Use of visualisation


I have been aware for some time about this phenomenon, in a peripheral way – and then was drawn here by the very excellent article by Carl Zimmer (, which provided a link to the site. I’ve done the test, and joined and donated, and…I seem to be phantasic verging on hyper-phantasic!

I have always had vivid dreams – to the extent of sometimes carrying around “memories” that I only later (sometimes months later) realised were dreams, and did not really happen. These include killing someone with my car (never!), a love affair with someone I have actually never met. I have also finally managed to train myself in lucid dreaming at the tender age of 66, and regularly have a very vivid just-before-waking private film show.

I work in a field that is inherently very visual – microbiology – and FAR prefer visual presentations to text; I accordingly structure all my teaching media that way – and was rather surprised to find early on that other folk DIDN’T necessarily like that. I now make an effort to do two versions – text-heavy and graphics-heavy – for everything, even if my graphics ability is not up to my ability to visualise things. And it really isn’t: I can SEE molecules rotating in 3D in my head; I could design assembly of a virus particle from subunits swooping in from all around, BUT I can’t draw worth a damn, and my design ability is really sketchy.

Picturing diagrams from a book read 40 years ago, though – no problem! It does rather help when trying to figure things out, except that I often can’t remember the names of the people who did the diagram.

So it goes. I would really like to explore this more )

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