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Add your comment on this item1 The following are copies of 12 emails between May 18 to 29.

Albert forwarded an email from Elie to Larry on persons lacking imagery because he knew Larry lacked imagery. After some prodding Larry responded to Elie and to others who had also responded to Elie (Robert and Rick). Although Elie has not responded, there have been email exchanges between Larry and Rick, with additional emails from Steven, Alex, and Glen.

Instead of continuing the ackward exchange of emails, I have constructed this composite document and have placed it in QuickTopic for a more structured response. In this you can respond to each paragraph in the document. In the forum you can respond to others comments. There you can refer to another message by /mXX in your own response.

Add your comment on this item2 You can also set the system to send you email alerts when others have responded.

Add your comment on this item3 Feel free to invite others to participate. Just email them the url.

Add your comment on this item4 LIST OF CORRESPONDENTS

Add your comment on this item5 Larry: larryvictor137@cs.com

Add your comment on this item6 Albert: AGLTUCS1@worldnet.att.net

Add your comment on this item7 Elie: eness3400@HOTMAIL.COM

Add your comment on this item8 Rick: brainstormer@cfl.rr.com

Add your comment on this item9 Robert: rstonjek@BIGPOND.NET.AU

Add your comment on this item10 Steven: res07lok@verizon.net

Add your comment on this item11 Alex: alex@ramonsky.com

Add your comment on this item12 Glen: gmsizemore2@yahoo.com



A Forwarded email message from Albert Lundquist to Larry Victor 5/18/02

From: "Eli Ness" <eness3400@HOTMAIL.COM

Subject: Imagery - someone without it


Add your comment on this item13 I have just recently discovered that I am unable to form or see images other than in dreams. But I think I have something that might be useful to you.

Add your comment on this item14 I think the images are in fact there, but there is some kind of blockage of imagery. It is as if I get the impression of an image, further away and without structure and color, but still recognize it as an image. I feel like something is blocked from my own conscious perception, but exists there just like anyone else's. I think it has something to do with the conscious state of mind, there must be a disconnection with the image itself while conscious, but during dreams that connection must be reestablished. I believe ALL your subjects who have told you that they see no images, in-fact do have capability for quasi-pictorial representation and imagination, but cannot SEE it. Somehow one understands it without seeing it, but getting the impression that it is there.

Add your comment on this item15 Another interesting fact for you to know, I asked my father if he has this same condition and he told me that when he also could not see things in his mind, until he was 18! He had realized when he was a teenager that when he was told to "picture something" the picture would not be there. But, amazingly when he was 18 years old he said he had a very vivid and fantastic dream, something with what he said was "extreme intensity", and the next day as he says he was able to see pictures in his mind.

Add your comment on this item16 I hope this could be helpful to you, and if you would like to inquire in to this more, I would be glad to answer any questions.

Thank you, Eli Ness


In a message dated 5/19/02 10:54:13 PM US Mountain Standard Time,
Albert asks Larry to reply to Elie:

Add your comment on this item17 "If a second party, you, comes forward with imagery without, what do you think the response would be?"

Larry replies:

Add your comment on this item18 I will give it a try. The lack of imagery is well documented in the psy literature, but I expect still not common knowledge. And then, I expect there are many speculations as to the source of the deficit, none which have been given much empirical attention.

Add your comment on this item19 As I probably told you, I gave a paper in the mid 70's at a conference in Chicago on the Imaging and Fantasying process - and was almost booed off the stage - the study of imagery had fought such a battle to get legitimate attention over the protests of the behaviorists, that anyone who claimed they had no imagery was thought of as a threat.

Add your comment on this item20 I have never researched it, but there was a major school of psy thought early in the century: -----------'s SCHOOL OF IMAGELESS THOUGHT.

Add your comment on this item21 I just don't know whether I can muster the time -- when I DO get myself to compose there are higher priority tasks to attend. Yet, I do have a lot of free time that I waste.


Albert to Larry 5/20/02

"Expect the group might benefit from your experience and 'insight' but especially hope you contact Eli Ness."

Larry to Albert 5/21/02

Yes, will at least do that, and I will send it also to the list



From: "Robert Karl Stonjek" <rstonjek@BIGPOND.NET.AU
Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2002 7:27 PM
Subject: Re Imagery - someone without it

Thanks very much to Eli Ness for sharing this insight into her imagery deficit.

