Invitation for comments

People do read this blog, in fits and bursts, but I’ve not been exactly overwhelmed by comments. I would like to know about experiences that others might have that are to do with concepts being associated with visual experiences of scenery, or concepts associated with the performance of movements, or concepts associated with any kind of visual or spatial experience. Does physical movement or any particular type of visual input influence your thoughts in a way that is not easy to explain? Are concepts that you think about “illustrated” with pictures that are visual memories of things previously seen by yourself? Or is your conceptual thinking “illustrated” with images in your mind’s eye that are the product of your imagination? Is your conceptual thinking unillustrated? Do you never “see” images in your mind’s eye? Do you experience the phenomenon that I named Involuntary Method of Loci Memorization (IMLM)? Do you think this phenomenon is synaesthesia? Do you think it is completely normal and everyone has it? Do you think it is completely abnormal? Do you think everyone experiences it? Where do you think we should draw the line between the normal evoking of memories from visual stimuli, and synesthesia? Have you ever used the “method of loci” AKA the “memory palace”? Did it seem to be different from normal memory experiences? Do you experience interesting interactions between music and conceptual thinking? Are you a synaesthete? Do you believe that synaesthetes are more visual thinkers than non-synaesthetes? I’d love to know what is going on inside your head.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • DrewS  On May 30, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Hi, Just stumbled across your site so haven’t read a lot yet. Very interesting!

    I have very strong associations between concepts and locations (primarily from my childhood). It’s rare for me to work on something (I’m an engineer and write software) without associating it with a visual memory of a scene.

    I don’t now live where I grew up, but when I go back I can make myself feel physically queasy by thinking about the concept whilst being at the associated place.

    I haven’t seen anyone else write about this – is it so common it’s just what everyone does? or is it related to synesthesia in some way?

  • C. Wright  On May 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Hello Drew! As you can see, I don’t get a lot of comments, so It’s great to hear from someone who has had a similar experience to one of mine.

    Can I ask, are you the person who created these web pages involving scenes in Texas?
    https://superrecognizer.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/another-case-of-synaesthesia-linking-scenes-and-concepts-from-austin-in-texas/

    You wrote:

    “I don’t now live where I grew up, but when I go back I can make myself feel physically queasy by thinking about the concept whilst being at the associated place.”

    I described how I felt when I re-visited one place that has a scene associated in my mind with a concept, in this post:
    https://superrecognizer.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/places-in-the-mind/

    I wouldn’t describe the feeling I got as queasy. Synaesthesia is a very individual thing, and I’m sure this linking of scenes and concepts is related in some way with synaesthesia.

    I hope you don’t mind more questions. Do you experience the thing that I have named “Involuntary Method of Loci Memorization (IMLM)”? https://superrecognizer.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/involuntary-method-of-loci-memorization-imlm-%e2%80%93-what-the-heck-is-that/

    Do you have any type of synaesthesia?

    • gentoooo  On May 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      That link isn’t me, but I could do the same. Maybe I should! Interestingly, it would be a very similar set of ‘techie’ concepts.

      For me the locations tend to be already very familiar, but no longer everyday. I think it would be too uncomfortable to be regularly visiting these places. When I think of the concept in the location, it’s feels like holding a 35mm slide of the scene up in front – the visual memory doesn’t _exactly_ match what I’m seeing and hence the queasyness. That make sense?

      Re IMLM. Yes, very much so. I have been driving a fair bit recently and listening to the radio. I could recall whole programmes and journeys together. Again though – is this how everyone thinks?

      Re synaesthesia. I do have visuo-spatial synaesthesia as I understand it. Dates, numbers and sequences are all mapped spatially in my head.

      I started looking into all this fairly recently when my son was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I suspect my son has similar tendencies to me with regards to spatially thinking of things. Talking to my wife I discovered that she saw colours with days and months. Her nephew as well. A lot of genetics in this I think!

  • C. Wright  On May 30, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Wow! There are certainly lots of interesting things going on in my brain and in yours: synaesthesia, a link with autism, your engineering and computer programming are occupations that have been associated with the broader autistic genotype, and some very interesting phenomena that appear to involve visual thinking, maybe eidetic memory and synaesthesia all mixed up with the neurological machinery that does thinking about technical skills and concepts. Obviously I’m a bit of a geek writing this blog, and my father’s occupation was a very dry technical area. Thank you for sharing. This is so interesting.

    I wonder, have you ever done any of the face recognition tests that I’ve mentioned in this blog? How are you at reading and recognizing faces?

    You also have IMLM: “I have been driving a fair bit recently and listening to the radio. I could recall whole programmes and journeys together. Again though – is this how everyone thinks?”

    I wish I could give you an answer to that question. It would need to be studied by a real researcher administering a well-designed questionniare to a large and genuinely representative and unbiased sample of people. I reckon the synaesthesia researcher Dr Julia Simner could do a great job of such a study. I believe she works at a university in Scotland.

    I suspect that everyone could experience IMLM to a certain extent, because I suspect that it works on the same brain structures that do the Method of Loci, which is supposedly a thing that anyone can do.

    • gentoooo  On May 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Ha. I’ve made a career out of visual thinking (see http://www.shapespace.com)

      Re: Dr Simner. That’s just spooky – she’s based in the building 100m up the road from our office in Edinburgh.

  • C. Wright  On May 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I couldn’t dream up a better example of applied visual thinking! This is so interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: