I can't visualize anything
Can anyone explain this? I realized I can’t visualize anything. If you say the word orange the word comes up not the image of it. Can you picture an actual orange in your head? Sometimes I get a sudden flash of what it looks like than it’s gone.
[I have never researched this so it’s all based on how I feel about the topic, I might be totally wrong]
Firstly: If you ever have dreams you have the ability to visualise. Or else how do you see stuff in your dream? haha. Maybe your ability to visualise changes depending on the status of the rest of your body. When you’re sleeping all of the physical parts of your body are “switched off” meaning your visual-ness increases. (That’s simply following the logic of deaf people having better eye-sight etc)
Secondly: I believe the ability to visualise is completely different in different people. Some people have so called “photographic memories” so they can quite literally “take a photo” of a messy room in their minds and say where everything is arranged. Most other people can’t do that, we’re just stuck with normal memories.
Personally I do a lot of visualising – like whenever I do maths in my head. I do it by imagining a paper and pencil in my head so I can write everything down to solve problems.
@stevenv, Very interesting. But imagination comes from memories and/or interpretation of memories. I’m also not going to be able to imagine an apple if I’ve never seen one. :)
@stevenv, I had another thought about this subject:
Theoretically, visualising by images should be the same as imagining sounds, tastes and smells. Personally I can imagine both images and sounds but I definitely can’t imagine smells or tastes no matter how hard I try. How about you?
@stevenv, I’m skeptical about this. Can you remember the colors of certain people’s clothing?
@beyond, Yes I can remember some shirts like the outline or the main idea of the shirts. But I can’t visualize it. I can’t visualize my mothers face. I have the outline and that’s pretty much it. I can for sure spot out any of the people I’ve met but I can’t visualize their face.
I can’t visualize my mothers face!
That’s something i think about myself!
I just hear my inner voice talking. I cant see images or hear sounds, i just hear words and somethimes see little texts.
I’m a gymnast. Visualizing movements is part of the training.
I learned hardly to visualize some blurry fast images, but i can’t stop them or see them in detail.
@stevenv I think it depends strongly on thetype of person you are.
When I first tried weed, I saw grapes riding bicycles flying round my head for hours. My friends thought I was mental (still do).
Now, I’ve learnt to control this natural ability with visuals, so that even when sober I can picture an entire room full of people, talking, drinking, dancing (usually in black and white) with HD clarity. It’s quite bizarre – but I love it. Havn’t tried using it for academic purposes @sfhardy but might give it a shot!
@stevenv, The outline. Okay, how about trying to remember a scene from your favorite movie?
@harrymcalister, When I first started smoking weed I would go wild with my thoughts not visualizations. Now I control my thought process or at least how my thoughts effect me so I don’t have that “problem” anymore. But that sounds so awesome, it’s like always having a movie with you.
@beyond, Pretty much the same, I just recalled the scene from The Matrix where Mr.Smith is asking why do you keep getting up? and than Neo says because I choose too. I can only remember rain and an angry Mr.Smith. But I understand what the whole scene was about.
@stevenv, Well you know it also depends on how fresh is your memory. You have to focus on something to remember it well and then keep a mind picture of it. Some memories fade away easier than others, some don’t, some get distorted with time. And we usually remember if we were having an emotion involved with specific things, it’s when we’re most interested to pay attention. For example if a person falls in love (stupid example maybe) he or she pictures themselves in a nice place, usually something they’d like to happen. And your issue is confusing to me, because if you can’t visualize things like that, then you’re probably not able to daydream?
@beyond, I’ve never daydreamed, I always thought that meant falling asleep and having dreams. This is insane for me. I just discovered people can do this. My memory isn’t the greatest I know what I did yesterday I can explain it all but I can’t really see it except certain memories and feelings. I can pretty much sense everything.
@stevenv, As long as your memory is fine I guess it’s all good. It’s still weird though. You can only research more about it and maybe do some tests if you find any related.
@stevenv, Okay I’ve just been experimenting with my own mind:
The sounds aren’t exactly clear – The easiest sound that can be re-created is language. I can talk in my mind in a very clear way and it sounds like real sounds.
