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Does anyone else experience this?

ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Well, I've got this thing since as long as I remember.

Basically whenever I'm talking to someone my mind interprets the other person's words and creates abstract landscapes or objects. What this means is that, for example, if I lose track of what I'm saying I don't try and remember what the other person said but what landscape and/or object my mind had previously created.

This not only happens with speech but also with music. For example, I love hearing Glitch just for the mental imagery that I know I will surely obtain (I always imagine landscapes such as the ones depicted by Wassily Kandinsky or Nadir Afonso)

So what I wanted to know, for years if I might say, is if this is normal or if this happens with anyone else, any help would be appreciated so thanks in advance :wink:

Impersonator on

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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2008
    Not exactly that, but I do get sidetracked when I listen to people talk if I am not really interested in what they are saying. I just day dream though.

    Fizban140 on
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    The thing is that it happens with everyone I talk to. Also, colours often represent certain feelings expressed by the issues at hand or by my own feelings at the time

    Impersonator on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Sounds like a form of synaesthesia.

    I've never heard of this before. At least, not coming from somebody who was sober.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, I had already thought about some sort of synaesthesia, it seems as though I have some sort of synaesthesia in the way that I relate sounds to colors, but that's the least of it as what my mind does is create landscapes and/or objects that might or might not be coloured based on the stimuli

    Impersonator on
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    DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Well, the general definition of synesthesia is simply that stimuli of one sensory type (in your case sounds) trigger experience in another sensory type (in your case visual). Though it's difficult to say whether it's really synesthesia in your case (I'm not sure how complex synesthesia tends to be, as you mentioned), or if you just tend to have very strong and active visual imagery that's engaged while you're conversing. Does you have the same sort of experience when you're reading or is it only auditory stimulation that causes it?

    In short though, it's not exactly typical, but you don't mention it causing you any problems really, so it seems like just a different method that your brain has of processing things.

    Daenris on
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Only when I read about something that I don't know, i.e. have no mental imagery of, which might mean that it's my brain trying to come up with some sort of symbol, in the phylosophical sense, for it to associate it with what I am reading, which basically is stimuli. In conclusion, only when what I am reading requires imagination.

    (Was this post clear enough? English is not my native language and I might have mistaken myself trying to come up with complex sentences so sorry about that :wink:)

    Impersonator on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    That might translate into a neat talent. Take up painting, maybe?

    You don't have any other funky mental/emotional/perceptual stuff going on, do you?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Hehe, unfortunately not!

    I already thought about being a painter and using these weird, abstract landscapes and objects as an inspiration but I think that to achieve in painting one must know how to paint, thus having the ideas is not enough.
    I've also thought about being an architect or just a designer but heh, if you ask me, I'd love to be able to do everything there is involved with arts :D

    For now I'm simply learning to make music as I've already had to make my own personal way of "saving" all the compositions and loops that come to my mind during the day, I've invented a neat pictoric system, it's quite nice actually as no one else understands it and think of it as being just scribbles :P

    Impersonator on
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    ArgusArgus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    There was a documentary about a savant named Daniel Tammet who was extraordinarily good at numbers and memory, and recited a record-breaking sequence of Pi. In the documentary, he described the numbers as having different shapes and sizes and colors, and a number forming a landscape in his mind, similar to what you described, but with numbers.

    Argus on
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Slightly off-topic: Wow, that's..incredible, the way he can depict every number up to 10,000 with its own, shape, colour and feel..just wow.

    But more on-topic, so, uhm, yeah, I guess I have some sort of undocumented synaesthesia, it really doesn't affect me so why bother with it, eh?

    Impersonator on
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    TauntulasTauntulas Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    id say get some sleep, eat right, and go regularly, if you know what i mean....
    hehe, though when i dont take care of myself i get like that sometimes.

    Tauntulas on
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    exisexis Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    If I were you I'd talk to a psychologist. Certainly doesn't sound like anything bad, but there could be other documented cases of similar stuff. Couldn't hurt to know more.

    exis on
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    unilateralunilateral Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Slightly off-topic: Wow, that's..incredible, the way he can depict every number up to 10,000 with its own, shape, colour and feel..just wow.

