Aphantasia

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Aphantasia

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:55 pm

Has anyone heard of aphantasia before?

Essentially it is where you don't have a functioning minds eye. Like you can't voluntarily create images in your head (dreams are different - it's subconscious). I read about it very recently and I was like, huh, that explains a lot!

I always thought it was strange when people were told to count sheep because I could never form an image of a sheep in my head. I was just counting. Then when the Harry Potter movies came out and people were saying, this actor or actress didn't look like I'd imagined. I didn't ever have a picture in my head!

Like sitting here, in the room over from my wife I couldn't generate a picture of her face in my head no matter how hard I tried.

Does anyone else struggle with this? It appears to be a growing field of study - there is a guy at Exeter university who is doing some research into it that I'm following with much interest!
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:57 pm

Very interesting; never heard of this before. I can’t say that I have this characteristic. My imagination has always been vivid.

I especially can’t relate to you saying you don’t visualize characters from books. One of the biggest reasons I avoid book-to-movie adaptations is because they conflict with my imagination too much. :lol:

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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:02 pm

Very good point about phrasing! I spent a while composing the first line, I didn't want to call it a condition for example for that very reason! :lol:

It does cause me some struggles though! For example, story writing. I don't know what my characters look like because I don't have an image of them because that's not how my mind works! This BBC article reassures me though, many of Pixar's leading animators also don't have a mind's eye!
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:10 pm

I can see how it’d interfere with story writing. Though there are some great writers that have very little descriptions of character appearance in their books. (And in the opposite end of the spectrum where authors describe every single little detail, this can get annoying imo. :lol: )

Maybe you need to give your brain something to look at; maybe you could doodle a character from your story first and then describe what you’ve drawn.
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:14 pm

Yeah, that is almost certainly the way to go! I probably need to commission someone to draw a picture for me, as I'm so bad at drawing my art teaching told me she'd kill herself if I was in her class the next year. I also tend to skip over author description is I don't find it interesting! Now we know why!
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:18 pm

That sounds like a challenge to me. You should’ve enrolled in her class just to call her bluff. :lol:
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:21 pm

It was literally the only reason I was vaguely tempted! :lol:
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:20 pm

Saw this discussion topic and immediately thought it was about aphasia. But yes, that would seem like a rather difficult hurdle to surmount when writing literature. (Difficult, but perhaps not impossible.)
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Xiahou Jia » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:55 pm

Never heard about it before. The explanations given are very questionable. If the ventral stream is indeed affected (as suggested in the 2nd article), then you won't be able to "see" normally not just "imagine". And they shouldn't bother with subjective likert scale to start with, regardless whether it correlates with MRI or not.
The phenomenon itself is pretty interesting though.
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Re: Aphantasia

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:27 pm

Sounds like you have a far better grasp of the science than I do!
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