Add your comment on this item22 One is immediately drawn to the condition called synesthesia. This is condition where a person has a hypersensitivity to visual imagery. Such abstract concepts as 'days of the week' appear, to the conscious mind, as colors, rolling hills (mine), or shapes of some kind.

Add your comment on this item23 Could there be a vector, passing through the normal orb, that connects synesthesia with the imagery deficit as described by Eli Ness??

Kind Regards, Robert Karl Stonjek.


Add your comment on this item24 From: "Rick" <brainstormer@CFL.RR.COM
Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2002 10:08 AM
Subject: Re: Re Imagery - someone without it

Add your comment on this item25 I did not read the original message you are responding to, so this may be out of context.

Add your comment on this item26 I believe that everyone has imagery. For years I thought I could not visualize. Then I learned that i visualized, but did it so quickly that I did not notice it.

Add your comment on this item27 as a test, try this

Add your comment on this item28 Have the person imagine or remember their home that they grew up in. Then ask them what color the front door was?

Add your comment on this item29 You will see their eyes roll up, as they access the visual image, and then they will respond with the color, even though many times they do not notice they have seen the image.

Add your comment on this item30 Once they realize that they are visualizing, it is a short trip from there to getting then to prolong the visualization.



Larry finally replies to all.

Monday, May 27, 2002 7:16 PM

Elie Ness: eness3400@HOTMAIL.COM <mailto:eness3400@HOTMAIL.COM>

Rick: brainstormer@cfl.rr.com <mailto:brainstormer@cfl.rr.com>

Robert Karl Stonjek: rstonjek@BIGPOND.NET.AU <mailto:rstonjek@BIGPOND.NET.AU> ;

Albert Lundquist: AGLTUCS1@worldnet.att.net <mailto:AGLTUCS1@worldnet.att.net>


Add your comment on this item31 Subject: LACKING IMAGERY

Add your comment on this item32 Yes, there is (a Santa) IMAGERY. We all MUST have imagery, claims Rick. Might it be so, but unfortunately, it isn't. It is interesting how people claim to know That others are experiencing, or not experiencing. What Rick reports is the discovery of a person that they explicitly have imagery, and then being able to intentionally develop imagery skills. Why it takes someone to explicitly be aware of imagery is as puzzling as for someone (like myself) to live 22 years speaking as if I had imagery, but actually lacked imagery. I even worked for summers as a draftsman without the ability to move objects around in my mind. Many people can begin to appreciate a lack of visual imagery when they realize that they may lack imagery in other sensory modalities. Rick, I would fail your experiment, and have many such examples that I used with subjects/students to determine their lack/style of imagery. Unless I note verbally to myself a feature of a percept, I cannot recall that feature. This is REAL, and IMPORTANT.

Add your comment on this item33 Eli Ness, you are not alone. In a very old study (by a woman, Roe, from New Zealand), about 3% of the population lack visual imagery. I am one of them. People lack "sensory-like" imagery in all sensory domains: visual, auditory (music and/or speech), tactile, taste and odor, proprioceptive and kinaestic. Roe gave percents, but the study must be repeated. I appear unique (as to literature searches) in lacking "sensory-like" imagery in ALL sensory domains. Most people have such imagery in some modalities, but the intensity and degree of control varies greatly. Indeed, many people report imagery that is so weak and uncontrolled that it is "useless". Only a small percent report strong imagery.

Add your comment on this item34 The story about your father is very interesting. My father was a draftsman who claimed to have imagery, but I never was convinced he had visual imagery. I have never heard of a person gaining visual imagery, as your father reported. Once, a student was referred to me who had reported to her instructor that she woke fully lacking visual imagery (which had been strong all her life) and was devastated; unfortunately she never saw me. Most person's imagery styles seem to remain constant throughout life. I have no sensory-like remembrances of my past. I don't know what my friends and family members look like - but I can recognize persons after some time knowing them.

Add your comment on this item35 I also dream visually, in color. I have never noticed sound in my dreams. On waking I can't replay the visuals of the dream, but the emotional force may linger for minutes. Some of my dreams are semi-lucid, I often know it is a dream but I cannot influence the dream. I can meta-comment conceptually (not verbally) on my dream and this meta-commentary can continue after my dream, to the extent that I can sometimes describe them in considerable detail. But, the descriptions don't come from a visual replay, nor to they excite visual remembering.

