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Mummy_of_Peanut
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15 Feb 2012, 8:51 am

I'm a little puzzled by my daughter's description of her imagination and visualisation. She's awaiting autism assessment and, whilst not being anywhere near typical, it seems that she may fit the criteria for Aspergers. She's a really bright little girl with a great imagination.

Anyway, a few days ago she started talking about how she can actually see things, projected from her mind into the real world. I asked if she was always sure that this is was just caused by her mind and that she never thought it was real. She said she always knows it's real and has complete control over it, so that reassures me. She says it's like a switch - now I see it, now I don't. Now, I'm good at visualising things, but I've never been able to project it out and I never even knew such a thing was possible. It's in my mind's eye, nowhere else. But, she seems to be able to tell her brain she wants to see the image there or there and then, just as easily, tell it to go away again.

My mind boggles at this and I was wondering if this is common. And, is this something that she can utilise to help with learning?


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Angel_ryan
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15 Feb 2012, 9:25 am

She could possibly be a Visual Spatial learner. I'm a visual spatial learner I can create complex images in my head and even re-watch movies that I've seen. I think it's more common in HFA though.
http://www.dyslexia.com/library/silver1.htm
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual ... er/vsl.htm


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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15 Feb 2012, 9:34 am

Angel_ryan wrote:
She could possibly be a Visual Spatial learner. I'm a visual spatial learner I can create complex images in my head and even re-watch movies that I've seen. I think it's more common in HFA though.
http://www.dyslexia.com/library/silver1.htm
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual ... er/vsl.htm

I'm primarily a visual spatial learner too and can see complex moving images, but they feel like they're in my head. Her images are somehow managing to appear in the real world (to her). She also appears to have a photographic memory, much more than I can claim to have.


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15 Feb 2012, 11:34 am

I see images all the time, and I do have a form of photographic memory. Trust me- this will only benefit your daughter in learning, and it will undoubtedly make her memory for things extraordinary. My images are sort of odd to describe. I see them in my "mind's eye," but my brain often is working on two different levels, where I'm physically seeing my environment around me in the background but seeing movie/TV show scenes or replaying real-life events in my imagination at the same time. So, it's like I'm seeing the images as thoughts but they are centered at my forehead. Ask your daughter a couple more questions about what she sees. If she is actually seeing imagined stimuli in front of her, as if they are a part of the environment despite her knowing that her mind is creating them, she very well may have a form of synesthesia.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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15 Feb 2012, 11:55 am

OddDuckNash99 wrote:
I see images all the time, and I do have a form of photographic memory. Trust me- this will only benefit your daughter in learning, and it will undoubtedly make her memory for things extraordinary. My images are sort of odd to describe. I see them in my "mind's eye," but my brain often is working on two different levels, where I'm physically seeing my environment around me in the background but seeing movie/TV show scenes or replaying real-life events in my imagination at the same time. So, it's like I'm seeing the images as thoughts but they are centered at my forehead. Ask your daughter a couple more questions about what she sees. If she is actually seeing imagined stimuli in front of her, as if they are a part of the environment despite her knowing that her mind is creating them, she very well may have a form of synesthesia.
Thanks. I was wondering about synesthesia. We've been having difficulties with her school (she's not struggling, but not meeting her potential either). When she mentioned this projecting, I thought she maybe had some special abilities that she can really use to help her with her learning. But, I've no personal experience of such 'superpowers', so I was trying to imagine how she can use it well. I'll definitely be trying to get to the bottom of it. I'm a bit Wow! at the moment. She was projecting Slimer from Ghostbusters, onto our living room rug, yesterday.


