@jessmahler hey uh your article about your experience with aphantasia is the first time I’ve read a description that matches how I think. Thank you. People think I must be very visual in my head because I do lighting design and highly associative tasks (which many people remember visually). But in both cases, my brain works in abstract associations. I know what colours go together because I have seen them before, and can put them in front of me. But I don’t picture scenes or memories in my head (well, not beyond the limited sense of ‘outline’ that you describe as experiencing).
@s0 Hey, neat, I hadn't read that aphantasia description before! Mine works *almost* exactly the same, except what I think of as my kinesthetic sense has almost no tactile but a ton of spatial. My brain knows *where* things are for touching and how firm/flimsy they are, but with very little sense of actually touching them.
@s0 Also abstractions work really well for me. Sometimes I translate them into space for easier manipulation or explanation. If I'm explaining code to someone I'll put abstractions at different points in space and gesture to show the connections. I think some people read this as me being visual, but I don't *see* them there at all. And I can't *feel* them. They just have a definite location in space.
@s0 Also-also I totally do the thing where sometimes I'm wordsing a concept, but then some part of it doesn't really translate to words, so that part stays not-words in the middle of a words-thought. The fluency of that not-words-to-words translation varies, and nonverbal is a general term for when that translation isn't fully happening. And for me too that translation feels like a mask. Not working isn't *broken*: It's just less masked.
Recently I've learned that many fully nonverbal autistic folks have a similar/opposite thing where they are ENTIRELY visual thinkers and some of them struggle with the concept of vocal language entirely.
Has me wondering how many (if any) autistic folks DO think verbally.
And if spacial and/or tactile thought has something to do with our level of verbalness. Because the act of speaking involves manipulating our bodies in space, does it come easier to some of us?
@jessmahler I almost responded that I do think verbally sometimes, but then I remembered saying yesterday that it felt like translation and doesn't always work. Sometimes thinking in words feels very natural and easy to access, as if that mode is primary and I can translate back to not-words if I need. Now I'm wondering if it's really even a strict hierarchy at all, or if thought-centers for both words and not-words shift and change for me and just accommodate each other when needed.
Article link for anyone following the convo and interested:
I'm trying to think know if I ever think/experience in space without the tactile aspect.
Curious: Are you hyper-tactile? Wondering if that aspect of my sensory xperience relates to tactile aspect of thinking.
@jessmahler I do think I'm very tactile. I easily get lost in interesting textures and often catch myself rubbing things for comfort. I often don't bother turning on lights in my house at night because I know where things are and navigate by touch and kinesthetics. For me tactile and spacial awareness are closely connected: When I imagine space I know where to reach out and touch it. But I don't see it, and I don't feel the texture, even though it would be huge for me if the thing were real.
@s0 You are very welcome! Glad it connected for you.
I love connecting with folks who share an 'odd' experience/self aspect.
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