Add your comment on this item36 I also sense pre-imagery in my preconscious. Often I will sense it as a field of variations of what might be presented to consciousness, but there is no selection going on so nothing comes up. A few times a month before going to sleep my inner visual field will become bright with swirls of color for a few seconds. This is different from visuals made by pressing the eyeballs. Attempts to maintain the experience accelerates its disappearance. A few times a year I will have a very brief, very weak image - like black on black. Sometimes a face, or a body, or a landscape. Less than a second and without the focus and sharpness of "real" images. They are always too brief for "identification". But, I know they were there, and was pleased. In total dark my visual is usually deep black - but often with some weak texturing.

Add your comment on this item37 I discovered my lack of visual imagery while in graduate school in physics at the University of Chicago in 1957 when I was 22. It happened when I had a brief, intense visual image. I told my friends and they didn't think it special. Over my life I have had a few brief representational visual images, and I thus know what they are and what I ordinarily lack. The only auditory image I have is an occasion of thinking I hear my name spoken. I have NEVER imaged even a simple melody in my head (I can hum them). Nor can I image my body in positions or movements other than what it is doing. I even have weak body perception, I don't know where my feet are pointing without looking at them, which is a handicap if one attempts to ski. I can't imagine the taste of garlic or the smell of skunk. In fact, visual imagery is the only kind of sensory-like imagery that I have experienced in a very limited way. I frustrate greatly those experiential leaders who depend on forms of imagery (usually visual, auditory or movement). Often I discover others at such sessions who also fake it.

Add your comment on this item38 When I discovered I lacked imagery, I began to study imagery - just as it was emerging from behaviorist suppression. I interviewed many artists who employed imagery in their work: painters, composers, dancers. I know very well what people report who have powerful imagery and I know that I don't have such experiences, even slightly. Many personal friends are at the other end, having very powerful and controllable imagery. Researchers in imagery were not favorable to persons who reported a lack of imagery. This led me to write and present a paper: "Categories of Mental Experience: Conceptual -Emotive Imagery", presented at The Second American Conference on the Fantasy and Imaging Process in Chicago, November 3-5, 1978. My paper was not well received, with many researchers insisting that I experienced imagery but didn't recognize it. For a decade I subscribed to the Journal of Mental Imagery, which never seemed to get itself out of using behavioral research paradigms to study imagery. A passage would be read and the subject asked, "what happened", and told that a horse jumped a fence. Few asked, what did YOU experience: were you on the horse, did you feel the gravity and wind, were you observing from high above? Maybe they are doing this today, but they weren't in the 1980s.

Add your comment on this item39 Teaching introductory psychology for 23 years I found a few percent of students each year who lacked visual imagery. They were very pleased to learn of their problem and how to begin to compensate for it. One woman was studying sheet metal construction and was relieved to learn why she had difficulty imagining the sheets being folded into 3D forms. I also began an informal study of individual differences among those who reported mental imagery, and the diversity is great. I discovered that degrees of visual imagery was very important in learning to read. Visual imagery can be an asset in reading descriptive literature, but usually visual imagery is a severe handicap when reading conceptual literature. Reading teachers and researchers were not interested at all about this issue as it didn't fit with their preconceptions about the nature of reading.

Add your comment on this item40 I personally don't expect lack of imagery to be directly related to synaesthia (which I have also studied extensively). I won't go into the details of my imagery styles here, but I am searching my archives for what I did write and am open to dialog with others about lacks of and differences with imagery.

Add your comment on this item41 I speculate that the biological source of my lack of imagery relates to a need for the consciousness "screen" to be continually refreshed. When perceiving from my senses, energy from the continuing sensory stimulation keeps the "screen" refreshed. If the stimulus for the "screen" is internal and requiring feedback to maintain a pattern, the image on the screen could be too brief to be noted. This could be due to an internal erasure of weak neuronal resonance (mini shock treatments - possibly the origins of some EEG patterns), that for me is too powerful to permit images other than those in continuous reinforcement to exist long enough to be noticed. It would be interesting re Rick's suggested experiment to assess what my responses to colors or other features of percepts would be, even if not from conscious experience. Yet, this would only show that I had recorded the feature, NOT that I had CONSCIOUS IMAGERY.