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TheSunAlsoRises
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15 Feb 2012, 12:18 pm

Mummy_of_Peanut wrote:
OddDuckNash99 wrote:
I see images all the time, and I do have a form of photographic memory. Trust me- this will only benefit your daughter in learning, and it will undoubtedly make her memory for things extraordinary. My images are sort of odd to describe. I see them in my "mind's eye," but my brain often is working on two different levels, where I'm physically seeing my environment around me in the background but seeing movie/TV show scenes or replaying real-life events in my imagination at the same time. So, it's like I'm seeing the images as thoughts but they are centered at my forehead. Ask your daughter a couple more questions about what she sees. If she is actually seeing imagined stimuli in front of her, as if they are a part of the environment despite her knowing that her mind is creating them, she very well may have a form of synesthesia.
Thanks. I was wondering about synesthesia. We've been having difficulties with her school (she's not struggling, but not meeting her potential either). When she mentioned this projecting, I thought she maybe had some special abilities that she can really use to help her with her learning. But, I've no personal experience of such 'superpowers', so I was trying to imagine how she can use it well. I'll definitely be trying to get to the bottom of it. I'm a bit Wow! at the moment. She was projecting Slimer from Ghostbusters, onto our living room rug, yesterday.


Your daughter is a projector(not sure about the synesthesia). Another possibility that is rarely explored is that she may be BOTH a projector and an associator.

As research becomes more advanced, we might have to change concepts based on enviromental changes that have affected neuroplasticity in the brain. In other words, instead of using the term photographic memory to explain large recall of visual stimuli; we might have to consider----videographic memory(in lieu of technological changes that have had an effect upon the brain).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eidetic_memory

"One type of eidetic memory as observed in children is typified by the ability of an individual to study an image, for approximately 30 seconds, and maintain a nearly perfect photographic memory of that image for a short time once it has been removed—indeed such eidetickers claim to "see" the image on the blank canvas as vividly and in as perfect detail as if it were still there."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

"Despite the commonalities which permit definition of the broad phenomenon of synesthesia, individual experiences vary in numerous ways. This variability was first noticed early on in synesthesia research[23] but has only recently come to be re-appreciated by modern researchers. Some grapheme → color synesthetes report that the colors seem to be "projected" out into the world (called "projectors"), while most report that the colors are experienced in their "mind's eye" (called "associators").[24] It is estimated that approximately one or two per hundred grapheme-color synesthetes are projectors; the rest are associators.[24]"

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Last edited by TheSunAlsoRises on 16 Feb 2012, 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

NicoleG
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16 Feb 2012, 12:17 am

I am a visual-spatial person, and I tested in the top 1% on spatial reasoning tests back in high school (specifically, the Differential Aptitude Tests, Fifth Edition, space relations, abstract reasoning, and numerical reasoning portions). I do not have synesthesia, but I have a couple friends who do, and after lots of discussions I can imagine what they sense, but in absolutely no way do I experience what they sense.

Projecting is something I am capable of doing quite easily and is what made those spatial reasoning tests so easy for me. For instance, I can easily imagine a playing die (usually bigger than a normal die) as though it is floating in front of me and then rotate it. When asked to say the alphabet backwards I picture it as a row of letters in some space in front of me, and as I call out each letter it "falls off" and the next one appears - letters are only slightly hiding behind the previous letters, so I can "see" the entire alphabet at once.

For me, this is a niche skill, but it has good applications, like visualizing how furniture in a room can be organized, putting together jigsaw puzzles, remembering phone numbers (I picture a phone keypad and remember the finger movement/tracer line over the numbers, much like remembering the order of the colors/sounds when playing Simon). Perhaps one of the most practical applications was being able to mentally manipulate algebraic equations, and solve calculus integrals in my head. Granted, I can't say that it is the projection, necessarily, that makes any of this easy for me, or just the fact that I can easily visualize things. Visualizing things in general is also very helpful when using the memory palace technique for memorization.

The other thing about projection is the imaginary world aspect. Whenever I was alone, I tended to still have an imaginary person nearby that I could talk to, show off my work to, etc. I know many people talk about their imaginary worlds, and they can range anywhere from small images to the entire cities that the person can imagine walking through and seeing, all the while knowing they are only in their bedrooms. In a way, this can also be helpful if your daughter ever goes into something like theater or writing. Being able to create a vivid world in your mind can also assist the person in relating that world to others if they are able to do so.

