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alana
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07 Mar 2010, 3:11 pm

I have been thinking about this, how I keep reading that aspies think in pictures, I am wondering, is this really abnormal somehow? I can't imagine what other way there is to think. I am really trying to figure this out, what do the thoughts of the people who don't think in pictures look like? Are they not visible at all, are they auditory? Do they see the words in their head (I mean the word written out as opposed to an object the word describes) or just hear them? Is the 'thinking in pictures' thing true for you or is it just a stereotype? I never really thought about how I think but now that I have been thinking about it I can't figure out what other way there is to think, unless I am thinking some way that I am not aware of. It's hard to think about how you think, anyway.



waltur
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07 Mar 2010, 3:48 pm

i agree.



pat2rome
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07 Mar 2010, 3:54 pm

I asked my mom about this, and she said she can't really picture things in her head at all. Some people can, but not to the extent that I do.

There's a reason you can't imagine thinking any other way: just look at what's doing the imagining! If you could imagine thinking another way, that means you COULD think another way.


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Pointless
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07 Mar 2010, 4:03 pm

I cannot imagine not to think in pictures. When I formulate something I think in words but apart from this the only thing that happens sometimes is the picture of written words in my head.
I found out about people thinking in words recently, I never thought that they´d do it.
I can´t imagine this too, don´t they think VERY slowly if they think in words?
I mean, words and sentences are so long, pictures and feelings are just suddenly there.
My idea of thinking in words is like when I read something and do really concentrate on it, I just hear the words in my head, there are some pictures but they´re in the background.
I thought about this whole thinking-thing for months, it is really exhausting.



pascalflower
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07 Mar 2010, 4:15 pm

"Cogito Ergo Sum" ("I think, therefore I am.") -- RENÉ DESCARTES

thoughts are not visual, thoughts are not auditory, thoughts are not materialistic.

Imagine someone who is blind from birth, they can not see but they still have thoughts.
Imagine someone who is deaf from birth, they can not hear but they still have thoughts.
Imagine someone who is completely paralyzed from birth, they can not feel but they still have thoughts.

Autistics usually have a very hard time separating their thoughts from themselves, and also separating their thoughts from actions. A thought is the separate cognitive phenomenon from the self. In essence, "I think, therefore I am" means the only absolute reason that we know we exists, is because we think. Feeling isn't thinking; hearing isn't thinking; seeing isn't thinking, smiling isn't thinking,speaking isn't thinking-all of these things can be done mechanically without the person being conscious . Thinking is that core independent thing which is hard to describe, but it would be what is left if we could not hear, see, taste, feel, or have any senses at all. Most NTs can easily think but have a hard time visualizing their thoughts, or remembering exactly their experiences .

I think purely in thoughts and have a hard time transferring my thoughts into visual or auditory. If I close my eyes right now, I would have a hard time remembering or visualizing what color shirt I am wearing.



Last edited by pascalflower on 07 Mar 2010, 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Magicfly
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07 Mar 2010, 4:16 pm

I find the concept of thoughts not in pictures very difficult to understand, but all my senses seem to give me pictures in my head....

Words... For example, if I write the sentence, 'a red ball bounces on the tarmac', I see a red ball bouncing on tarmac in my mind, instantly, as I read the words...

If I smell orange, I see oranges, if I hear change jangle in someone's pocket, I see coins in my mind, it just happens without any effort, all senses/thoughts relate back into visual concepts.

I can't visualise mathematics at all though, all I see in my mind are the numbers as they are written down (same with symbols for maths etc) and I can't seem to expand it beyond that....I seem to need to have a visual understanding of the world to comprehend it.



Khalaris
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07 Mar 2010, 4:32 pm

Pointless wrote:
I found out about people thinking in words recently, I never thought that they´d do it.


Same here.

Pointless wrote:
I can´t imagine this too, don´t they think VERY slowly if they think in words?
I mean, words and sentences are so long, pictures and feelings are just suddenly there.


I think this is where our brains work differently. I like comparing the difference to the difference between the CPU of a computer and the GPU, the graphics processor. We have a GPU that can handle a lot of information at the same time (lots of "threads"), but is slow compared to a CPU which handles a single thread of information - like sentences - very very fast.

If that is the way our brains work then that might explain the sensory issues, too. We see/hear/feel everything at the same time and try to process it (to filter out the irrelevant stuff), but sometimes our slower processors just can't keep up with reality. I hope that's not taking the computer analogy too far ;)


I recommend reading this paper:
http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/WriteVisu ... isual.html
It's a very detailed and - from my own experiences - spot-on analysis of visual thinking and the problems resulting from it, especially in the modern education system.



pensieve
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07 Mar 2010, 4:34 pm

I remember in school when we were learning about nouns the teacher got us to try and visualise the word in our head. To this day I remember visualising a house, tree, and apple. It was so easy for me. I'm not sure if other kids found it hard.
I'm a very visual person. I remember landmarks not street signs. Even when getting directions to somewhere I visualise right and left instead of the street names.
My memory is also visual. If I've been in a house I can remember it. Actually my memories are more like photographs or movie clips.
Even when I look at words I see each word as a picture. It's hard to explain, and it probably makes it hard for me to read very fast. I noticed this when I tried to read off a TV screen.
It's a good thing that I'm a photographer and photograph retoucher. Visual is my strong point. Verbal and words/symbols are my weak point.