Add your comment on this item42 This may be related to those neurologist subjects who have very narrow temporal consciousness - who lose contact in about a second if not reinforced. I speculate that my condition has a strong genetic basis. I had vivid, rapidly changing, highly detailed and colored visual imagery EYES CLOSE using LSD. I could not keep my eyes shut for more than a second or two, too intense. No eyes open imagery with LSD, although some form distortion. Holotropic Breathwork did not generate imagery.

Add your comment on this item43 I have compensated for my lack of sensory imagery, which enables me to experience DIRECTLY what I call explicit "conceptual-emotive imagery" - which serves as a background experience for those who are experiencing sensory-type imagery, either from perception or from memory or imagination. Although I would like to be able to switch on imagery, lacking it most of my life would mean I would have little control over it. Many people exhibit strange behaviors because of intense unbidden mental imagery which can be very difficult to live with. I do not want unbidden imagery.

Add your comment on this item44 As a brief background. I have two PhDs, in Physics (1965) from Yale and in Educational Psychology (1970) from Minnesota; but my learning has become transdisciplinary. I have attended all the Consciousness conferences in Tucson and was a participant in PSYCH-D listserv for a few years. I am not currently involved in imagery research.

Larry Victor


From: brainstormer@cfl.rr.com (Rick)

5/27/02 8:31:16 PM US Mountain Standard Time

Add your comment on this item45 You state "Unless I note verbally to myself a feature of a percept, I cannot recall that feature. This is REAL, and IMPORTANT. " I never meant to imply that this was NOT real or important.

Add your comment on this item46 That is precisely why I chose the example of the color of the front door in the house that you grew up in. Most people do not verbalize what that color is, so if a person could remember the color, my theory was that at some level they must have visual memory.

Add your comment on this item47 Your post was interesting. You stated that "In a very old study (by a woman, Roe, from New Zealand), about 3% of the population lack visual imagery." I had thought for the longest time that i could not visualize. When i discovered that the mental imagery was there but happening so fast that I could not perceive it, it was a great help to me, because then I found it simple to slow down the imagery so that I could not see it.

Add your comment on this item48 Whereas I had trouble with visual imagery for many years, the auditory imagery was always easy for me, with brainstorming going on almost incessantly.

Add your comment on this item49 I know people that think visually, and I know people that think auditorily (myself most of the time). When you think, what goes on inside your head that you are aware of. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic, something else entirely?


An email from Larry with comments embedded in a prior email from Rick.

From: LarryVictor137@cs.com <mailto:LarryVictor137@cs.com>

To: brainstormer@cfl.rr.com <mailto:brainstormer@cfl.rr.com> ; eness3400@HOTMAIL.COM <mailto:eness3400@HOTMAIL.COM>

Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 2:13 AM Subject: Re: LACKING IMAGERY

Add your comment on this item50 Rick, Thank you for responding.

I am interested in what you mean by mental imagery "happening so fast that i cannot perceive it".

Add your comment on this item51 By mental imagery happening so fast that i cannot perceive it, i mean that some authors say that everyone visualizes, there are no exceptions. It is just that some people have the visualization so very fast that they are completely unaware that they visualized it. They saw the picture of their house, and their front door and the color of it in a split second, then remember the color. BUT IT happens so fast that they fully believe that they never visualized it.

Add your comment on this item52 For me, when i hear a new theory, i am more concerned NOT with whether the theory is provable, but whether that viewpoint will enable me to do more than i could before. Obviously this would be a terrible view for a scientist to have, but i find it works well for my personal life.

Add your comment on this item53 So if indeed i was visualizing like other people , only much much faster. it seemed to be that it would be easier to slow down the visualization than it would be to create the visualization in the first place

Add your comment on this item54 All i know about it is that it worked for me. I now can visualize something in my mind and see it, although still the picture is usually not there but for a second or so, before disappearing. But a second is infinitely better than inperceivable. -;)

Add your comment on this item55 I have never read or heard a report of imagery where the flow of images wasn't normal flow (as perception), or as a rapid MTV style flashing of different images (as I experienced with visual imagery when using LSD). If the images flash by so fast that they aren't noted, I would call this a lack of CONSCIOUS visual imagery. This may be consciously indistinguishable from what I hypothesize as the "input to the consciousness screen" being too weak. It could be that my images flash by too fast and too weak. It may be that where a normal person has one of millions of possible variations selected to give a stable input to the c-screen, for me, ALL the variations flash by and I perceive none.

