Do you have a Mind’s Eye? What do you see when you close your eyes?

  • Genuinely interested about this, so I hope I get some answers!

    This is something I’ve only been aware of in recent months when I saw a poll/thread on Twitter. I have aphantasia, or a a blind mind’s eye (although on the rare occasion I sleep properly, I dream extremely vividly). More info, here:…ry-to-describe-it-for-you

    This means that if you say: ‘close your eyes and imagine your mum’s face’, I close my eyes and see the back of my eyelids. I think of my mum’s face and can describe her looks, the colour of her hair, her expressions as they form... but I see no picture. It’s just me thinking ‘Ok, short pale hair, little face, her eyes have this expression, she has a mole by her eyebrow, etc.’ I do not see a picture or image of her actual face. At best, I might get vague flashes.

    And I only just found out very recently that I am meant to be in the minority.

    So, what’s it like for you guys? Do you have a mind’s eye? Do you see pictures? How clear are they?

  • I have whats called maladaptive daydreaming which is basically the exact opposite of aphantasia. I can literally dream up a new world around me and have been doing so from a very young age. I used to sit still for periods spanning from 1 to 2 hours doing nothing but blankly staring at a wall daydreaming, and at times it consumes my time and I can't get anything done. When I close my eyes and imagine something, I can see it clear as day. Thats usually how I come up with illustration or story ideas.

    See, that’s really fascinating to me because I do the exact same thing, *except* I do it almost entirely with words/inner monologue, I guess? So it feels, like, in my own way it is clear as day, I guess? But I was only aware so very recently that other people see actual pictures, or vague forms of pictures.

  • Actual pictures and in vivid detail. There has been times where I was so immerssed in the storyline of my imagined reality that I cried or laughed out loud. It sounds a bit psychotic but it's more linked to OCD than any other mental illness, more to the obsession side of things where the fantasies become an addicting behaviour one falls back on to get serotonin

    See, I totally relate to that and don’t think it sounds psychotic in any way, just vividly emotive, which is certainly not always a bad thing. I can understand the point you’re making, however, as although I don’t have OCD, I do have BPD, so that kind of intense focus on things can extremely distractive or even dissociative, or actively quite addictive.

    The huge difference is with me though that I get no accompanying vivid visual imagery; it’s more endlessly verbal thought with very very rare flashes of something that might approach shape or imagery.

    The only time I will see actual pictorial thought is the odd occasion when I’m really drowsy and get the actual ‘dropping off’ feeling, when random images and shapes will start to form. Otherwise, just...darkness.

  • Wait you imagine nothing? I can imagine stuff clearly I can purposely imagine made up scenarios.

    Also sometimes I can vaguely remember my dreams and the places. And these places are places I've never seen before they are made up places but I can kinbsa remember the layout and sometimes my dreams occur in those same places that I imagine in my dreams

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