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Do you have aphantasia?
Yes 32%  32%  [ 20 ]
No 55%  55%  [ 34 ]
Not sure 13%  13%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 62

firemonkey
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19 Nov 2016, 2:07 am

I have aphantasia and am wondering how many others here do. I have heard it may be more common in those with ASD.


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liveandrew
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19 Nov 2016, 4:18 am

Done.

I did a quick test at work a couple of weeks back to see if anyone else had it and I was the only one. Admittedly there were only four people but they were pretty freaked out to know that I cannot picture a simple red square or an image of a beach - something they all found very simple.


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19 Nov 2016, 1:01 pm

Sometimes I can, sometimes not. It's more remembering than picturing though. so I guess so.


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Cartman
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18 Oct 2017, 11:28 pm

This is a year old, but only 15 poll takers and 5 positive. I have Aphantasia and face blindness. I do well in visual IQ questions though.

This article I read said they are related. BBC: Aphantasia: A life without mental images



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18 Oct 2017, 11:47 pm

Pretty sure I have face blindness; I scored 38 on the Cambridge Face Recognition Test where anything under 65 is considered likely face blind.

As for Aphantasia, I have no idea, largely because I have nothing to compare with.

I can certainly recall being frustrated in elementary school when the teacher told us to picture something in our mind and I couldn't seem to do it, but then I was likely taking the teacher literally and actually wanting to close my eyes and literally see a picture, not just imagine something.

Picture a friend's face? Picture a rising sun? What's that supposed to mean? I'm not literally supposed to be able to close my eyes and see something as if I'm seeing it with my eyes am I?


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SplendidSnail
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19 Oct 2017, 12:11 am

I guess one thing that does occur to me is that it's much, much easier to imagine hearing a sound or especially music than it is to imagine seeing something, so maybe that's something to compare with and that would suggest that maybe I do have Aphantasia.

But really, it would be nice if there were some test that asked something more difinitive than "Imagine a sunset. How clear is it?"


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19 Oct 2017, 12:44 am

I don't. I think in pictures a lot of the time.


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firemonkey
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19 Oct 2017, 4:21 am

I can't imagine sights,smells,sounds,taste and touch. For some it's just images. For others it's two or more things that are involved.

It's not a very comprehensive poll but 29% is much higher than the approximately 2% of the general population that are.


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naturalplastic
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19 Oct 2017, 6:48 am

Not being able to imagine things is....something I cannot even imagine!

Not sayin that just to be cute. It really is alien to me. But further it undermines my faith in the whole mental health care community because its a seeming contradiction. The whole reason they peg me as being on the ASD spectrum boils down to me being "too much into my own thoughts...too much daydreaming" that kinda thing. So if there are folks who cant daydream, and cant picture things -and are the exact opposite of me- but those opposite traits are considered symptoms of the same condition I supposedly have -then how can it be the same condition?



strings
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19 Oct 2017, 7:29 am

SplendidSnail wrote:
As for Aphantasia, I have no idea, largely because I have nothing to compare with.

I can certainly recall being frustrated in elementary school when the teacher told us to picture something in our mind and I couldn't seem to do it, but then I was likely taking the teacher literally and actually wanting to close my eyes and literally see a picture, not just imagine something.

Picture a friend's face? Picture a rising sun? What's that supposed to mean? I'm not literally supposed to be able to close my eyes and see something as if I'm seeing it with my eyes am I?


I totally agree. Not having anything to compare with makes it almost impossible to decide how to answer the aphantasia test questions. I never realised I might have aphantasia until I encountered the test, after firemonkey posted it here last year. But I am still not really sure whether I have aphantasia. I had always assumed that people were speaking figuratively when they talked of seeing mental images, since I don't see any mental images myself.

And still, I remain unclear as to what other people mean when they say they "see" mental images. Do they really mean they see them, like a movie or a photograph? I think the best answer I can give is that when I try to visualise a person, or a sunset, I am aware of the concept of that person, or that scene. But I don't in any sense of the word "see" it. But how can I really know whether anyone else is "seeing" more than that when they speak of a mental image? Might they just be using more flowery language to describe the same impressions that I have?



Embla
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19 Oct 2017, 7:48 am

strings wrote:
SplendidSnail wrote:
As for Aphantasia, I have no idea, largely because I have nothing to compare with.