Add your comment on this item56 You are much more precise in your wording than I am. Lack of conscious visual imagery defines it well. And yet IF it is lack of conscious imagery, then that means the person IS visualizing, just in a way that is inappropriate to be able to understand. IT just SEEMS to me that slowing down something that I am already doing should be easier that learning a new skill.

Add your comment on this item57 Let me cite a concrete example. I was in an art museum and was viewing a sculpture made of small wooden blocks, maybe 2x2x4 inches. Hundreds of similar blocks were glued together into a single concrete form. I had an exciting insight on all the possible variations, and with different sizes and shapes, and to make little bean bags with Velcro for children to play with. All this occurred in a few minutes - without any visualizations of my imaginings. I actually tried to make some similar sculptures but was unable to create anything worthwhile as I could not image any single form. Another dynamic art form imagined would be a transparent cylinder of fluid with bubbles of various sizes being generated in patterns at the bottom and rising through light beams. I would LOVE to be able to visualize the potentials. I may have many variations generated below consciousness, but I don't see that they would flash with intensity through consciousness. They may stutter to consciousness, too weak and too rapid to be noticed.

Add your comment on this item58 But, what is important, Rick, is that I have TRIED many things to have visual imagery, and nothing seems to work. I have yet to be tied down and blindfolded and given LSD.

Add your comment on this item59 In one of my classroom experiments with imagery, I had the students read silently a short passage, that was highly descriptive. It began: "It's 2am. He waits". I then had students report what they experienced in imagery as they read each part of the passage. One person reported that after "It's 2am" he experienced a great many scenes where he was awake at 2am. Later questioning revealed that some were dynamic images, one he was fishing at night under moonlight. Most people reported only one scene, a few nothing.

Add your comment on this item60 As a sidebit of information, a friend of mine that had used drugs extensively had kinda fried his brain. But he had this enormous ability to visualize. Ask him directions to go somewhere and he instantly visualizes floating up above the city and seeing the city below him like a map so that he can map out the most direct route. He says he can see 100 internal screens at a time, all with a different subject and all in full color and moving.

Add your comment on this item61 Also, to a highly conceptual passage - on political philosophy - the first report of almost everyone was NOTHING. They reported NO visualizations, which disturbed them. When there were no visuals, there was nothing in their minds! When visualizations did come, they were irrelevant and distracting to the comprehension of the passage.

Add your comment on this item62 In that auditory imagery for speech is a great asset for second language learning -- and my lack of auditory imagery explaining why second language learning is so difficult for me. It is also interesting that some people have auditory imagery of only speech or music, but not both. I once read the Mozart experienced his compositions first as a holistic feeling and only later did it expand as auditory imagery.

Add your comment on this item63 Yes I remember that Mozart used to hear the entire symphony playing in his mind.

Add your comment on this item64 I certainly think "spatially", but not "visually."

Add your comment on this item65 Some psychologists propose that we are either verbal or visual. I am neither. When having experiences not generated by my senses, they are not visuals, nor are they words or sentences (although I can, and sometimes do, think verbally - inner talk).

Add your comment on this item66 If you have inner talk, how is this not auditory. Are you saying that you can have inner talk, yet cannot imagine a song within your mind ?

Add your comment on this item67 Most of the time when I talk I hear myself as others hear me, I speak from my subconscious. Unlike some of my musician friends who hear in auditory image a few notes ahead of what they play, I hear what I play as I play.

Add your comment on this item68 I have come to call my mode of thought: "conceptual-emotive imagery". I use the term "imagery" because it has the figure/ground relations of gestalt. Concepts and Conceptual Schemes - as nested structures are "experienced concretely" -- but not with a temporal focus (although I know when they evaporate). Emotion is a powerful component of these experiences - most of which are positive creations, cascades from flashes of insight. When I write I don't think the words ahead, but I am aware of a non-verbal-non-visual "background" from which the words emerge. This happens even when I am delayed by typing, the words wait for my fingers.

Add your comment on this item69 Interesting. IN NLP, they talk about submodalities. Submodalities refer not no visual or auditory but the specific components within each. For example a submodality for you would be the background texture or color(even if shade of black), how the words emerge. NLP postulates that we control these things within our mind, although we don't know that we control them. Just as a tv set has knobs on it (now digital ) to control the contrast, vertical, horizontal, darkness etc, that we can adjust our mental images and sounds and feelings the way we like them.

