1. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    Aphantasia - take the test

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Tim3232, Aug 26, 2015.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34039054

    I don't see images and thought about whether it affects me as a writer. I've decided it doesn't but then I don't know if I would write descriptions differently if I saw images in my mind.
     
  2. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I got 37/40. Apparently I have no issues visualizing anything. lol

    I will point out.. I hate when written pieces tell you to "close your eyes and visualize..." I can't, bitch. I'm reading. Kinda need my eyes for that! :superwhew:
     
  3. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    34/40. Interesting but it was harder for me at the beginning to visualize stuff. I guess mind needs some "workout".
    I'm frequently being told that my writing is highly "visual". People say that reading my book seems like watching a movie. I guess I have to thank my "power to visualize" for that. :)
     
  4. PrincessSofia
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    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    I got 39/40, but it's not a surprise since I know that I have a very good visual memory and I also visualize stories in my head before I write them. It comes in imagesfirst and then the words come :)
     
  5. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I looked at the abridged test posted there, and the only thing I had trouble visualizing was how it got accepted by the scientific community.
     
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  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I learn so much from folks on the forum. I had never heard of the condition before. I didn't take the test because I don't really need to. I don't have any problem visualising what things look like in my fictional world OR the memories I have of things. I do need to slow down and pay attention before the visions coalesce, but that's not a problem for me.

    But wow. How on earth can somebody write fiction if they can't play out scenes in their heads? It must be very very odd. I suppose they can write what they're actually seeing at any given moment, but beyond that? Maybe photos or videos could help a lot? Don't know. Very interesting, anyway. Thanks for posting this, @Tim3232 .
     
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  7. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    @jannert - I posted the same link on Nano where three people who scored 20, 38 and 40 each said they were poor at descriptions. No connection then. The two that were in the hyperfantasia range see images in vivid colour and detail but felt their descriptions in words fell well short – well that’s linguistic ability, a different area of the brain (presumably).

    There was a thread on describing people a while back. I was in the camp of description not being necessary. King wrote that ‘description begins in the writer’s mind, but should finish in the reader’s’. I can’t find it now, but I think someone provided another King quote about focusing on 1 small aspect of appearance. I don’t need a full image to do these things.

    Get someone swearing, drinking, smoking, having 1 stained front tooth and 3 black hairs protruding from his nostril and your image might be different to mine but the idea of the guy will be similar.

    I don’t need to visualise to have ideas. (And I have been called odd before!)

    Vive le difference.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It just goes to show how different we all are, eh? I'm fond of telling writers who struggle to make their characters come alive or a scene to contain more than just who did what, that they need to 'visualise' the scene. Well, I'll shut up now. Obviously some people can't do this. Maybe some pointers from you, as to how you actually accomplish this, might be very helpful to other people who may experience this same sort of orientation. I'd be very interested to hear how you do it.
     
  9. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    HA!
    I wouldn't give up on telling people to visualise, just appreciate that not everyone can.

    As to how I do things - that's difficult. I don't think I know. My golf driver swing has gone off this year. I've looked at videos, read articles and considered every aspect of my swing - from the grip, the stance, the take-away, balance of weight, how high I raise the club, my alignment and .... and I'm bloody useless now! One of my mates says he can see me thinking and I need to stop doing that and just hit it. Driving used to be the best part of my game.

    So, I'm not saying I'm any good at writing or at descriptions - but one thing I'm not going to do is analyse it!
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The quiz isn't terribly good though - the reliance on such subjective self-report... I never knew what counted as a "reasonably clear" image or "as vivid as real life", simply because I don't know how level of detail you're supposed to see the image for it to count as "real life". Does it have to be so vivid that I could draw it in full detail without reference? For me, that's how I defined it, so for nearly all my answers, I chose "reasonably clear".

    But since I don't know the accuracy of my definition and therefore my self-report, I also don't know how much the test actually tells me.

    In any case, I do a lot of art so I kinda knew I can picture things in my mind anyway :D
     
  11. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    More often than not, I find that my visualisation of scenes come from films or places I've seen in real life. I'm currently writing a scene in a motel room, and although I don't describe it in detail it's this place (1:02:40)


    I wasn't aware anyone visualised from pure imagination.
     
  12. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    28/40
    I'm probably being to generous to myself there too.
    I can call to mind an image of anything, but the people who are getting top marks are saying their images are as vivid as real life. I never realised some people's mind's eye was that quite that clear.

    I also can only picture static images. I've heard people say they can see movies in their mind, that doesn't really happen for me. I can just about flick book my images if I try really hard.
    So in the test I scored myself lower on questions which required me to imagine movement.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  13. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    For me it's always more difficult to visualise faces, even in this test, it was hard to see faces of close persons clearly. The same thing happens when I read a book. I never actually see the whole face; it seems as if the face is just a bit blurred. I never see my own characters clearly either.
    What I can see "as vivid as in real life" are colours and landscapes, along with plants and animals.
     
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  14. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I scored average but i have a lot on my mind so i don't usually sit down and think about these things all too much.Or maybe i'm in denial on my blandness. :D
     
  15. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I got a 32/40. I can usually visualize something pretty clear but for the life of me I can't keep it fixed. Sometimes it's just flickers and flashes. Stays there for a moment or so and then disappears. I can bring it back but not for long. I also guess it's not nearly as vivid as I'd like. Parts of it are very vivid while everything else is kinda dull.

    Same thing happens when I read. Sometimes I'll get a nice clear image and other times it's just a brief flicker of it.
     
  16. uncephalized
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    uncephalized Active Member

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    I didn't finish taking the test because it was so subjective the result wouldn't have meant much. But I can definitely visualize detailed mental images and I use visualization of scenes and actions frequently to inform my writing...
     
  17. DrunkDino
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    DrunkDino New Member

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    I got 9/40 and this explains alot since I have never been able to picture anything or bring up old memories
     
  18. Lucinda Hester
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    Lucinda Hester New Member

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    I got 40/40 %- I am a highly visual person- hyperaphantasia- I am a writer and a psychology major. My 25 yr old daughter on the other hand got 5% and has never been able to see visual images at will- but she is an excellent artist and does tattoes. Her problem is she has to look at the image or draw something out before she paints it, but she does abstract images easily from her head. She was in gifted classes from the 3rd grade on for her IQ and creativity, yet when it comes to visualizing people's faces or specific scenery- she can't at will. We have several artists and poets in my family- my brother is Martha- Vineyards 1st ever Poet Laureate, and my family's artists are extremely talented. I wonder how I can be so visual, highly detailed memory, and yet my daughter can't see people she knows faces in her head at all? This is even conveyed in her dreams - our faces are blacked out but she knows who it is. This study will be very interesting!
     
  19. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    Isn't that odd that your daughter doesn't follow you in this way? Chatting to someone else who scored 40, he has vivid, full colour dreams where I seem to dream in ideas - with little or nothing in the way of images and certainly no colour. A low score seems to have no relation to creativity. 5% is a very low score but then it is a very rough test.
     

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