I’m at a 3 on this. I can do visualization at a 2 but it requires an enormous effort (paradoxically) of relaxation beforehand, so that I may as well be asleep. Extremely familiar things like my grocery store or my mom’s face I can recall at a 2 if I concentrate. My dreams are at a 2. Presumably if I followed through on the fairly intense desire to learn how to draw, this would improve.
Curiously, I also don’t have much of an internal monologue. Maybe 2% of the time my thinking is in the form of words, and it’s usually when I’m imagining the way to communicate something. According to the internet, I’d be among the worst NPCs in terms of lacking original thought. But when it comes to the actual business of communicating in spoken or verbal form, I’m a high-end outlier. This level of skill comes equally from practice and from obsessive reading (and in the last few years, listening to podcasts).
The subjective experience of my mind 95% of the time would be best described as racing through a maze in the dark with occasional words and pictures and stops every 10 seconds or so to feel out the subjective weights of things before making a judgment. Except the color matches the level of daylight, so it’s not dark per se, it’s just that imagining the maze to be dark gives the right impression.
About 15% of the time there’s background music playing, equally likely to be something that’s stuck in my head, something I picked to listen to, or something I’m making up as it goes. 80% of the time it’s metal, because that’s what I listen to and write. 10% of the time it’s classical, and 10% of the time it’s something a bit off-the-wall. Right now I have that first part of The Four Seasons stuck on repeat, unfortunately. I don’t listen to music very often, maybe once a week, so it’s pretty easy to put a finger on the scale.
See, now that I thought about that I remembered I listened to this song last week, so now it’s the one playing:
I’m a 1.5 or a 1.
These *might* work:
A “hack” for increasing visualization is to visualize screens. Visualize a TV, and the prompt as a video on it.
Improving from 3: Incorporate depth perception. Try re-playing this in your mind’s eye:
Adjust the rotation speed / number of objects to your preference.
Stop caring about colors. If the objects flash in different colors, let them.
If you wear glasses, don’t. Reduce your prescription by at least 1 diopter (-3 -> -2, +3 -> +2) and only wear glasses when you need them (you don’t need them 90% of the time). They negatively impact your mind’s eye because changing the focal length changes how your brain generates images. Glasses progressively reduce the eye’s focal length. Regular check-ups with the Optometrist means you’ll rock a -10 perscription in a decade (or sooner, if you’re stupid enough to engage in short-range work (like reading books, using your phone) while wearing your glasses (assuming -ve)). If you’ve had a prescription since you were very young, it’s possible to move from Myopia to (some sort of) astigmatism. If you got the prescription later it’s possible to get 20/20 vision, which will increase your visualization.
There are people who have moved from 4 to 3 (IMO four levels aren’t enough, I’d call it a 10 -> 5, with 0 = perfect) but maintaining that level of visualization is not possible without constant practice, and the two cases I know of lost their improved visualization after they stopped practising. They claim they have a very small increase, but it’s difficult to say if it’s just a subjective increase or an increase in their ability to process info (for example, switching to peripheral vision from a very small cone of vision)
There’s almost no proper research on the Mind’s Eye, so the following is my opinion:
Hyperphantasia more often than not comes with better visual / auditory memory, proprioception generation (for example, being able to “feel” your arm with your eyes closed), synesthesia, auditory / visual manipulation, spontaneous visions / hallucinations, and a very involved, fill-in-the-blanks kind of experience while awake. Aphantasia lacks almost all of them.
Nikola Tesla and Temple Grandin are at the end of the tail.
There’s no relation between Mild Aspergers / Spergy behavior / Spergy socialization and Hyperphantasia. Many Autism-sufferers (dyslexia, dyscalculia) are often Aphants.
There are MANY people who have Aphantasia who don’t know that other people can actually see stuff in their head.
Another new condition that’s gaining popularity in these circles in SDAM (Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory). Almost all SDAM sufferers are Aphants, or slightly better. No Hyperphants have this condition. SDAM and Synesthesia have no overlap, either.
Aphants discover their impediment by chance, while SDAM usually takes some peer-pressure / significant event to diagnose or to be made aware of.
Aphants / SDAMs also have a bad sense of time. They can’t tell whether it’s been 5 minutes or 10
Click to access Blake_Ross_April_2016_facebook_post_Aphantasia.pdf
I’d say I’m a 2 when awake and a 1 when sleeping.
>There’s almost no proper research on the Mind’s Eye,
This might not be the “proper” research you’re looking for, but it’s a matter of practical importance in magic.
4 irl and 2.5 in my dreams.
Actually Id make it 1.5 for dreams.
NB for posterity: Nottuh said his subjective experience works the same way.
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