Add your comment on this item70 Do your words come one at a time or grouped together.

Add your comment on this item71 What would happen if you imagined a knob that controlled the speed of the words and turned it slightly.

Add your comment on this item72 How do the words wait.

Add your comment on this item73 IN NLP, often we get the other person to describe in enough detail how they experience things so that we can understand it fully , as if we were an actor and needed that information. How do you know the words are there. Can you hear them, see them, have them as an inner thought. IF you hear them, can you have them have a different tone? How do you know the next word will come ?

Add your comment on this item74 The lack of visual imagery has assisted me in imagining alternative future worlds. Most people who speculate on future alternatives involve visual imagery. They must see what the scenes look like. The problem is one can't vary everything, so many aspects of their visuals contain forms from the present, which on retrospect are quite incongruous with the new forms. A study of artists' visuals of the future demonstrate this. Since I don't visualize futures I am free to vary more variables. It is very difficult to describe my experientials as most descriptive language involves visual features.

Add your comment on this item75 Interesting. How else does your lack of visualizing aid you. Perhaps you want NOT the ability to visualize, but the ability to visualize "when you want to" and exclude visualization the rest of the time.

Add your comment on this item76 "if a person could remember the color {of their childhood door} my theory was that at some level they must have visual memory" -- this refers to visual MEMORY, not to visual IMAGERY. The color words that pop to mind are green (for the house from ages 3 to 13) and red (for ages 13 to 16). But I am NOT visualizing them. Yet, many people do have visual memory. I have demonstrated this many times asking someone to look away from a thing I just showed them, and ask them to describe it - for example its color. Those who do find the description by examining their visual image. Those who can't describe usually report having no visual imagery of the object just viewed.

Add your comment on this item77 Ok , Larry, do you remember the details of the door, Was it a flat panel door, 6 panel door, texture etc. IT seems likely to me that you would not remember those things auditorily.



5/28/02 12:55:28 AM US Mountain Standard Time

From: res07lok@verizon.net (VZ/res07lok) Steven

Dr. Victor,

Add your comment on this item78 I find your message absolutely fascinating. Did you go to Hurlburt's talk at the Tucson conference (refs below)? He had some possible responses to your points, and as someone interested in phenomenology I would like to disbelieve you also. (Hurlburt, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65(6), 941-949, 1997; Hurlburt and Heavey, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5(9), 400-403, 2001; Hurlburt et al., Cognitive Therapy and Research, 26, 117-134, 2002; Hurlburt and Heavey, Cognitive Therapy and Research, 26,
135-142, 2002).

Add your comment on this item79 However, I do not. But that leaves the question of how you *do* think quite an interesting one, right? Clearly you can do it quite well. Now, one question I would like to ask is whether you employ kinesthetic "imagery" (a "kinesthetic modality" is a description I'd be more comfortable with). There's an old letter by Einstein (in one of Kepes' Vision and Value books, I forget the ref) in which he describes his thinking as involving abstracts of bodily feelings, in effect: sensations of tension, pressure, abstractions of motion... *without* any particular visualization of body
parts, position, etc. I think that way also, in part, although I am also a fairly strong visual and aural imager. Do you do that former?

Add your comment on this item80 Let's assume you don't, at least consciously. Then, when you are thinking in the field of physics, say, i.e., you are sitting alone at your desk or in a chair, not reading, not writing, but thinking about some problem you are interested in, what *are* you consciously aware of, moment-to-moment? Can you describe it at all? Surely there must be something, if only because when you get a solution, you are then aware of it and can write it down... and since you neither auralize nor visualize, you are not thinking in the equations or words that you must ultimately write down; so
you must be translating *something* into words and/or equations, right? I'd be interested in your response to that.

Add your comment on this item81 Thanks for your time and fascinating email.

Best, Steven


5/28/02 9:19:59 AM US Mountain Standard Time

From: brainstormer@cfl.rr.com (Rick)

Add your comment on this item82 Many years ago, I purchased a light-sound machine. It was the type that has glasses that you put over your eyes, and a place for a cassette player to plug into it. I had been told that I would have intense visualization when I used the machine. The glasses consisted of 2 small red bulbs that strobe at various speeds, supposedly inducing alpha, theta, or beta waves easily.

