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can you imagine the scene as described?
Poll ended at 06 Sep 2011, 10:19 am
yes 69%  69%  [ 22 ]
no 22%  22%  [ 7 ]
not sure 9%  9%  [ 3 ]
i didn't even try but i like clicking buttons 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 32

hyperlexian
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23 Aug 2011, 10:19 am

for as long as i could remember, when i try to imagine certain things in combination (like an object on a table or a person on a chair, for example), i can't properly visualise it in my head.

my mind does has a weird reaction and doesn't allow the object or person to "stay put". hard to describe exactly, but if i am imagining a magazine on the table, it's like a big wind comes up and blows it right off. or if i am thinking about someone seated on a chair, the person pops back up to a standing position.

even further, the chair and table sometimes won't stay in place either. the table floats up off the floor and the chair gets knocked over. and then the whole scene evaporates, like it wavers and slips away. can't hold it steady at all.

the ONLY way that i can (usually) get everything to stay in place is if i also imagine glue and ropes and string and stuff holding everything down. and the chair and table have to be big and heavy and unmoving. this requires a massive amount of attention and focus and an elaborate scene set-up.

can you all do me a favour and imagine something like i've described (person in a chair and a magazine on a table)... then tell me if those things stay in place? this has always bothered me a great deal and i've wondered if i am alone in my strangeness.


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OJani
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23 Aug 2011, 10:55 am

I can imagine the scene you described and similar ones and hold it, but I can't imagine them in details. Focusing on details leaves the scene scattered, so I can see only the most obvious features of the scene at a time.


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Sparhawke
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23 Aug 2011, 11:01 am

I have never had any problem visualising anything and holding it, sometimes for years in full recall with perfect clarity so am not sure what you are asking, but to me it would be a focus issue, you are either consciously or subconsciously changing the scene and the more you try to get it under control the more you lose it.

Stop trying to picture a whole scene and start practising on the small building blocks, maybe a chair or table, picture or magazine and then when you have these worked out you can move onto other things.

Don't do anything else until you have everything set, otherwise it will forever be like the floater in your eye...you will keep chasing it forever and never be able to catch it.

I would say for some reason you have convinced yourself you cannot hold it, therefore you cannot. Do not try to juggle so many chainsaws at the same time and you will not lose your hand.



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23 Aug 2011, 11:06 am

I have a similar issue, and I've always thought it comes from my inability to imagine people. I can create a scene with only objects with no problem, but when I try to imagine a person it gets hairy. I can only really "imagine" people in situations that I can recall. I tried to imagine my mom sitting at a table. I have the table and the lamp and even some wallpaper by accident, but since I haven't spoken to my mom in many years or seen her, I'm not able to see her sitting at a table. All I can remember is her making one kind of face, so I can't envision her any other way.



Callista
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23 Aug 2011, 11:14 am

Very interesting. No, I don't have any problems like that, but it's a very interesting quirk nonetheless. Do you have any theories about it?

I tend to imagine things in 3-D, which I'm told is odd. What I mean is: Most people will visualize things from one viewpoint (that is, a 2-D viewpoint), seeing only one perspective on them. When I imagine an object, I'll imagine it from all viewpoints at once. It's the difference between looking at an object and holding it in your hand so you can see all of it, the shape and thickness and weight. I think of it as sort of occupying space in my mind. As a consequence, it's very easy for me to mentally rotate objects. I find it harder to mentally rotate two-dimensional representations of objects, because I have to first extrapolate 2-D into 3-D and then back again to get the answer.

A similar mental trick lets me think about four-dimensional objects relatively easily, by extrapolating three dimensions into four and back again. But if you want to work with more dimensions than that, you really need mathematics.


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tomboy4good
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23 Aug 2011, 11:17 am

@hyperlexian, no problem visualizing the scene. In my version though, things stay where put...no floating or changing. On the otherhand, I've had similar occurances in my dreams.


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Zen
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23 Aug 2011, 11:46 am

OJani wrote:
I can imagine the scene you described and similar ones and hold it, but I can't imagine them in details. Focusing on details leaves the scene scattered, so I can see only the most obvious features of the scene at a time.

This, exactly.

The floating thing is fascinating though. It's as if you have separate mental symbols of the different things that don't like to mesh together.



hyperlexian
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23 Aug 2011, 12:06 pm

Zen wrote:
OJani wrote:
I can imagine the scene you described and similar ones and hold it, but I can't imagine them in details. Focusing on details leaves the scene scattered, so I can see only the most obvious features of the scene at a time.

This, exactly.

The floating thing is fascinating though. It's as if you have separate mental symbols of the different things that don't like to mesh together.

yes i think OJani's experience is similar. and YES - the things in my scene are sometimes repelled almost like a magnetic force field... flung apart, sorta.

