Now I am 42 and it’s not everyday you learn something different about yourself.
Well today I learnt a big one. I never realised when people close their eyes , they can physically see what they imagine. Some can smell, and some can actually remember (and hear) music.
I never realised that it was a spectrum. I had always assumed that when people spoke about their minds eye that it was what I experience (complete blackness with the details caught by the verbal part of my brain)
Like image 5 for imaging an apple !
I am mind blind, tone deaf and can’t imaginary smell. So I am in the minority of population.
It’s actually makes a hell of a lot of sense for my personality and where I excel and where I am weak.
Here’s and article about it
I was astonished that people experience daily life so different to me !
Found about aphantasia a few years back, I’m also picture 5.
The funny thing is that I know my brain can imagine, because I have dreams with pictures in it.
Also every “visualization” technic, you can use in learning, psychology or mindfulness is just impossible (including counting the sheeps to fall asleep^^).
After becoming aware of aphantasia, it made a lot more sense.
This also made clear to me that geospatial orientation is not related to vision, as I have a stellar sense of direction.
Aphantasia doesn’t mean you can’t have a creative career related to image or anything like that, you just use different technics.
Here’s a very interesting article from an ex Disney/Pixar director about it:
Interesting article, never thought that was a thing so you learn something new every day, as they say. I did have a discussion a while ago with a group of friends about reading though, and it’s interesting - and maybe linked to this - that everyone had a slightly different way of processing the written word.
I don’t think I’m at either extreme of the visualisation spectrum (my imaginings are never amazingly vivid), but I find I don’t have to close my eyes to imagine something, with eyes open I can kind of ‘tune out’ the outside world and visualise what I want to think about. When reading, I’m often not conscious of the words my eyes are taking in, instead my brain is visualising what the words are describing (and often I insert actors into these imaginings if they’re close to that character being described, either in appearance and/or the way they act).
The music one is interesting as well, as I’ve often got songs running round in my head, and in fact trying to replay songs in my head as close to note-perfect as I could was one of my methods for trying to get to sleep if I was having trouble.
I mean, let’s say I named a song you’re fairly familiar with. I can hear it in my head immediately. Or I could imagine, e.g. Klopp speaking in my head. This is fascinating to me, I’ve always assumed anyone could do that, maybe not perfectly, but certainly to a degree.
I can listen to music, can spend all day doing it. Think Andy Dufraine in Shawshank. I can design projects and visualise too. When I can’t sleep at night (hello 5am) I re-design Disneyland rides in my head. As you do.
I suffer from fairly severe hearing loss which started some time in my 30s. I still really enjoy listening to music but if I hear something new the top end is very muffled - a bit like listening to the radio with the treble turned down low.
However, if I listened to music that I knew from before my hearing went it sounds fine. I still can’t hear the top end but my brain will fill in the rest. It also masks my tinnitus which is a bonus.