected by merit of the distribution of rods and cones in the eye. Then again, I guess I don't know exactly how much less detail rods have. Also, I guess it depends on how much of your visual field was taken up by the page, since cones are still quite numerous as long as it isn't too far from the centre.



herbeey
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27 Apr 2011, 5:26 pm

Perhaps as a more helpful comment, I could mention that someone I know describes the attention of NTs as like a bell curve (in terms of filtering incoming data) whereas the autistic attention is a flattened bell curve.



pascalflower
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27 Apr 2011, 6:53 pm

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.[1]

According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.



takeapart
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27 Apr 2011, 8:25 pm

You said you were tired, the only thing I can think of is:

- dolphins can shut down one side of their brain to sleep. They can perform tasks for days with no reduced performance. Switching between sides.

- Also there was a person after she had a lobotomy, one hand would unbutton her shirt and her other hand would button it back up. So two sides of her brain were fighting after her operation for dominant control of actions.

-- So were you so tired that your brains (L+R) were just unevenly tired that the side which looks for patterns was slightly dominant & awake? See good solid science explains it all. :D

I turn on my social filter when around groups on NT's. So yes there are filters. :D



QuantumMechanic
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27 Apr 2011, 8:38 pm

I would not know if it is unusual, but I have had some similar experiences. Very frequently I lose linear focus reading and take in the whole gestalt of a paragraph with my visual field picking up the key words only and stringing the ideas together. I can do it on purpose for a form of speed reading. I once had the experience of staring at my computer screen until my central vision whited out, but somehow I was still reading!

I have also experimented with the plasticity of visual processing. By focussing on it I enhanced my peripherial vision to the point that I can watch what someone directly to my side is doing while looking forward, even at distances of 20 feet or more. Of couse this was brought on by someone who would sit beside me in class and mess with my belongings when he thought I could not see him. Now I use it for coming around the corner accident avoidance. For a brief moment I can accurately see not just one focused side, but take in a full 180 degrees with a high degree of resolution.



Nier
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28 Apr 2011, 2:25 pm

Interesting stuff.

herbeey - I guess I meant focus passing from one word to a page, so still mostly within the main macular region but as the page was pretty close it did cover a lot of the visual field. Is visual info what you meant by bell curve? If so I think I got that - I do see things out the corner of my eye that grab my attention more than I notice in other people!

pascalflower - i'll have to look that up, if it was that it definitely was a nice state to be in. Perhaps being tired just meant I wasn't bothered about lots of other things so could focus.

takeapart - I see what you mean, i like good old solid science, but it doesn't happen that often and I do get tired a lot. Maybe my R brain is finding new stuff to do, which would be a nice feature :D
I've heard radio programme recently that says older (post 30) brains do actually get better at some things.

QuantumMechanic - yes your experiences do sound similar, thinking more about it I can do that 'zoning out but still looking' thing too, maybe it's connected with that. I shall experiment with it further... (Like the username btw, hope you don't get too many jokes about fixing collapsed wavefunctions) :wink:



QuantumMechanic
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28 Apr 2011, 7:11 pm

Nope Nier, you would be the first collapsed wavefunction joke. This particular tongue-in-cheek name was thought of and turned into a T-shirt by a grad student I worked with when I was in undergrad. But it is nice and applicable since I am an atomic/molecular/optics (AMO) physicist. And since I work with quantum systems experiments, I particularly like the moniker. Glad you like it as well.



leejosepho
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28 Apr 2011, 7:16 pm

If I am looking for something specific on a page of text already familiar to me, I can "fast-scan" that page and almost always very-quickly find every occurrence of that word on that page. However, that might be something more like "photographic recollection" or whatever.

If I am looking for a specific word on a page that is not already familiar to me, I can still find occurrences without actually reading the text ... but not as quickly.


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Nier
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29 Apr 2011, 3:59 pm

QuantumMechanic wrote:
.. it is nice and applicable since I am an atomic/molecular/optics (AMO) physicist. And since I work with quantum systems experiments, I particularly like the moniker.


Tell me at least you've had cat jokes? If not I think there's a paucity of cheesy physics-related humour on this site that needs rectifying immediately. :P

leejosepho wrote:
If I am looking for something specific on a page of text already familiar to me, I can "fast-scan" that page and almost always very-quickly find every occurrence of that word on that page. However, that might be something more like "photographic recollection" or whatever.


A photographic memory would be scary - there's a lot of things i'm glad to forget having seen or read! There is that chap who draws entire cityscapes from memory in incredible detail.

I sort of 'remember the image' of a page so I can find answers i've learned by bringing up the page in my head, but I can't quote every sentence on that page so it's visually aided memory without being photographic I suppose.

The instance I referred to was really odd though, more like a CGI-generated display lighting up like a display of lights on a dark background, so just something I could lazily see at once rather than have to read...rather enjoyable in it's strangeness though. There was this chap who could do complex mathematical manipulations in his head because he saw the numbers visually interacting & producing the result. Fascinating stuff the brain can get up to, just wonder why all that potential seems to be locked up.

Off topic - hope you're getting your MR scan sorted out ok.



leejosepho
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29 Apr 2011, 4:13 pm

Nier wrote:
I sort of 'remember the image' of a page so I can find answers i've learned by bringing up the page in my head, but I can't quote every sentence on that page so it's visually aided memory without being photographic I suppose.

I think your "visually aided memory" or "sort of 'remember the image'" description best describes what I had meant to be saying when I had said "photographic recollection". I can sit here right now and "mentally (and sort of 'pictorially') recall" the pages of a very-familiar-to-me text I have studied, but not to the point of ever being able to actually "cc" (literally reiterate) them to someone.


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Moog
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29 Apr 2011, 4:18 pm

That's very interesting, though I don't think I've experienced anything quite like that.


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Anie
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29 Apr 2011, 6:07 pm

Four leaf clovers. I can glance at a patch of clover and just seem them.
Image

Bet you guys can too;
[img][800:766]http://www.theseventhstarprojects.com/2244154487_08033df424_b.jpg[/img]



Nier
Deinonychus
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30 Apr 2011, 5:18 pm

Not sure how many I can see, because they overlap some of them look like 4 leaves but may be getting a leaf from a neighbour. Heh, love the greeness in the pic though - very calming. 8)



QuantumMechanic
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01 May 2011, 11:16 am

@Nier

Nope, no physics jokes of any kind yet here. But as you can see, I am not exactly a prolific poster. As for our own jokes, we tend to mainly inherit from chemistry and math.

Ion to buddy, "I think I've lost an electron!"
Buddy, "Are you sure?"
Ion, "I'm positive!"

@Anie

I saw two or three candidates within a minute or so of looking. Off patterns do tend to stand out for me visually. As a kid I pressed and collected four-leaf (and more) clovers for a while. That is how I found out that if you pick them, they will grow back another four-leaf.