Understanding through Discussion


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Author Topic:   Mind's Eye (etc?)
Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3860
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 5.9


Message 1 of 65 (84418)
02-08-2004 4:19 AM


This is intended as a little exploration of how minds work.

Now, I have what I think to be an exceptionally bad memory. I have a terrible time remembering names and faces, etc.

The "minds eye" part:
The story goes, that some people have photographic memories. Well, so do I, but there's no film.

I ask members - Can you close your eyes, think of something you have seen, and bring up a mental image? Do you have a "photograph in your head"? My understanding is that various people can do this, at least to some degree. I can not. I just have a dark screen.

So, what's in your "minds eye"?

Moose


Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8965
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 2 of 65 (84441)
02-08-2004 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Minnemooseus
02-08-2004 4:19 AM


fuzzy photos
I have a bit of one. It used to be good enough to be actually a bit useful. At university is was possible to read quickly through a text during the hours before and exam and then 're-read' it in my head during the exam for answers.

Unfortunately it wasn't exactly perfect. Sometimes I'd read part of a page in my mind, even the page number, but not the particular part I wanted. In desparation putting the page number down as a reference didn't get any marks but I had one prof find that amusing anyway.

Now it is rather fragmentary. It seems my "mind" such as it is filled up over the years. New things don't stick so well at all but I can remember details of work solutions back 30 years ago. (This is a reason for some serious concern I know ).

Now if I go to the big box for groceries and have lost my list (or forgot to make one) I can still "read" the white board if I looked at it before leaving. I can see it and know how long the list was and direct my minds eye down the list. It seems that different "looks" at it produce different results. Some parts just aren't there.

This is different from "remembering the list". If I've actually read the list conscieously (like written it down) I remember individual itmes. I don't see it. I just have a good idea of how many items were on it and then remember each item one at a time to get to that number (or some fraction of it). I think that is the same as anyone would do not useing "photographic memory".

Sometimes the recovery is a combination of remembering the list and reading it in my minds eye. The last 20% may have to be filled in with a cell phone call to get one of my kids to read the actual list.

However well or poorly all that works. I will not remember someones name 48.7 seconds after being told it.

As an additional note:
I first visited my uncle in England when I was young 20's. We got lots of time to talk and I found out something interesting. He had learned the piano in about a week after first seeing one. He could sit listen to a few stumbled hums from me (I am baaad) and reproduce a piece of music on the spot. He composed in his head but still couldn't write music.

He also learns to converse to a passable level in a foreign language after a week or two in a country. He remembers what he hears.

I am very bad at that. I have to see something before I remember it.

My uncle on the other hand, has to read outloud if he wants to remember something. He has not much visual memory at all.

We are striking opposites in this. Odd, isn't it?


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 Message 1 by Minnemooseus, posted 02-08-2004 4:19 AM Minnemooseus has not yet responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3938
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 3 of 65 (215787)
06-10-2005 2:45 AM


Bump - Anyone else have any comments?
Thread moved here from the Short Subjects (No new topics or messages) forum.

The non-admin mode wanted to bump this topic. It was in the "Short Subjects" forum, which has been retired from having any new topics or messages. Thus the move to the "Coffee House".

Adminnemooseus

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 06-10-2005 02:49 AM


  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2199
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 4 of 65 (215800)
06-10-2005 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Minnemooseus
02-08-2004 4:19 AM


minnemooseus writes:

The story goes, that some people have photographic memories. Well, so do I, but there's no film.

Haha, very funny. Maybe you should modernize and ingest a memory stick.

minnemooseus writes:

I ask members - Can you close your eyes, think of something you have seen, and bring up a mental image? Do you have a "photograph in your head"?

I just tried, and I can bring up a sketchy picture of my horse and of some places in the woods I have been to with him yesterday. But I wouldn't say it comes over as "photographic", the details come and go, I can't hold them "in the picture" for longer one or two seconds. I can will them back again, but they never last long.

Does this help?


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 408 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 5 of 65 (215989)
06-10-2005 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Minnemooseus
02-08-2004 4:19 AM


i can't picture much of anything. i think it's a problem of detail and memory, actually. for some reason, in my mind, i focus on little details and fail to get a bigger picture. i'm really bad at people. some other stuff i can "construct" in my head, but i'm bad at remember faces and names, and sometimes even people in general. really bad short term memory, i guess.

i think this part of the reason i took up drawing at a very young age. the only way i could concentrate on the whole image of something in my head as to put some of it down so i could come back to it.

i suspect this might also be the reason that photography appeals to me. it produces results that are terribly unlike what goes on in my head.


אָרַח

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coffee_addict
Member
Posts: 3638
From: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 6 of 65 (215993)
06-10-2005 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Minnemooseus
02-08-2004 4:19 AM


There's a reason why I'm a visual learner. I can't picture anything in my head at all, ever.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 15709
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 7 of 65 (215994)
06-10-2005 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Minnemooseus
02-08-2004 4:19 AM


Dream Weavers and Third Eye Blind...
zippy writes:

I ask members - Can you close your eyes, think of something you have seen, and bring up a mental image? Do you have a "photograph in your head"? My understanding is that various people can do this, at least to some degree. I can not. I just have a dark screen.

So, what's in your "minds eye"?

