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Do you think in pictures?

Do you think in pictures or words?

  • I think in Words!

    Votes: 31 18.8%
  • I think in Pictures!

    Votes: 118 71.5%
  • I have no idea what you mean! (This means you should post a reply to the thread)

    Votes: 16 9.7%

  • Total voters
    165

Shaddock

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I use words to talk with myself, but I think in systems.

So when I think in an "aeroplane" I see how the airflow is bend down, I see the lifting force and the draft, I see the motor posibilities, the loss of pressure at the end of the wings, how the air curves into vortex, how the water condensates creating clouds, ...

When I think in "water" I see the water cicle, their inner forces that make it reach their minimum density at 4 Celsius, how it solves salt, the way ice crystals do form, its way to create bridges under high voltage or how its created in a combustion motor.

As I focus in a certain aspect of reality, the driving forces and relations of that thing apears. Thats what makes learning so interesting to me, it adds new relations and conect things.

I think its the first time I feel confident to tell others how my mind works. :)

Thanks for asking.

that sounds really interesting and I never heard of it before. you seem to be a very intelligent person.
 

Ame568

Active Member
I don't know if I'm autistic or not but I think in both, sometimes when my mind takes things literally I think in pictures but other times I think in words and when I'm writing a story it's both but when journaling it's all words.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
You see a plane much in the way I do I can visualize the vortex the general air flow. the latest stat I saw years ago says 1 in 53,000people can do this.
 

Alaric593

Well-Known Member
I can think in pictures and auditory thoughts. I can see them and hear the voices of those in my life who've passed with enough focus to do so.

I can also extrapolate potential outcomes in pictures.
 

Shaddock

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I, truthfully, answered ‘not at all’ to all questions as I can’t visualise anything, even the face of my wife.

for me it´s easier to visualise someone/something when having my eyes open.

and when I look on something, I can, when I want, copy that picture for at least a half minute and see it even when I don´t look on it or when closing my eyes (visualize it) (maybe longer than a half minute, don´t know, never tested that long) . but I think that´s normal. but it´s not a perfect copy, it not works when I for example look onto a newspaper.
 

Bosko

Crusader in exile
I think in a very odd combination of the two. There’s text on the picture but It’s mainly pictures
 

Baphocletian

Arch-Degenerate
V.I.P Member
I'm a visual thinker for sure, vivid mental imagery is the cornerstone of both the maladaptive daydreaming I immerse myself in most my waking hours and the horrific intrusive thought scenarios that inform the bulk of my anxiety. It's both a blessing and curse.

but when trying to make a decision my thoughts also have a "narrator" who non-verbally "speaks" in my voice. Sometimes it can split into multiple when I want to emulate a conversation, with a tone of voice or sonic image to match the "character" I seek to emulate, be they the representation of a position or someone in my actual life. An example of this is "rehearsing" past arguments I lost in the shower to come up with the perfectly timed zinger or a lawyer's bullet points. This is all completely mental and internal, on a whole different track from what audio from the environment my ears (shoddily) process.

Am I schizophrenic, or have I just watched enough thousands of hours of TV and movies?
 
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Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I guess the best way to describe how my mind works is pseudo pictures, ideas things you could not really explain or draw. I know this ability is quite rare, from what I can make out 1 in 50,000 people. I suspect Einstein and Tesla had this ability they just are a lot brighter and more educated than I am. Not every one makes the big leagues.
 

Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
I'm a visual thinker for sure, vivid mental imagery is the cornerstone of both the maladaptive daydreaming I immerse myself in most my waking hours and the horrific intrusive thought scenarios that inform the bulk of my anxiety. It's both a blessing and curse.

but when trying to make a decision my thoughts also have a "narrator" who non-verbally "speaks" in my voice. Sometimes it can split into multiple when I want to emulate a conversation, with a tone of voice or sonic image to match the "character" I seek to emulate, be they the representation of a position or someone in my actual life. An example of this is "rehearsing" past arguments I lost in the shower to come up with the perfectly timed zinger or a lawyer's bullet points. This is all completely mental and internal, on a whole different track from what audio from the environment my ears (shoddily) process.