    But more on-topic, so, uhm, yeah, I guess I have some sort of undocumented synaesthesia, it really doesn't affect me so why bother with it, eh?

    If this is a persistent thing that has been occurring across your lifetime, I would suggest contacting someone involved in Synesthesia research. I'm sure they would love to document your synesthesia and write up a nice paper on it, if in fact what you are a synesthete. A rare case of synesthesia was found in a woman would taste notes (When Colored Sounds Taste Sweet: Beeli, Esslen, and Jencke; in case anyone is interested and has access to scholarly journals).

    The research involving synesthetes is very new, and combining that with the fact that a synesthete has no idea that they are unique until they learn about synesthesia creates a very large deficiency in the uncovering of new types. So basically, there is some researcher out there who would be dying to talk to with you and document it, if in fact you do have a form of synesthesia.

    unilateral on
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    That would be..weird, I prefer to pass, it's not like it would be a scientifical breakthrough right :P

    Impersonator on
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    DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    That would be..weird, I prefer to pass, it's not like it would be a scientifical breakthrough right :P

    Well it could be. Or you could learn more about it. Really you do have a unique ability.

    DasUberEdward on
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Nah..I'm sure I'm not the only one, it might just be that others are too shy to be open about this and/or think it is some sort of mental disease

    Impersonator on
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    MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    That sounds so awesome. And I could see it being very useful if you find some way to harness or channel it.

    Definitely sounds like synaesthesia to me.

    MikeMan on
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    DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Nah..I'm sure I'm not the only one, it might just be that others are too shy to be open about this and/or think it is some sort of mental disease

    Still being one out of thousands when we're talking about billions still makes you very unique.

    DasUberEdward on
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    revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Not exactly landscapes, but I relate most numbers/feelings/names to colours or environment. I can't really explain it, it's just a bunch of mishmashed feelings.

    For example, a three is definitely a brown, a two is a white, an eight a blue and so on.

    I also have this psychotic feeling where I have to balance everything i do. Like if I close my left eyes once, I gotta close my right right after the same amount of time. If I accidentally brush my left hand against the wall while walking, I gotta walk to the right and brush my right hand slightly on the right wall.

    This is normal, right?

    revolutionary bean on
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    unilateralunilateral Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Not exactly landscapes, but I relate most numbers/feelings/names to colours or environment. I can't really explain it, it's just a bunch of mishmashed feelings.

    For example, a three is definitely a brown, a two is a white, an eight a blue and so on.

    I also have this psychotic feeling where I have to balance everything i do. Like if I close my left eyes once, I gotta close my right right after the same amount of time. If I accidentally brush my left hand against the wall while walking, I gotta walk to the right and brush my right hand slightly on the right wall.

    This is normal, right?

    This is a more common form of Synesthesia called Grapheme-Color synesthesia, and it's actually quite well documented.

    The first part I mean, the second part sounds more like some sort of OC tendency.

    unilateral on
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    grendel824_grendel824_ Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Not exactly landscapes, but I relate most numbers/feelings/names to colours or environment. I can't really explain it, it's just a bunch of mishmashed feelings.

    For example, a three is definitely a brown, a two is a white, an eight a blue and so on.

    I also have this psychotic feeling where I have to balance everything i do. Like if I close my left eyes once, I gotta close my right right after the same amount of time. If I accidentally brush my left hand against the wall while walking, I gotta walk to the right and brush my right hand slightly on the right wall.

    This is normal, right?


    I hope so - I'm not much for the OCD part, but I definitely associate things like days, numbers, certain letters, etc. with colors. Not strongly, but it's definitely there if I think about it and if I see the word "Monday" colored anything but some shade red (if the days are colored differently from each other) I notice that it's "wrong."

    By the way, you are incorrect, sir: 3 is green, 2 is red, and 8 is light orange. Get it right! :P

    grendel824_ on
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    AydrAydr Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    This happens to you all the time?

    Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but you are fascinating.

    Aydr on
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    revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User regular
    edited June 2008

    I hope so - I'm not much for the OCD part, but I definitely associate things like days, numbers, certain letters, etc. with colors. Not strongly, but it's definitely there if I think about it and if I see the word "Monday" colored anything but some shade red (if the days are colored differently from each other) I notice that it's "wrong."