There are dreams that I had at very young ages...7?...which I remember certain images contained within to this day. One time in kindergarden I dreamed that I was superman and had a suit and a cape. I remember a part of the dream where I bent a pole in our kitchen at home. I can visualize how our kitchen looked back then..to this day! I can also incorporate the dream memory visual into the context. Funny, though...I may have had a wild and equally visual dream just last night or last week and can't for the life of me recall the scenes or the details! I know that you are not just talking about dreams...so in response to the question of whether I can visualize places, faces, and spaces, I can do so as well.

As a side topic, I wonder if video games stimulate youthful imaginations or stifle them by filling in the blanks best left to the imagination?

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 06-10-2005 05:02 PM


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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3938
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 8 of 65 (216026)
06-10-2005 10:18 PM


Testing - Crashfrog message 8 disappeared
We had a message 8 attributed to Crashfrog showing up in the All Topic index, but no such message exists.

Adminnemooseus

ABE - I also got an e-mail indicating a Crashfrog message 8 as a reply to message 1. I have no idea what happened to that message 8.

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 06-10-2005 10:32 PM

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 06-10-2005 10:41 PM


  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 531 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 9 of 65 (216028)
06-10-2005 10:47 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
06-10-2005 7:01 PM


My missing message, mostly
As a side topic, I wonder if video games stimulate youthful imaginations or stifle them by filling in the blanks best left to the imagination?

I've played video games all my life. I love 'em. Can't get enough. It's the only hobby I have that takes up more time than posting here.

I can do all the stuff MM talks about. I can visualize stuff that I've seen (and to a lesser extent, heard.) I can visualize stuff I've never seen, too, and I can do it with my eyes open. I'm working on smells these days.

My guess is that you either have imagination, or you don't. Or maybe you choose to employ it or you don't. I don't think it's like a muscle that you have to develop.

But I think memory is. And I think anyone who concentrates on trying to remember things, just for practice, can develop their memory to the point where they have great recall of sensory experiences.


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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 65 (216031)
06-10-2005 11:03 PM


I read somewhere that the majority of people use visual images in their mental images. Of the rest of the people, a majority used sound as the major component of their mental images.

Of the tiny remnant that is left, a majority of these think in terms of movement. Whatever that means, I think that I fit into that third category. I rarely think visually -- I have a hard time describing people, and even though I claim to have vivid memories of scenes in movies I find that I rarely remember what the scenes looked like. Even when I read novels I rarely have a visual picture of the scene in my head, although in some way I have vivid "picture" of the action. And I never create visual images of the characters.

I think that is why I tend to be somewhat good at abstract mathematics. Much of mathematics is too abstract to have a pictorial representation, but since that is not the way I concieve of the world I can deal with it. It does make it hard teaching mathematics to my students, sometimes. Most of my students are visual learners, and they need pictures and diagrams to help them understand what is happening. They constantly have to remind me to give them some picture -- and since pictures like that are not the way that I am thinking of the concept it usually takes me two or three tries before I finally come up with one that works for them. Weird.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 19302
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 11 of 65 (216056)
06-11-2005 12:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Minnemooseus
02-08-2004 4:19 AM


I have the power!
minnemooseus writes:

I ask members - Can you close your eyes, think of something you have seen, and bring up a mental image?

Yes.

It helps with spelling - if I've seen a word, I can spell it. If I want to reread a paragraph in a book, I can remember where it was on the page - though finding the correct page, or even the book, can be difficult. :D

It isn't infallible, unfortunately. I keep the grocery list in my head, but if there is one thing I need today, it's pretty certain that I'll forget that one thing.

The same ability also applies to navigation. If I've been somewhere, I can find it again, without regard to directions, landmarks, etc. I just "know" where it is and how to get there.

On the other hand, all numbers look the same to me. If you ask me for a phone number, I can visualize literally any combination of digits.

--------------------------------------

This may not be on topic, but I'll add it anyway:

One day, I was walking down the street, listening to heavy metal on my Walkman. A car waited for me to cross in front of it. When it moved, I heard a squeak and remarked to myself that he had a loose fanbelt.

Then I said to myself, "Wait a minute. How could I hear a squeak over the loud music?" Then I realized that I actually smelled burning rubber. I had transposed one sense for another in my mind, without realizing it.


People who think they have all the answers usually don't understand the questions.

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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 65 (216244)
06-11-2005 6:32 PM


All I do is picture things in the old noggin.

That's how I think, and I have assumed that's how everybody thinks.

Therefore, when I read that we have to have a language to "think in," I disagree.

We don't think in words. We think in pictures.


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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3860
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 5.9


Message 13 of 65 (216255)
06-11-2005 7:20 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by robinrohan
06-11-2005 6:32 PM


We think in pictures.

Minnemooseus, in message 1, writes:

Do you have a "photograph in your head"?

Can you recreate a quality visual image in your mind, of something that you have seen? If you look at something, and then close your eyes, can you "still see it"?

I, with very rare exceptions, can not at all.

Moose


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 65 (216263)
06-11-2005 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Minnemooseus
06-11-2005 7:20 PM


Can you recreate a quality visual image in your mind, of something that you have seen?

Continuously.

That's how one thinks.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Minnemooseus, posted 06-11-2005 7:20 PM Minnemooseus has responded

Replies to this message:
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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3860
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 5.9


Message 15 of 65 (216281)
06-11-2005 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by robinrohan
06-11-2005 7:59 PM


Continuously.

Well, I seem to be the polar opposite. What imagery I can think, seems to be limited to geometric descriptions - In essence, line drawings.

I strongly suspect this lack of visual imagery relates to my poor verbal memory.

Moose


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