EDIT - There is a difference between a visual-spatial learner and a visual-spatial person. I read those link above and I'm most likely to learn sequentially and by rote rather than holistically. This may not hold true for every visual-spatial person, but I wanted to add my two-cents regarding those links.



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16 Feb 2012, 12:48 am

Mummy_of_Peanut wrote:
I'm a little puzzled by my daughter's description of her imagination and visualisation. She's awaiting autism assessment and, whilst not being anywhere near typical, it seems that she may fit the criteria for Aspergers. She's a really bright little girl with a great imagination.

Anyway, a few days ago she started talking about how she can actually see things, projected from her mind into the real world. I asked if she was always sure that this is was just caused by her mind and that she never thought it was real. She said she always knows it's real and has complete control over it, so that reassures me. She says it's like a switch - now I see it, now I don't. Now, I'm good at visualising things, but I've never been able to project it out and I never even knew such a thing was possible. It's in my mind's eye, nowhere else. But, she seems to be able to tell her brain she wants to see the image there or there and then, just as easily, tell it to go away again.

My mind boggles at this and I was wondering if this is common. And, is this something that she can utilise to help with learning?


She sounds like she has a job already, 3D compositing. Like this example, the sphere is composited into the scene. It's not really there.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeWzXNWtG5w&feature=related[/youtube]

It's the same type of stuff I do.



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16 Feb 2012, 12:50 am

I don't know if I'm a visual spatial learner but I can imagine images in front of my eyes and project them onto the environment.

A few minutes later...

Huh, interesting. I think I'm both visual spatial with some weaknesses in it and auditory sequential. I think in pictures but learn things through rote.

Anyway sometimes the projection can be strong or weak. I'm on a little stimulant medication so it's harder to do now. I think when I'm not on medication but in a heightened sensory state I can do the projection for much longer and see more detail. Actually the strongest it's ever been is from synaesthesia. I kept thinking about this Japanese dish I had with spinach coming out of the pastry and it just hovered in front of my eyes.

But usually when I'm in an uncomfortable or boring social situation I dream up my favourite late folk singer and he is sitting at a table and singing songs just for me. What?

Sometimes I project a Kelpie dog in front of me, because I want one.


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16 Feb 2012, 1:22 am

Well, one possibility is she could be lying.

Another, she could be exaggerating.

Another, she really could be doing that. It sounds sort of like my visualizations, I suppose.

I actually found a lot of things in common with NicoleG's post. No idea how I score on spatial reasoning tests, but I actually do that thing with the alphabet, keypads, etc.

I get an extremely vivid image in my head when I visualize. The visualizations vary in intensity. They tend to be strongest whilst I am stimming - primarily with this involuntary finger flapping/wiggling one I do near my face, during which I often go deep into thought and visualization without realizing it, and sort of 'tune out' all senses.

A strange one happens when I play piano without looking (which these days is almost constantly), or melodica (which I don't look at anyway due to strange angle). I visualize the keyboard as if it is slanted. Like, instead of the keys going like this | | | | | they go / / / / / or \ \ \ \ \ \.

When I hear a note, I visualize the piano key you press to hear it in my head, or with whichever instrument (often multiple instruments come at once, i.e. I'll think of a bass fingering for it as well as the piano key). When I press a key down on my synth (or any instrument with a musical keyboard) when it is turned off, I hear the note in my head.

When I play instruments in my head, I both visualize and do the auditory equivalent of visualization. I use this to write down musical lines or song ideas I get when I am not somewhere I can sing/hum the notes into my phone's recorder. It's also something I do when I'm bored, or just in a musical mood but not near an instrument.