Add your comment on this item83 When I used the glasses (they were more like blackened glasses with the small bulbs inside), at first nothing happened, and then I began to see geometric shapes. Squares, rectangles, triangles, polyhedrons etc, all moving across my field of vision very slowly. It was NOT what I had expected, nethertheless, it was visualization of some sort.

Add your comment on this item84 When I loaned the machine to a friend, he had intense visualizations, almost like a dream. He let many of his friends use the machine, and he said that if they had ever used any type of drugs (that were mind altering enough to cause hallucinations) then the person always had very intense visualizations. I must admit that it did make me envious of their ability to visualize with such rich details.

Add your comment on this item85 I stuck with my geometric shapes that slowly moved across my field of vision, having never been seduced into taking drugs.

Add your comment on this item86 Eventually I grew tired of the geometric shapes of different colors, and sold the machine. IT was not an expensive machine. I only paid about 300 for it new.

Add your comment on this item87 My interest in visualization stems from longtime habit of reading and wanting to be able to visualize my goals. Authors always say, visualize your goal in complete detail. Olympic coaches teach have the athletes visualize their routines, but they never really tell you how to do it. For years and years, I struggled with the fact that i could not visualize. Yes, i could have an inner conversation, talk to myself, think inside my head, or whatever you call it, yet i could not visualize.

Add your comment on this item88 Later I would find that even though i lacked the ability to visualize, I had a wonderful ability to use an auditory hallucination. IT happened automatically. It was more like i was just hearing the results. Give me any problem and i automatically can hear the brainstorming going on inside my head, to solve the problem. Sometimes it is distracting because before the person gets through one paragraph, i have thought of 5 or 6 possible solutions to their problem, and I become impatient to share with them , instead of listening to them.

Add your comment on this item89 And then when married, i found that many times women shared problems and did NOT want a solution. This drove me nuts ! My internal babbler was going 100 mph and they didn't want to hear any solutions. lol

Add your comment on this item90 I began using NLP Neuro linguistic programming and found i could do some pretty neat stuff with other people, (taking away negative emotions from painful memories, removing phobias, etc ) Much of it required visualization, yet I could still not visualize.

Add your comment on this item91 Then i read a book called Dynamic Learning by Robert Dilts. This is a website for it although there are many places that have it. (by the way i have NO financial interest in the book) <http://www.nlpcomprehensive.com/products/education/education-014.html>

Add your comment on this item92 The book excludes much of the hype and glamour that many NLP books have and instead teaches one small bit at a time.

Add your comment on this item93 Dilts says that people are bad spellers because they use the wrong strategy to spell with. He goes on to say that good spellers use a visual strategy of memory and poor spelllers use a kinesthetic or auditory strategy. Interesting.

Add your comment on this item94 Then he goes on to teach people how to remember the visual image of the word. What i did after reading his book was when i was driving on a straight piece of road and not much traffic around, i would look at a sign and try to visualize the word. (this would entail closing my eyes for a split second to see the image. If i could spell the word backwards, it was a sign that i was visualizing because otherwise i was incredibly slow at spelling a word backwards. The times that i visualized it in my mind, i could spell it backwards as fast as i could frontwards. ;-) IFi didnt visualize, i had problems spelling it backwards. I started with very small words like of and the and progressed to longer words. IT was as if the letters would evaporate from the page almost instantly at first when i closed my eyes. Later I progressed to thinking of a word, visualizing it and reading off the spelling from right to left to check that visualization was intact.

Add your comment on this item95 The strategy worked and i found i got better and better at visualizing. I became able to hold the image in my mind for a longer period of time.

Add your comment on this item96 Yes, it was more visual memory than it was mental visualization, but i found that the more i practiced this visual memory, the more i increased my ability to visualize.

Add your comment on this item97 In the book, it goes into more detail about how to visualize. The author postulates that we all visualize, but some people do it so fast, that it is not noticeable. Therefore, one merely needs to slow down the image so it is held longer in the mind, to be able to see it.

Add your comment on this item98 The below is written from me rereading your letter and answering bits of information. IT may not flow well from one subject to the next. Change that. I will write it in-between your text. see bold print below

Add your comment on this item99 OH-----interesting tidbit of information. I attended a seminar one time, given by a psychologist. ( i cannot remember what specialty, ) Regrettably i do not remember his name. The fascinating thing was that he had a photographic memory. He demonstrated this by handing out 5 pieces of paper to audience members. Each person wrote down 20 items on it numbered.

