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Sand
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28 Dec 2007, 12:57 pm

As a designer I conceive of objects in my head, modify the shape or color or surface finish, try them out mechanically and change them if they don't work properly. I also think in sounded words and write a lot of poetry. I cannot play a musical instrument but I can duplicate any instrumental sound in my head and compose simple melodies with the sounds. I bake and cook a lot and can also try different flavors in my head and can visualize what adding different spices would do to the mix. So I can think in several of my senses. I also create paintings in my head. It seems to me that if people cannot do these things they are very limited. I have no idea whether these abilities are common but they are very useful and entertaining for me.



2ukenkerl
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28 Dec 2007, 1:35 pm

kclark wrote:
SteveK wrote:
entropy wrote:
one other thought. when most people remember things from their past, what perspective is it from? i view all of my memories from a 3rd person perspective. i see myself from the outside in whatever scenario the memory is in. it is like my memory is a cameraman that follows me around. and i can view the memory from any angle around me. i can view things i have seen by themselves, without myself in the picture, but really never from the perspective i viewed in real life. in fact, now that i think of it, i observe what is happening in real time from a third person perspective quite a bit as well. like, i can see myself typing this right now from multiple 3rd person views.


SAME HERE! I always thought that was odd, but I think that way TOO! ALSO, I can take a memory and spin it around, go into it, etc... Sometimes it gets pretty tangible. BTW AS people do well with related things on IQ tests.

Steve


I do the same thing. When I remember going sledding at the park I picture first of all an almost helicopter view of me going down the sledding hill rather than a 1st person view. When I do that I always get the question of how much of this 3rd person viewing is actual memory and how much is me combining actual happenings with imagining what could have been? I seem to be able to so easily move about my memories as they play through my head and am able to easily modify them when I think about them zooming around the area, adding in things, that I sometimes wonder what is the actual memory compared to the memory of my previous fiddling. I could have thought about something so much and pictured it happening in a different way that I can't be sure that how I now recall it is the original or an altered memory. Frankly, that kind of scares me. If you can't trust your own head, what can you trust?


Yeah, I try to limit that for just that reason. Some of the times I do this I do things in a way so it is more like a cartoon, and I will KNOW it isn't real.



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28 Dec 2007, 2:03 pm

Irulan wrote:
For all my life I used to think in pictures, absolutely convinced that this style of thinking is common for all human beings and I found it really odd when I discovered that I was wrong and it's thinking with words that is considered to be normal and usual. Although in fact I didn't ponder it consciously I assumed that other people thought like myself and I didn't realize that it's possible for somebody not to think visually. ... And what about you? What is your style of thinking?


I think in pictures, and in smells and textures. And then have to translate to words, always inadequately. I thought everyone did this until I saw Temple Grandin's book.

But then, I thought everyone remembered everything, always, until I was about 25.


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28 Dec 2007, 2:23 pm

[quote="When I remember going sledding at the park I picture first of all an almost helicopter view of me going down the sledding hill rather than a 1st person view. ...[/quote]

A zoom in/zoom out function..... I do that, too. But you have to stop the flow of the pictures, then focus first. Then the pictures start to fly by again, but with a different perspective.


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sartresue
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28 Dec 2007, 3:28 pm

A word is worth a thousand pictures topic.

I have really enjoyed all the comments/advice/links on this subject. There are a lot of very smart analytical people on the Wrong Planet.

From what I have studied about Ludwig Wittgenstein, he was a picture thinker as well, but published very little in his life. Pictures can be difficult to translate into words. This is why I write very slowly and have trouble sometimes finding the most appropriate word. And when I read I find I have to translate the words into pictures in order to understand them. If I see a picture or piece of art (anything visual, not words) I must analyze, then think in words, then translate into pictures and then take the time to write it all out.

This can be tiring, but soldier on, I must. Next project: analyze how to socialize, using the penchant for picturing.



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28 Dec 2007, 3:38 pm

I am an ultra-visual learner, so much so that I actually had to work on developing a secondary learning style. It's amazing when I look at my high school and college notes: the ones that are messy and have very little content are the ones from the teacher/professor that did not write anything on the board, while the notes with a lot of content are the ones which had blackboard notes.

I just loved it when I discovered Dorling Kindersley's books: nothing like having pictures for everything!


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28 Dec 2007, 9:13 pm

i think i think in concepts, which i don't know how to explain. sometimes i visualize concepts as graphs, matrices of concepts in motion overlayed on reality or hiding on the side of my consciousness. i'm comfortable with words; they map well to concepts but are only maps. i can map concepts to words a lot better in my head and through my fingers then i can in speech, tho.


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ecky
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28 Dec 2007, 9:37 pm

oh my. i can't say i've considered my own thought processes in quite a while. when i do think verbally, it's a very conscious activity, as if i am talking to myself in my head. i also tend to get trapped in my own running commentaries, and i describe what i am doing or thinking or feeling to myself. it gets annoying, because, oddly enough, this running commentary usually does not acurately reflect my actual thoughts. i think, and respond to situations, either by forcing myself to be strictly rational [in these cases i talk to myself], or purely emotionally, with the emotions quite often representing themselves in sytheses of different senses, especially smells and touch sensations.



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28 Dec 2007, 10:10 pm

You know what else?

Food.