    By the way, you are incorrect, sir: 3 is green, 2 is red, and 8 is light orange. Get it right! :P

    How can 3 be green? 3 is a bad guy number, it is rough and not afraid to do the dirty work. That characteristics is definitely a brown. 2 is a cool guy, he's lean and doesn't really give a shit about what others think about him so he's definitely a white or a really light blue. 8 is definitely a dark blue, it's the colour of age and maturity which 8 definitely possess.

    I can slightly recall that I used to associate alphabets with colours too but nowadays all I can gleam from them is whether they're a "lightie" or a "darkie".

    Wikipedia seems to reveal that we, sir, are one in 2000. So we aren't exactly that rare it seems. Try looking it up, it's an interesting read.

    revolutionary bean on
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    CrystalMethodistCrystalMethodist Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    probably mild synesthesia.

    it's funny, because I'm actually the opposite-- I have literally no visual memory at all. my brain, for some bizarre reason, has just never been able to hold pictures in it. everything is audio, including visual memories (places like my old house, etc. are all narrated descriptions).

    it's really interesting hearing this stuff because we all think in such different ways. I listen to a fuckton of music and public radio, whereas I watch almost no tv. I can't get into visual art AT ALL, I just have no appreciation for it.

    CrystalMethodist on
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    JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Hm, it's not quite the same, but I have more fully-fledged daydreams associated with music/words. I envision a particular building - could describe the layout; I always remember house plans - populate it with characters, create a mini-script, and then act it out to the piece of music in my mind. I'm always getting distracted when listening to people. If I'm talking about dates then I envision the current year as a three-dimensional circle, on which I am standing, and then think about where I am in relation to the talked-about date on that circle. Any conversations I plan to have with people I sketch out in my mind with imaginary characters first. All of this, however, is merely due to an overactive imagination.

    Janson on
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    revolutionary beanrevolutionary bean Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    probably mild synesthesia.

    it's funny, because I'm actually the opposite-- I have literally no visual memory at all. my brain, for some bizarre reason, has just never been able to hold pictures in it. everything is audio, including visual memories (places like my old house, etc. are all narrated descriptions).

    it's really interesting hearing this stuff because we all think in such different ways. I listen to a fuckton of music and public radio, whereas I watch almost no tv. I can't get into visual art AT ALL, I just have no appreciation for it.

    Wait, I don't get this.

    You can't remember any form of visual imagery at all?

    How do you remember people's faces then? Dude, you really need to get that checked out because I think that can be classified as a bit of a disability.

    I mean, I don't know what I would do without my wank bank to keep me accompanied at long nights without entertainment..

    revolutionary bean on
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    MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Janson wrote: »
    Hm, it's not quite the same, but I have more fully-fledged daydreams associated with music/words. I envision a particular building - could describe the layout; I always remember house plans - populate it with characters, create a mini-script, and then act it out to the piece of music in my mind. I'm always getting distracted when listening to people. If I'm talking about dates then I envision the current year as a three-dimensional circle, on which I am standing, and then think about where I am in relation to the talked-about date on that circle. Any conversations I plan to have with people I sketch out in my mind with imaginary characters first. All of this, however, is merely due to an overactive imagination.

    Janson, holy shit.

    I do the exact same thing.

    Creepy.

    MikeMan on
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    What the fuck guys, I used to do the exact same thing when I was young!

    But I thought it was stupid and stopped doing that :lol:

    Impersonator on
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    ilmmadilmmad Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Ok, that is awesome. Please do the following for me:
    1. Learn to do this the other way around: landscapes turn into words
    2. Travel the world translating what the lanscape is saying into words
    3. Turn it into the next great American novel

    ilmmad on
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    ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Believe me, I've already thought about something similar but then I think, who's going to believe it?

    And I forgot about your comment Aydr, sorry!
    Aydr wrote: »
    This happens to you all the time?

    Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but you are fascinating.

    Sometimes I simply imagine abstract imagery on top of real things, for example, just the other day I was talking to my girlfriend and while she was talking I was imagining these white-ish progress bars along her left cheek that would fill up whenever she talked, yeah, I know, crazy, that's what I probably am after all :P

    Impersonator on
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