How it feels: visual thinking

I am one of those, when you talk to me about trees, I see trees. I don’t see the word trees, but I see a forest and in that forest I see trees.

The same happens when I read a book, fiction or non-fiction. When I read a passage, my brain makes an image of that part of the novel and it makes a sort of movie of the book. I can not for the life of me, quote you passages from a book, even when I read that passage (It will stick if it is a memorable passage or I watch the movie from the book and they quote it).

Movies are easier. I can easily remember a whole movie, walk by, go in a room without sound or vision of that movie and follow the movie in my head. I won’t remember quotes (only when I watched it enough times), but I will be able to remember scenes. How they stand, what they wore,… stuff like that.

Ideas work the same way, and my brain has to connect all the dots before I even start a project. When I started writing this, I had an image of a number three and a tree and thought about Ismo talking about his silent letter stand up bit, and this prompted me to write this piece. I always have to have an image and a few sentences, before I start writing.

My analogies work the same way. I see them as images and I see myself explaining them to someone and if it seems convincing in my head, I will start writing about it.

Because my brain decodes everything in images, it makes it much easier for me to remember things. I put features of a face, together with images of things we talked about, in a setting I have been and boom: I have a link that I will probably never forget, eventhough I will probably not remember your name on first try. I am an accidental mnemonist. I make memory palaces of everything, but when I have to remember something (like a deck of cards for my mentalism acts), I can but with greater effort. But I can almost with absolute certainty tell you what is in our cupboard or fridge, or which books I have in my part of our library here at home, just because I can visualise that easily.

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