Am I schizophrenic, or have I just watched enough thousands of hours of TV and movies?
No, I don't think you're schizophrenic, I have never experienced any form of psychosis but what you're describing here is what I experience, down to the last detail. I thought I was the only one and I thought talking about it would make me look weird lol. So I'm glad someone else has it too.

I have a constant internal monologue that I can't turn off and it often takes the form of a narration too. The closest I've been able to get to describing my experience is that it sometimes feels like I'm on a reality TV show and I look at the camera and narrate/give monologues sometimes. Or like I'm in a YouTube video. But it's always just in my head, I would never do it out loud.

I was always terrified to share this on here but reading your post made me feel better. Thank you
 

Zirk

Stay humble, have fun, joke around & laugh
I think in both sound, colour and pictures (moving images). I can access my subconscious and create entire worlds in my mind. Isn't it amazing what the brain can do ? My mind works differently than that of a neurotypical person. I remember stuff via repeating patterns, attributes and data. My mind works very logically.
 

Jeepcarpenter

Well-Known Member
<Short answer>
I certainly think in images/visuals,
hard to see/work with words or numbers in my mind consciously though I imagine my subconscious is not as restricted.

(Long: cont’d)
I would love for the ability to do math coherently in my head, to write a novel without ever scratching paper or knocking keys.. but alas I cannot unless extremely focused and undistracted.. the distraction usually still being my own mind in most cases, runaway in a hundred thoughts or scenario’s from any simple idea.

But with imagery I can easily relate my imagination to the likes of Ironman’s J.A.R.V.I.S. holographic interface, better suited to technical problems but still beneficial in other scenarios.

I can stare at tree’s and see a representation of internal cellular structure, differentiating different grain patterning and traits by how the tree has grown and weathered over the years and how it’s been impacted by it’s environment..

A bit more imaginative but I see the crests and flow of the currents, the similar patterns of turbulent fluid structures as winds flow through a forest, bringing to life a forest floor of rich oceanic depth, reefs consisting of deciduous trees and conifers alike.

I can hear a mechanical noise and, permitting I have at least a vague understanding of the mechanism in call; visualize where the sound is emanating from and it’s cause based on how the symmetry of the sound compares to the rhythm it entails as a whole.

I can design new components entirely in my mind when faced with a physical impediment to existing hardware or complications between what was previously designed and what is actually required.. probably don’t do it any justice in explanation or may even make it sound more glamorous than it is..

but also face many issues with visuals I would prefer not to experience, ones I find trouble delving into and welcome to be fleeting, let alone explaining them.

Remembering where forgotten things are is like hide and seek mixed with the game of ‘Memory’. I can practically always see exactly where it is in a small local representation of it’s location.. but often cannot achieve enough definition or attributes to easily locate where in general (often because of various similar piles of organized chaos, adhd wife).

It usually requires a short period of time, a few hand motions to aid thought and some mental backtracking to formulate the path I was on after last having it to connect where the picture resides in actuality.
 

Silhouette Mirage

Paranormal Investigator™
V.I.P Member
I can't see mental imagery. I can think about it, ponder it and take it in, but never see it.

I think this is partly why fiction is so boring to me, and reading fiction is even worse. Even when I'm reading guides on things, I need really descriptive diagrams if I'm ever going to figure out what I'm doing. Maybe that's also why I can't really follow verbal lists of directions and things like this. I've heard that some people can flip through them like a rolodex and I sincerely envy that ability.

I don't know if it's common, but it's one of those things that makes me think 'yep, definitely autistic crap' whenever I delude myself for a few minutes about being 'normal'.
 