I can certainly recall being frustrated in elementary school when the teacher told us to picture something in our mind and I couldn't seem to do it, but then I was likely taking the teacher literally and actually wanting to close my eyes and literally see a picture, not just imagine something.

Picture a friend's face? Picture a rising sun? What's that supposed to mean? I'm not literally supposed to be able to close my eyes and see something as if I'm seeing it with my eyes am I?


I totally agree. Not having anything to compare with makes it almost impossible to decide how to answer the aphantasia test questions. I never realised I might have aphantasia until I encountered the test, after firemonkey posted it here last year. But I am still not really sure whether I have aphantasia. I had always assumed that people were speaking figuratively when they talked of seeing mental images, since I don't see any mental images myself.

And still, I remain unclear as to what other people mean when they say they "see" mental images. Do they really mean they see them, like a movie or a photograph? I think the best answer I can give is that when I try to visualise a person, or a sunset, I am aware of the concept of that person, or that scene. But I don't in any sense of the word "see" it. But how can I really know whether anyone else is "seeing" more than that when they speak of a mental image? Might they just be using more flowery language to describe the same impressions that I have?



Woow! I'm surprised to relate so much to this!
For me the mental image is a lot different from actually seeing something. Until now I've just assumed it's like that for everyone.
I've talked to other painters who's having difficulties getting the image in their mind out on the canvas. And my answer has always been "Well of course. The mental image is impossible to see properly". I'm realizing now that maybe we don't have the same kind of mental images.
I can imagine an object or scenery, and I will know the general concept of it. Say it's a yellow bird in an oak tree. If I wanted to paint it, I wouldn't be able to look at the mental image and replicate it, because the mental image is always flowing. It would still be a yellow bird in an oak tree, but I couldn't use the mental image as a photo. I couldn't zoom in on details, zoom out again, and still "see" the same thing. I couldn't look at it and replicate it, unless I had memorized that exact bird from somewhere else. And even then it wouldn't be a clear image, I would just know the anatomy of the bird and how to apply that to a 2D format, not so much visualizing a memory.

That's weird. It's annoying that it's so hard to explain.



Embla
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19 Oct 2017, 7:53 am

Hey! You guys who have aphantasia, I'm really curious about something.

How is dreaming for you?



firemonkey
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19 Oct 2017, 9:09 am

Embla wrote:
Hey! You guys who have aphantasia, I'm really curious about something.

How is dreaming for you?


It's hard for me to recall dreams. Of those I do remember there are no images.


Quote:
The ability to dream in pictures, let alone dream at all, appears to vary widely among aphantasiacs. Some say they never dream. Others say their dreams, like their waking thoughts, present only as concepts. And then there are those who, like Williams, insist their minds' eyes only work when they’re mired in REM sleep.


https://vanwinkles.com/what-it-s-like-t ... aphantasia


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thewheel
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19 Oct 2017, 9:15 am

I also get stuck with this question as I have no frame of reference to compare my experience.

I might experience mental imagery, but if I do it is extremely vague with little discernible detail, hazy and ghostlike. I have no idea if this is normal, but I certainly do not experience vivid picture-like imagery or identify with those who say they can "use" it for any purpose.

As for dreaming, while I am fairly sure I dream I believe they too are very vague and and I don't retain any memory of it.

On the other hand I am not face blind.


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firemonkey
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19 Oct 2017, 9:29 am

Perhaps it's a cognitive deficit with me ,but for me one knows whether one sees images in one's mind's eye or not. I don't really get all the talk about "frame of reference" etc .


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strings
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19 Oct 2017, 9:34 am

Embla wrote:
Hey! You guys who have aphantasia, I'm really curious about something.

How is dreaming for you?


That is an interesting question. I am never left with the impression of anything but rather hazy images, when I recall my dreams after waking. It is difficult for me to be absolutely certain whether those recollected hazy images were more image-like than the mere "concept of an image" that is all I can achieve in my waking state, but I think they probably are.

Since I became aware of the whole aphantasia question I have been trying hard to see if i can ever manage to bring an actual image into my mind. When fully awake I can't do it. But just once or twice, I think I have caught myself in a half-awake/half-asleep state and experienced a very hazy, fuzzy sort of image in my mind, which fades away when I wake up properly. I am suspecting that in my case I have total aphantasia when awake, and some limited ability to see hazy images when dreaming. Somehow, these images are accessible to my subconscious mind but not my conscious mind.