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alana
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07 Mar 2010, 4:38 pm

pascalflower wrote:

I think purely in thoughts and have a hard time transferring my thoughts into visual or auditory. If I close my eyes right now, I would have a hard time remembering or visualizing what color shirt I am wearing.


but what is the property of the thoughts...do you hear them, do they have physical characteristics...how do you know they are there? if it's not something you see or hear, could it be pure intuition from a collective unconscious or something? I don't really get a picture for intuition so maybe it has something to do with that...

(also thank you very much for trying to explain all that and your thoughtful post, I really appreciate it it) :)



Last edited by alana on 07 Mar 2010, 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pensieve
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07 Mar 2010, 4:43 pm

Khalaris wrote:
Pointless wrote:
I recommend reading this paper:
http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/WriteVisu ... isual.html
It's a very detailed and - from my own experiences - spot-on analysis of visual thinking and the problems resulting from it, especially in the modern education system.

Thanks for this. This answers so many questions for me, like why I am not a very descriptive storyteller, or bad at writing music reviews.
Another area I'm bad in is maths, but when I draw to answer the question it's a lot easier. I still do it slowly though.

Quote:
In a conversational pattern I often observe, a visual thinkers stop in mid-sentence, stumped for a word: They can see it but not say it. Teachers could accuse such students of not thinking. They are thinking, though; their thoughts just happen to arrive in visual, not verbal, form.

Argh, that's me again!


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Last edited by pensieve on 07 Mar 2010, 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SuperTrouper
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07 Mar 2010, 4:44 pm

I think in... more like movies, than still pictures. Sometimes I get pictures, but I also get the movies. I'm a visual thinker to the point that when I do think in words, I get startled and almost look for the person talking, before I realize it's just my head! It's happened maybe 3 or 4 times ever.



wigglyspider
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07 Mar 2010, 5:09 pm

SuperTrouper wrote:
I think in... more like movies, than still pictures. Sometimes I get pictures, but I also get the movies. I'm a visual thinker to the point that when I do think in words, I get startled and almost look for the person talking, before I realize it's just my head! It's happened maybe 3 or 4 times ever.
I think that's pretty much the same thing. I don't know if anyone really just thinks in nothing but still pictures.


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pascalflower
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07 Mar 2010, 5:14 pm

alana wrote:

but what is the property of the thoughts...do you hear them, do they have physical characteristics...how do you know they are there? if it's not something you see or hear, could it be pure intuition from a collective unconscious or something? I don't really get a picture for intuition so maybe it has something to do with that...



Intuition is a property of knowledge. If one reasons by A to B, B to C, C to D, D to E, then intuition means that you feel or think that A leads to E without thinking about B,C,D.

Thoughts can not be heard or seen.
Since most autistics think like a movie or a series of pictures, a thought is the connection or driver from one picture to the next. On a movie reel, there is a mechanical device that pulls pictures across the screen. A thought is like that. Its the cognitive thing that is actually controlling which picture is presented to your mind next. For NTs, the picture doesn't really matter. It's the thought that determines which pictures come to the mind next is the most important thing. NTs can control their thought patterns separate from the outside world. I think it's just that having thoughts as separate from the picture is such a useful think that most NTs have mostly ignored the picture, and as adults, we desperately wish we could be able to remember sounds and pictures as accurately as most Autistics do naturally.

Everyone can see a picture, or hear a sound. Thoughts are the cognitive part of existence that only YOU can access in your mind. Just as only other people can access their thoughts. You exists and other people exists. You have thoughts and other people have thoughts. There is no way that others can HAVE YOUR thoughts, they can reason that you had a certain thought because if they had a similar thought then they would have done the same thing that you did.



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08 Mar 2010, 5:04 am

My thoughts have always been in pictures &, like someone else said earlier, I can't imagine how people can think any other way. When I first started learning about AS, I was confused as to why thinking in pictures was considered abnormal because it seems perfectly rational & as if everyone should think this way.

However, my thoughts aren't in "pictures" per se, but more like in video or something. My thoughts are like real life, how you can look & see something happening, with movement, etc. That's how my thoughts have always been.


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Mdyar
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08 Mar 2010, 6:35 am

lyricalillusions wrote:
My thoughts have always been in pictures &, like someone else said earlier, I can't imagine how people can think any other way. When I first started learning about AS, I was confused as to why thinking in pictures was considered abnormal because it seems perfectly rational & as if everyone should think this way.

However, my thoughts aren't in "pictures" per se, but more like in video or something. My thoughts are like real life, how you can look & see something happening, with movement, etc. That's how my thoughts have always been.


Interesting ,and I wouldnt have wrote it any different.
You and I could be twins :P
I can go as far as detecting the smells in the playback, as my olfactory sense is triggered in these scenerios.
In addition : peoples voices with some ambient noise .
I dont know if this is 'eidetic' here?



Ambivalence
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08 Mar 2010, 7:32 am

I "hear" things (internal monologue or often dialogue). This is not my thought, but lags a little bit behind it; it is the translation of my thought into words. Often I have difficulty speaking, particularly if pressed. People above said that for a visual thinker, they'd be unable to translate their thoughts into words because they start in pictures; with me, I just can't put my thoughts into words at all... :lol:
I do not "naturally" see any pictures. If I concentrate hard, I can imagine a very fast moving dot tracing the outline of a simple shape, like a square or triangle. That's about it.
I have slight problems with recognising people, and I can't "imagine what someone looks like"; I couldn't draw a picture of anyone in my family, for instance. :? I can draw good maps from memory, though. Don't ask me how that works! :roll:


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