EDIT: also, yes... in a sense it is like each part has its own separate representation, and when i try to combine them my mind is still trying to hold each one separately, yet with equal attention (like the juggling chainsaws suggested by Sparhawke).

tomboy4good wrote:
On the otherhand, I've had similar occurances in my dreams.

fascinating! my dreams are quite solid and fixed.

snpeden wrote:
I have a similar issue, and I've always thought it comes from my inability to imagine people.

i am also on the borderline of being face blind. and my visual memory sucks. there may be a connection there.


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Last edited by hyperlexian on 23 Aug 2011, 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomboy4good
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23 Aug 2011, 12:11 pm

Face blindness...I find this to be very interesting. I often have trouble remembering what someone looks like. I have to look at them & find someone in my memories who is similar to make the face connection. Otherwise I am quite likely not to remember that new person at all.

In my dreams, things morph & change, & sometimes float. It's a bit disconcerting when I think about a dream upon awakening. Also the colors tend to be either very vivid or pastel, or I dream in black & white.


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hyperlexian
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23 Aug 2011, 12:11 pm

Sparhawke wrote:
I have never had any problem visualising anything and holding it, sometimes for years in full recall with perfect clarity so am not sure what you are asking, but to me it would be a focus issue, you are either consciously or subconsciously changing the scene and the more you try to get it under control the more you lose it.

Stop trying to picture a whole scene and start practising on the small building blocks, maybe a chair or table, picture or magazine and then when you have these worked out you can move onto other things.

Don't do anything else until you have everything set, otherwise it will forever be like the floater in your eye...you will keep chasing it forever and never be able to catch it.

I would say for some reason you have convinced yourself you cannot hold it, therefore you cannot. Do not try to juggle so many chainsaws at the same time and you will not lose your hand.

when i was a child i asked my mother why i have this problem. she said something similar... tha i am putting so much effort into trying to imagine it in detail that my effort derails the scene. like i am destroying it by focusing too hard.

i think my mind IS changing the scene. or trying to hard to keep it the same when it should be allowed to exist as it is.

part by part imagination works to a degree... if i slowly add each element, allow the scene to stabilise, then add the next part, etc... it is sometimes successful.


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hyperlexian
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23 Aug 2011, 12:18 pm

Callista wrote:
Very interesting. No, I don't have any problems like that, but it's a very interesting quirk nonetheless. Do you have any theories about it?

I tend to imagine things in 3-D, which I'm told is odd. What I mean is: Most people will visualize things from one viewpoint (that is, a 2-D viewpoint), seeing only one perspective on them. When I imagine an object, I'll imagine it from all viewpoints at once. It's the difference between looking at an object and holding it in your hand so you can see all of it, the shape and thickness and weight. I think of it as sort of occupying space in my mind. As a consequence, it's very easy for me to mentally rotate objects. I find it harder to mentally rotate two-dimensional representations of objects, because I have to first extrapolate 2-D into 3-D and then back again to get the answer.

A similar mental trick lets me think about four-dimensional objects relatively easily, by extrapolating three dimensions into four and back again. But if you want to work with more dimensions than that, you really need mathematics.

holy crap i want to take a trip into your head. i can't even visualise a magazine on a table, and you have 3D animation going on!! !

i didn't really have a theory, but wow i'm getting a lot of good ideas from people on the thread who don't even have this probem!! !


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MotownDangerPants
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23 Aug 2011, 1:20 pm

Awful visual thinking skills, here.

I can't even grasp intermediate Geometry AND I can't do what you described lol.

I can picture the magazine on the table, or a person in a chair, but not together. It becomes...mush.

I'm a very auditory/verbal person by nature, FWIW.

HORRIBLE sense of direction because I can't visualize *anything* (streets, blocks, neighborhoods) in my mind, either.



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23 Aug 2011, 1:24 pm

tomboy4good wrote:
Face blindness...I find this to be very interesting. I often have trouble remembering what someone looks like. I have to look at them & find someone in my memories who is similar to make the face connection. Otherwise I am quite likely not to remember that new person at all.

In my dreams, things morph & change, & sometimes float. It's a bit disconcerting when I think about a dream upon awakening. Also the colors tend to be either very vivid or pastel, or I dream in black & white.


Same here.

I can't even picture my mother's face accurately if I don't see her for about 6 months.



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23 Aug 2011, 1:30 pm

Well, I could do both. I HAVE experienced the kind of thing you are talking about though. At times, I try to basically dream as I might while sleeping, and see a picture like it is right in front of me. If I try to focus on it, it may get swept away like a poster in the wind. If I try to visualize in a bit less visual way, if you know what I mean, I can see it static or moving.



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23 Aug 2011, 2:37 pm

I can't even visualize it, so I have no idea if stuff would be moving. I've never been able to visualize a scene someone else explains - I've very very rarely been able to come up with a picture myself, only in meditation that is attempting to push towards that.