Learning movement based activities with aphantasia
Without the ability to visualize, I’ve found it difficult to mirror movements done by other people. For example, if someone shows me some exercise (that is semi-involved and often even basic), it’s very difficult for me to recreate. Even though someone just showed me how to do what they want me to do, it’s as if nothing actually got processed in my head…like they could show me 100 times and it just wouldn’t stick.
Sometimes I have to have the person put my body in the right position. The only way I can learn those things is by doing them. Eventually if I do them enough times, the muscle memory develops and I can retain them. But it’s so frustrating that I can’t just look at someone’s motion and mirror that very well.
I’m wondering whether other people with Aphantasia have this issue.
I grew up dancing and never really had this issue. It might have been because I was already used to mirroring what I was being taught, but I did find it difficult to remember what I was doing every week. I had to store it as muscle memory rather than visual memory.
However, I feel that way for setting up lab equipment. I’m an undergrad working in a lab this year at my university, and I need to be shown multiple times how to set up the equipment properly, especially if we don’t use it very often. I often don’t have a picture to go by. So I guess it depends on your visual memory, but also what you’re used to doing?
I danced (modern, jazz and folk dance) and could remember patterns for some reason, but only if I had music to link with it. I used word descriptions to remember the moves.
I also did TaeKwonDo as an adult and managed to achieve 2nd dan. I had to do patterns repeatedly to memorize them, and again, I used words, physical/muscle memory and sometimes orientation. I always had difficulty when our instructor would say visualize this attack so that you can do the defence properly.
Learning how to move properly when doing wieght training came relatively easily since most of it is pretty logical with body alignment and the way bones and muscles work together.
A lot of this stuff, once it is learned is stored as physical memory, so no need for the visual.
Unfortunately for me, I need to review regularly if I want a physical skill to stick.