Another easy thing to do is hum tunes in my mind – like twinkle twinkle little star. The change in pitch isn’t hard to re-create.
However: It seems like it’s much easier to recreate sounds relating to my voice. I can hum a tune in my mind but I can’t make it a piano or a guitar sound. I can hear the voice of other people, but perhaps what I can actually hear is how my voice sounds if I imitate those people. That seems to be a limit of my “sound imagination”, not very good.
For me images is much clearer. There was a time when I was bed and I was doing origami in my head. I designed a cool origami box and I wanted to see if it really worked so i got out of bed and folded it – Perfect :D It totally worked.
I’d never thought about it until reading what @harrymcalister said about the “black and white”, but my images don’t have colour. I’d just seriously never thought of colour! I think it’s because I see things more from a form/shape perspective than a colour perspective. Hence the origami.
This is really interesting hahah
p.s. I have never day dreamed either.. I thought it just meant people spacing out and pretty much falling asleep too :/
@stevenv, this is kind of bullshit dude.
“If I’m drawing from my head, I can’t see the object in my head and reproduce it; but if I have a good intellectual idea of the object, I can draw what I figure it’ll look like, and then see if it fits.”
You’re like everyone else.
How is ‘I can draw what I figure it’ll look like and then see if it fits’ different than visualizing it?
I remember reading about NLP while ago. It was mentioned that some people visualize things by sound…some visualize by thought…and some some visualize by image…some even visualize video of things
So everyone is different and you are not alone.
@ijesuschrist, Well I don’t draw so I don’t know about that.
The best I can explain this is, can you sit down and visualize an apple and you grabbing it and whatever else you feel like visualizing. Like a movie scene in your head?
I can only feel the energy of that thought. What emotion it invokes and what I feel. When I think of apple the thought that it taste good and it’s red comes to mind. Not the actual apple itself. Maybe this is the same as everyone else but why is it in some astral projection book I’m reading right now the guy says visualize a white light around you. And I’m here like can people actually do this?
@stevenv, Did you never take an art class?
Sounds to me like you just never learned.
Can I ‘Vizualize it’ like a movie screen? No its an abstract rendition. Its not an image. Its not like I stop seeing whats in front of me and suddenly a hallucination of an apple appears. Its a complete abstraction of the mind, there is no color, just the idea and thought of color. The feel of color.
People don’t go around hallucinating, every time they try and ‘imagine’ something.
@ijesuschrist, I’ve taken an art class but I don’t really remember it was a very long time ago.
Look at what said @sfhardy, “For me images is much clearer. There was a time when I was bed and I was doing origami in my head. I designed a cool origami box and I wanted to see if it really worked so i got out of bed and folded it – Perfect :D It totally worked.”
I can’t do freaking origami in my head hahah that sounds insane to me! I feel like I use my 6th sense to visualize things.
Not to be overly simplistic, but people think differently. Some people can imagine entire songs, the “exceptional” ones can even hear entire orchestras, each instrument playing at the same time, and isolate any individual instrument they want (there’s a great RadioLab segment on someone like this). To me that’s so mind-numbingly foreign, it’s crazy to think it’s possible.
Some people imagine in vivid images, others in words and emotions (which is where you seem to fall @stevenv, ), etc, etc. We’re all wired slightly different.
My question would be, can you imagine things “projected” into space? aka, can you look at a desk and imagine an apple sitting on a desk? To me, there are 2 ways we visualize things. One is “in our heads” where the images appear as if hey were “located” quite literally inside us. The image seems to spring up from the imagination and resides inside our heads. It is a very inward process.
The other is a much more outward, where we imagine things as if they were a part of our external visual cortex. We project them outwards as if they were located somewhere in the space around us.
While they are similar in many ways, they are also quite different. And perhaps you can do one easier than the other.
@alljuicedup, Wow that sounds like an amazing ability to have! I can’t even hear a piano if I tried to come up with the sound in my head.
I resonate much more with the second one. I feel it inside me because I can conceptualize it but I can’t see it. I can sense it’s there. No images. The only image I have of an apple right now is a memory of me opening my fridge a week ago and looking in a drawer and seeing an apple.