I've always seen the pattern on the keyboard of a piano. Most kids, even most adults, when they draw a picture of a piano keyboard, make it with alternating white and black keys, when really is a repeating pattern of 12 keys wbwbwwbwbwbw (w=white b=black). I always saw the pattern starting on F instead of C, so to my eyes it was wbwbwbwwbwbw over and over again.

As a kid I imagined an imaginary world over the real one, and pretended I was in that world for much of the time. I knew it was just play, I could and would stop it any time I wanted, but I very vividly and detailedly imagined that world.



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16 Feb 2012, 1:54 am

I remember projecting a herd of horses running close to our car during a boring trip, sometimes I still do it when coming back home(for example, a big wolf walking with me if I feel insecure). I think it's like visualising with a transparent background. I loved the movie Bridge to Terabithia because of that, I thought I could make the world more fantastic, it doesn't matter if it isn't real if I enjoy it, although I haven't put it on practise like a lot of ideas I have and I forget(now I'm interested in lucid dreaming).
I suposse your daughter can visualize more clearly, I don't have photographic memory, it gets fuzzy if I try to zoom in or concentrate in details, I always notice it when drawing, I need photo references, I can't draw from my mind, if I focus it disappear like a dream.



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16 Feb 2012, 2:35 am

I can imagine something and project out into the real world too. I can overlap the real world with an imaginary world and interact with the real world at the same time as controlling the imaginary world. I can mentally manipulate the projections. Found it very useful with maths once I stopped trying to learn how to do out the way everyone else was being taught. For example when I average 2 numbers I picture a number line in front of me with the two numbers positioned at either end, then zoom into the middle of the two and see the answer. I use a range of visual strategies for things such as calculus, algebra, graphing etc. the key for me was to stop trying to do things like everyone else and learn to use my own visual strategies, really struggled before I realised that. However this approach has its problems, like when I need to show working in exams for things that I used a visual process for.



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16 Feb 2012, 4:42 am

Thanks guys. Maybe this is how she's coming up with such great ideas. She really is very artisitic. In fact, she goes to a kids' opera workshop (nowhere near as posh as it sounds) and the teachers were going on about how much stands out from the other kids with regards to her artistic talent (they're there to sing and learn Italian, but do some drawing/painting as well). And she won a school-wide prize for her art (1 of 4 out of 600 kids). We also have a few logic puzzles, where you arrange pieces. She finds the advanced levels simple and other kids her age struggle with the easy levels. I'm trying to help her to use this skill, which I didn't realise she had, for maths/arithmetic. Arithmetic is easy for me as I visualise numbers as splodges. I'm sure she can improve on my system.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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16 Feb 2012, 4:44 am

Doubutsu wrote:
I loved the movie Bridge to Terabithia because of that, I thought I could make the world more fantastic, it doesn't matter if it isn't real if I enjoy it, although I haven't put it on practise like a lot of ideas I have and I forget(now I'm interested in lucid dreaming).

We watched this film a few weeks ago and my daughter was completely entranced by the whole thing. I think this is a bit like her world, I just had no idea.


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16 Feb 2012, 4:49 am

This is what I felt/had when I was a kid, and it passed for me.


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16 Feb 2012, 5:42 am

It used to be much more vivid as a kid, because I was doing it on purpose, for fun back then. Obviously, I'm 35, I don't play as much now, but if I happen to be thinking with my eyes open, here's what it's like:
1: i'm alone , noone is talking to me: i only see the image INSTEAD of the environment.
2: someone's there but not immediately requiring my attention : I alternate between seeing the environment and the image, in case Im spoken to, don't want to have slipped in "the zone " if it happens .
3: someone is talking to me and thinking is required at the same time: The image superimposes on the environment , they're transparent and much clearer when not applied directly on someone 's face (that requires facial expression reading ), so I shift my gaze on a wall or neutral spot so I can hear and think at the same time .
Never helped me do anything out of the ordinary ....except drawing I guess .