I can look at a recipe and adjust it, based on the tastes and textures that I "see" in my head.... I am a fabulous cook - because I'm an Aspie.


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JasonWilkes
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28 Dec 2007, 10:14 pm

Thinking in pictures is an Aspie thing?

I seriously, no joke, thought that was completely normal. I always have to draw people pictures to explain what I'm saying.



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29 Dec 2007, 6:24 am

I also think in concepts and images... isn't that how everyone thinks? I mean, how did primitive humans think before language was invented? And how in the hell would anyone ever invent anything by thinking in words? Is it even possible to think using purely words? I certainly can't do it. I seriously don't know how to do this "thinking in words" that everybody says is the normal way of thinking.

Besides, images are more meaningful and more efficient than words. You can draw a picture of a face, and every single one of the 6 billion or so humans alive today will immediately understand what it is. But to convey the same concept, the same meaning to them using words would require you to learn all of the world's languages.

Come on, thinking in words? Preposterous! And most of all, horrendously inefficient and unnecessary. Why think in a long, single-track, linear stream of words when you can instantly comprehend an entire concept by imagining it visually? I have always thought that textbooks could stand to use a lot less text, and many more charts, graphs, figures, and diagrams. Even things like tables are better than straight up prose, because they array the text into a meaningful concept that is rapidly assimilable at a glance. Any of these methods is far and away more efficient and effective than a slow, one-concept-at-a-time, linear stream of words, which requires a reader to use a short term memory buffer to keep track of the context and big picture. See? See? big PICTURE. Even our metaphor for this betrays the truth that visual thinking is vastly superior.

I get a kick out of this sometimes, especially when people are asking me for directions on how to get someplace. Everyone seems to want textual, turn-by-turn, linear instructions, but I always insist on drawing them a map. It's more fun for me, anyway.

Of course, the irony of this is that I conveyed this using.... prose. But I still must think of the message as a concept before digging into my "word and grammar bank" so that I can transliterate the idea into this relatively limited and restricted means of communication.



AngelUndercover
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29 Dec 2007, 7:02 am

I can't think in pictures. I can't even understand how it would work; it seems limited. How would you visualize anything abstract?

I think in concepts, but mostly in words. My thoughts originate as concepts, and my mind is constantly translating them into words... except for the ones that can't be translated because there are no words for them.



Rossi
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29 Dec 2007, 8:52 am

AngelUndercover wrote:
I can't think in pictures. I can't even understand how it would work; it seems limited. How would you visualize anything abstract?



It comes very natural, either as visual synonyms, visual connotation (movie clip or picture) etc but can also appear as an abstract visual, e.g. a shape or texture or a spacial element. E.g. when I calculate the sum of two numbers this is a three dimensional thing, where the single digits (tens, hundres etc) add up as Tetris-like shapes.
Or maybe thinking about distinction between two abstract things could be two "boxes" of playing related movie clips separated by a spacial element in which similar "visual thoughts" of commonalities and differences between the main boxes could happen.
Hard to explain but maybe it makes sense ?



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29 Dec 2007, 11:20 am

Rossi wrote:
AngelUndercover wrote:
I can't think in pictures. I can't even understand how it would work; it seems limited. How would you visualize anything abstract?



It comes very natural, either as visual synonyms, visual connotation (movie clip or picture) etc but can also appear as an abstract visual, e.g. a shape or texture or a spacial element. E.g. when I calculate the sum of two numbers this is a three dimensional thing, where the single digits (tens, hundres etc) add up as Tetris-like shapes.
Or maybe thinking about distinction between two abstract things could be two "boxes" of playing related movie clips separated by a spacial element in which similar "visual thoughts" of commonalities and differences between the main boxes could happen.
Hard to explain but maybe it makes sense ?


Visual synonyms? In theory, that is IMPOSSIBLE! It would require an object to have a SOUND or an AUDIBLE name! Either one requires an AUDIBLE memory.

Still, it comes natural to YOU maybe. With me, my visual memory is usually like a peripheral thing. It is useful, and can be fun, but may be nothing near what people here are talking about when they mention visual memory, though some here seem to indicate I have more control over mine. As for retention/ease, visual might be second to concept/pattern.



Rossi
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29 Dec 2007, 11:55 am

2ukenkerl wrote:
Visual synonyms? In theory, that is IMPOSSIBLE! It would require an object to have a SOUND or an AUDIBLE name! Either one requires an AUDIBLE memory.


What I meant was the "visual correspondent" to a verbal synonym



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29 Dec 2007, 12:57 pm

My thinking patterns are very similar to many others that have posted in this thread. When I'm thinking words type themselves in bold black letters in empty space. My mind will then usually put scenes together to illustrate the sequence of thoughts. When someone else is speaking to me, I will almost always think of what they're saying in scenes. The same with reading a book. I thought everyone did this. When I was really young, and just learned how to read I used to silently spell out every word that was spoken to me inside of my head. I don't think that counts as thinking in words, though, because I wasn't attaching any meaning to what they were actually saying. I was just having fun with spelling in my own little world.

However, I'm very, very bad at spatial concepts. If someone is trying to explain to me that they are going to remodel their kitchen I cannot imagine what things would look like if walls, and such were moved. It is literally impossible for me to imagine things in that way. I don't understand how I can think mostly in pictures, but unable to imagine something so simple.



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