What do you see in your head in Theater of the Mind?

What do you see in your head in TotM?

  • Everything laid out clearly like a movie.

  • Detailed still pictures.

  • Rough sketches or blurry images of the set-up.

  • No visualization - just mentally keeping track of where things are.

  • No visualizations... and not really able to keep track for anything complicated.

  • Other - check comments


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Riley

Legend
Great question and explanations!

The way you describe TOTM sounds strange and unfamiliar to me - and I like strange and unfamiliar things.

I answered “rough sketches or blurry images,” but it really varies.

The best moments for me are fully immersive/theatrical, and I am briefly one with my character in the space and situation. Those are rare and fleeting, but the very reason I need to play.

Many more times, the space and the world exists and feels real, but the details and characters are vague and mutable. It’s like a 3-D map. I love maps, I live constantly within and aware of my very detailed real-world mental map in my daily life, and I love to escape to these fantasy worlds/spaces.

And a lot of the time, I’m just sitting around a table with friends, making up stories with words, playing a game, and trying to figure out what would be the best fun thing to do/say next.
 
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Riley

Legend
My problem is matching faces and names. I'm fine if I interacted with them a lot recently or if they are/were a friend or the like or if it's like a famous person... but for a lot of people I'll recognize the face is familiar and quite likely know the context, but I have no clue on the name. The only reason I know I'm apparently odd about it is the number of people who know mine and I don't know theres (say we were on a committee together or were regulars at the same store or are cousins who see each other once every decade). I'm also awful on the street names in a similar fashion.

I have no idea if it is related to the aphantasia or not.

Scientists say yes!:


We show that aphantasics have weaker face recognition than people with visual imagery, using both self-report (Prosopagnosia Index) and behavioural measures (Cambridge Face Memory Test). However, aphantasics nonetheless have a fully intact ability to construct facial composites from memory…

But it’s not a specific aphantasia trait. I’m a rather visual thinker, but faces (and names) are also very hard for me to retain/recognize/recall for all but my fairly close/frequent/long-contact people. I suspect that’s because I am much more of a ‘visuospatial’ thinker in a geometric/geographic sense than in a photographic sense.

So I can’t recognize my cousin at an unexpected location. But I can easily befuddle my wife when I estimate that we are about 300 miles from the Atlantic in a straight line (where no such straight line exists, and I have never travelled the land between the two), and the precise distance is 312 miles. I can also instantly recall “I recognize this hill. Down that next exit ramp and off to the right one block behind those trees is X Restaurant, that we ate at when we were last down this road (once) in 2011.” And I can describe the layout inside, where we sat, where the other customers sat, and what our kid was doing during that meal.

We all have some rather unusual combinations of strengths and weaknesses, I guess.

Thanks again for sharing all this! You’ve given me a lot to ponder/read about this weekend!
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Scientists say yes!:




But it’s not a specific aphantasia trait. I’m a rather visual thinker, but faces (and names) are also very hard for me to retain/recognize/recall for all but my fairly close/frequent/long-contact people. I suspect that’s because I am much more of a ‘visuospatial’ thinker in a geometric/geographic sense than in a photographic sense.

So I can’t recognize my cousin at an unexpected location. But I can easily befuddle my wife when I estimate that we are about 300 miles from the Atlantic in a straight lin (where no such straight exists, and I have never travelled the land between the two) and the precise distance is 312 miles. I can also instantly recall “I recognize this hill. Down that next exit ramp and off to the right one block behind those trees is X Restaurant, that we ate when we were last down this road in 2011, and I can describe the layout inside, where we sat, where the other customers sat, and what our kids were doing during that meal.

We all have some rather unusual combinations of strengths and weaknesses, I guess.

Thanks again for sharing all this! You’ve given me a lot to ponder/read about this weekend!

Thank you for the link and the look into your own combination!
 

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