PastelPetals

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I think in pictures and 3d concepts I can manipulate and understand however since don't think in words I have to actually talk to myself to explain thing to myself and process things sometimes which results in saying the same things over and over.
 

Shevek

Well-Known Member
I think that most of my thinking is non-verbal and non-symbolic; there's just a feeling that an interesting idea might condense in a certain area. Maybe I then think I might like to get up for a stretch, or a snack. Maybe I get an idea for a conversation or an essay, in which case I spend a lot of time trying out my vocabulary to get a decent match, and then struggling with the direction each sentence takes, trying to keep other facts lined up in a sensible order.
Maybe I get an idea for something to build. If that happens, I start building shapes in my mind, and turning them around, much like one might with CAD. I often refine those ideas by sketching them or doing formal drawings, to check for interference in details, and sometimes even overall proportions. However, the wetware CAD also has a wonderful "rubbery" function, where I can imagine it built with half-cooked pasta. This makes it obvious where it is most likely to bend or break, and how distortions under load might be good or bad.
If I'm looking for an answer to a repair problem, I will probably consult a book with both words and pictures, and use them both.
 

Alexandria

Well-Known Member
I do and until recently I thought everybody did. If I am adding two numbers in my head I see the numbers. If I am thinking about a concept like justice I see an image of a stern looking king from ancient Greece, godlike with a beard and sitting on a throne. That may seem highly imaginative but actually I am just recalling an image of justice I once saw in a church. (Remember aspies are not imaginative and creative.)

Anyway the idea of thinking in words sounds boring and weird to me. Now I have read that this causes problems for people in school. It never caused me any problems reading or taking notes in class.

This thinking in pictures thing seems to me like one of the big pluses of being an aspie.
An interesting question, and one that I had never really focused on before now. My thinking most often includes; images, words, maths & colours - very often an amalgamation of them all - at times, sound or music will also be present. Between conscious thought - if I slip into an area of trance-like meditation for the purpose of either calming or reasoning, gently moving swirls and spirals will be present that gradually give way to a dark blank canvas.

My son and grandson are both 'aspies' (although the term is no longer used in diagnosis, I believe). Both are highly creative and imaginative in their own ways - both with their artwork, and my son with his music. In that respect, I would challenge the assumption that those within this area of the spectrum do not possess the ability to be creative and imaginative. Both draw imaginatively straight from the hand without visual cues or copying images. Therefore they are not only creative but there is a uniqueness to their artistic vision. Both are able to express thought and emotion poetically. My son's writing can be very deep and expressive. My grandson's is at present more technical and precise. Experience has shown me that the claim that all those who have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome are not 'creative' in any way is a stereotype - not true to reality. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, as there are millions of non-autistic people who do not feel they are in any way creative or artistic.

(On a personal note, I think the propensity for artistic creativeness resides within most humans, whether they are aware of or appreciate it, or not - but that's another story...)

I think perhaps the 'problems' that any child within the spectrum encounter at school is not so much a lack of creative potential - but that they need to be tutored and to express themselves in their own unque ways. I have first hand experience of this within the educational establishment and have seen how so many potentials (whether the child is autistic or non-autistic) are lost. Time, funding and resources (including capable teaching staff) are the real problem - very rarely the child.

Please excuse my having gone slightly off-tangent here - your remark about having 'read that this causes problems for people in school' triggered the longer response. Indeed, the differences in the ways that the human brain can operate are difficult to support within generic mainstream education - but it is not impossible to achieve and should be seen as the fault of the majority of educational systems currently in place across most of the world, rather than the lack of ability (of any individual child) to be able to achieve their potential within it.

[Edit : I would like to add that although my son, my grandson (and myself, at times) are able to express emotion creatively, emotion that is personal and in the moment require time for us all to process. None of us are always able to recognise what we are feeling exactly in a moment of emotional overwhelm. There is a similar process that occurs within the arena of learning - time is required in order to process information and input.]
 
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