Aphantasia. Anybody Here Recognise This?

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Atheist | 19:39 Thu 05th May 2022 | Science
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In the last few weeks I think that I am losing the ability to 'see' with my mind's eye. I miss that ability, not that I was ever very good at it. Maybe Khandro or Etch or other artists might have something to say.


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Most of your link is hidden behind a paywall, Atheist. However I certainly recognise the condition myself. I can look at someone for an extended period of time but as soon as I turn away from them I can't picture them at all. Even in my childhood, when I saw my mother every day, I could never have a picture of her in my mind. So it's probably unsurprising that I can't draw or paint. As soon as I look down from whatever it is that I'm trying to put onto paper, the image of it totally disappears from my mind.
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Sorry about the link, Buen. I've never been good at picturing things in my mind's eye, but I could use it as a technique to help me go to sleep. My painting is never based on 'mind's eye' stuff; I'm not too bad at copying other people's images or photos. So I can paint portraits of chums and pictures of my Petanque mates from photos, but no abstract or fantasy scenes.
I'm sure lots here woud be able to report interesting experiences.

Given that I can't picture anything in my mind at all, I really struggle to understand how Woodelf can paint so well, given that he's been blind for so many years. I can't look at a scene and then look straight down at a piece of paper to draw or paint it, yet he can visualise scenes almost forever, it seems!
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Woodelf, being blind, must have abilities that I don't have.
I can look at a scene and then look down and draw it after a fashion; in fact, glancing up at something and then glancing down and sketching it on paper is relatively easy. Turner, I believe, could look at a scene and then draw it in detail; and then chuck it in a bucket of water and stir it up and scrub it and then make a good painting of it; and he could go out on a small boat to see a seascape and then make an image back in his studio. He must have had a brilliant eye and brilliant recall.
I think my son has this. He can’t picture anything in his mind. Even his dreams are blank.

Paul Sinha from The Chase also says he can’t picture things.

I’d love to know what the test is that the New Scientist mentions. I might have to buy a copy.
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Sorry, clover. I don't subscribe and so I don't have a proper link. Can you see things when you close your eyes? I used to be able to and sometimes still can, but it seems to be fading from me as I get older. I really miss it and worry that I'm going gaga. I also find it more and more difficult to see the unfolding of my novel's plot, and that's a worry, as I need to finish it ASAP. If you son's never been able to picture things then I suppose that it wouldn't bother him; after all I don't miss being able to read the future, as I've never been able to do so.
I can't visualise at all and dream with words, like reading a book.
I have trouble recognising faces to the point I can't follow the plot of a film if characters look alike, such as two or three tall, blonde women of a similar age.
Might not help but worth a listen. :-)

>>> I can't follow the plot of a film if characters look alike, such as two or three tall, blonde women of a similar age

I quickly get lost too if characters don't have very different voices or accents.
same here, barry, but I think it's not uncommon; that's why filmmakers try to cast people who don't all look alike, or with whom the audience is already familiar.

I'd be hopeless if I was ever asked to pick someone out of a police line-up.
Same as that, Buenchico. I think that is why I don't get on with films from the US or Australia, the actors all sound the same to me whereas I can distinguish different British accents and cadence.

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