Add your comment on this item100 I sat beside the person that had the piece of paper. He was to number words from 21 to 40. He used probably 10 of my words on the page, so i knew that this was not a fake. At the end, the psychologist took each piece of paper, looked at it for half a second and handed it back to the person. Then he read off the lists from the image he had on his mind. I checked him when he read the words that the person beside me had written. all of them were correct.

Add your comment on this item101 So far, this seems kinda so so. Afterall we have know about photographic memory for a long time . The odd thing about him was that he developed the photographic memory instead of being born with it. His memory course was 299 dollars. I bought it. Unfortunately, the course was on mnemonics which i had already studied. I called him and told him that i was interested NOT in mnemonics but in the photographic memory.

Add your comment on this item102 He said that he did not have a course on that. He did refund my money for the course and went on to explain how he developed him photographic memory. Ok this is HIS explanation.

Add your comment on this item103 The word memory comes from a Greek word which means that which is reflected when light shines upon water. In dissecting the brain, he had found that there was a portion of the brain that had fluid in it. IF the fluid was clear, inevitably he found that the person had had a good memory. and if the fluid was cloudy, the person had a poor memory. He theorized that drinking a gallon of water a day would keep this fluid clear. That was step one .

Add your comment on this item104 Then after being on the gallon of water a day for about 3 months. he would go into a dark room and have a person point a camera flash at him and flash it. Then he would immediately close his eyes and see a silhouette of the person. He did this daily until he could hold the image for longer and longer periods of time. He said when he got to where he could hold the image for 30 seconds, that he could do the same by holding the image of a piece of paper in his mind with all the words intact.

Add your comment on this item105 I never did try that though. He did a study and had it published where he worked with 10 Alzheimer patients and got good results.


Add your comment on this item106 11============================================

5/29/02 2:07:46 AM US Mountain Standard Time
From: alex@ramonsky.com (Alex Ramonsky)

Hi there

Add your comment on this item107 You don't know me but I read your mail to the psych. list which was passed on to the extropians list.

Add your comment on this item108 I felt compelled to answer because I have ended up with the opposite problem (unbidden imagery -not hallucinations imposed on the outside world but internal imagery so powerful it overwrites that world for a couple of seconds). It's so inconvenient...I'll be standing in a line in
the bank or something and I'm suddenly blasted with two seconds of Technicolor, surround-sound, 3D space battles or whatever. It has only affected my behavior in that I sometimes inadvertently burst out laughing if the 'video' is a funny one. I'm well aware it's imagination
and I tolerate the problem as a harmless bug in the software.

Add your comment on this item109 The item of interest here is that I took deliberate steps to increase that imagery in the first place, because it used to be really bad, I couldn't recognize people I knew. I'm not advocating this sort of neoruhacking because as I said it can have unforeseen side effects but I thought you might be interested to know that it is possible. I wasn't sure whom to reply to so I sent it to you. The list sounds interesting though...can anybody join?

Best regards,
Alex Ramonsky
research fellow, Entelechy Institute UK


6/3/02 11:07:16 PM US Mountain Standard Time

From: gmsizemore2@yahoo.com (Glen M. Sizemore)


Add your comment on this item110 I tried to post this to the "consciousness" group but, apparently, telling the truth about Skinner's and radical behaviorism's take on consciousness and imagery etc. is too threatening. I find such censorship to be disgusting. Anyway, I'm sure you won't agree with the position espoused here, but here is a brief view of how radical behaviorism treats subjective phenomena.

Add your comment on this item111 I wrote (in response to your "Lacking imagery":

Add your comment on this item112 <snip>

Add your comment on this item113 Larry: When I discovered I lacked imagery, I began to study imagery - just as it was emerging from behaviorist suppression.

Add your comment on this item114 <snip>

Add your comment on this item115 Glen: Skinner spent a great deal of time talking about imagery (or subjective sensory experiences in general), so it is incorrect to say that it was "suppressed" (at least in Skinnerian behaviorism after about 1945). Skinnerís position was that, because of the way that we are made aware of private aspects of our perceptual behavior, people should differ greatly in their abilities to "use imagery" and also speculated that JB Watson did not, in fact, possess such abilities. Skinner also held that cultures should differ in these "abilities."

Add your comment on this item116 BTW, you can read silently, canít you?