Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeStartupSteve Clean I Can’t See You however I’m Not Blind

Steve Clean I Can’t See You however I’m Not Blind


If I ask you to think about an elephant do you see an elephant in your head if you shut your eyes?

I don’t. No matter how descriptive the imagery, story or textual content I can’t create any photos in my head in any respect. 2% of individuals can’t do that both. This lack of ability to visualise known as aphantasia.

I by no means knew this absence of psychological imagery was even a factor till my daughter identified that she and I have been lacking one thing my spouse and different daughter had. Ask us to visualise a rainbow or a sundown and we simply see nothing. We are able to’t create photos in our head of objects, folks, locations or experiences. The place others can visualize these items, we will’t. Not for folks, recollections, or photos previous or future. When folks say visualize this in your thoughts’s eye I simply thought that was a flip of phrase. It now dawns on me that different folks have been actually seeing one thing of their heads.

If you wish to see what aphantasia is like take a look at the image of the Apple. Now shut your eyes and attempt to think about the apple, seeing it mentally in your thoughts’s eye. In case you don’t see something, you might need aphantasia.

For a extra detailed check take a look at the Vividness of Visible Imagery Questionnaire.

(I’m additionally realizing that that when folks describe that they’ll hear the sound of their voice of their head (a prepare of thought), that it wasn’t only a metaphor. However my ideas are silent.)

My response to studying that most individuals can create visible photos was “huh.”  I lived my whole life pondering the phrase “visualize” meant “take into consideration what this implies,” not really having the ability to “see” it. Studying that different folks really see photos of their head was like studying there was one other sense that most individuals had that I used to be lacking. I used to be bemused that I had lived my complete life with the equal of seeing the world in black and white and discovering out that different folks see the world in colours. (The one exception to that is that I typically wakeup remembering visible photos from my desires.)

Handicap or Asset?

My lack of ability to visualise doesn’t appear to have handicapped my creativeness or creativity. I’m consistently fascinated with new issues – I simply don’t see them as photos (or hear them.)

I’m unsure what it’s I can’t try this others can. Maybe I can blame my failure in sports activities on it? Or my lack of ability to sing or dance? It seemingly explains why when my spouse asks me what somebody was sporting or what their home regarded like, I come up empty. Or extra telling, why I can’t visualize the descriptive language in poetry or in a novel.

What’s fascinating is that missing what most everybody else appears to have the ability to do could clarify how I believe, talk and course of data. Maybe this explains how I’m going in regards to the inventive course of. After I wish to describe an occasion that occurred, I don’t convey up the visible imagery of what the locations or folks regarded like. As a substitute my tales are of what I keep in mind in regards to the details/information/conversations across the occasion.

It may additionally clarify why sample recognition and summary thought (the power to consider ideas, and concepts that aren’t bodily current) come simpler to me. Probably as a result of I’m not distracted by visible photos related to the info that others see. I simply see uncooked information.

To work out sophisticated concepts, I typically diagram concepts and ideas (however don’t draw photos of issues.) I break concepts and ideas down into easier steps by drawing every half. This helps me simplify concepts so I can first clarify it to myself after which to others.  I then translate the diagram into phrases.

At occasions the end result has been transformative for extra than simply me.

The means I’m wired has given me (and certain different founders and people in different fields) an edge. So, how can others with aphantasia consciously harness that? And for many who do see photos in your heads is there something you may study from these of us who don’t?

(I’m wondering if I may have benefited from a modified classroom curriculum if this had been found this early. Or if I may have been taught the best way to visualize. However what would have been have misplaced?)

Pluses and Minuses

After I first heard about aphantasia I questioned if these of us with it could are inclined to excel in sure fields and keep away from others. I used to be stunned to seek out out that somebody already ran a research that confirmed that individuals with low or no visible imagery usually tend to work in scientific and mathematical industries. And having hyperphantasia (folks with the other situation – having a particularly vivid psychological imagery) predisposes folks to work within the arts. It makes me surprise if the response and restoration from trauma/PTSD has some correlation with these with the power to visualise these recollections versus those that don’t. (Right here’s an excellent future research space for the Veterans Administration.)

We’re Simply on the Starting of Understanding

This newest recognition of aphantasia as a neurological distinction is just a decade or so outdated (though references within the literature return to the 1890’s.) My wager is that as science continues to discover neurodiversity (mind variations amongst folks), we’ll acquire a wider understanding that individuals expertise, work together with, and interpret the world in many alternative methods.  And the way that results in completely different strengths in comprehension, sample recognition and problem-solving. We’ll seemingly uncover extra connections.

I’m curious if there’s anybody else who can’t see photos of their head.

Let me know.



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