When I “picture” something I’m recalling a real life image


Does anyone else find that this happens with them…

Someone will say, “picture a field” so I think of the field at my Grandma’s house. Then they say, in the middle of the field is a house. So now I’m recalling an image of a house (that I’ve seen in real life) still can’t actually see an image in my head, but I can remember it. What is that? I can only imagine something I’ve seen (not actually seeing a picture in my head, though).

I always said that I had photographic memory because if someone asked where people were sitting at a party, I could recall (no picture, just from memory) who was all there and where they were sitting. But If someone said to imagine a purple elephant, I couldn’t even try because I haven’t physically seen it.

I hope that isn’t too confusing.
Anyone else?

You must be signed in to comment

Hi Kara

I’m with you…..if you ask me to verbally walk you through my flat, I can do it perfectly. But I don’t see a picture at all. Also, I think I am very creative, but I struggle to start with a blank canvas. I am much better at being given something, then I can adapt and amend it. I think this is probably like your purple elephant, I can’t imagine something that I haven’t actually seen. I find that it helps hugely to know facts like this, then I can ensure that I find a start point in projects for example, or if there isn’t one then I work out how to get that first draft down, then I’m off.

I think that the research into Pixar artists might interest you. I’m not sure if this will allow links so put in – Pixar Aphantasia – and you will find a fascinating world of artists who are also aphantasic.

Interesting!  I can imagine your purple elephant or anything else. I dont “see” it, but I can create a “concept” of it. But I cannot remember anything about who was sitting where, or anything else unless I cognitively reason it out.