Can you think without 'sounding' your thoughts 'inside' as you think?

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Offline yor_on

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It's strange but I've noticed that I always sound the words I think inside.
I know that when meditating one of the goals is to let the words 'go'.
But, like, when writing here and 'discussing' physics etc, I do 'sound' the words inside myself...

Is it just me?

Can you think 'rationally' about a subject without sounding words?
And when you think about 'things' without 'sounding' them 'inside' your brain first.
What kind of 'things'/concepts are that?

Or is it when remembering?
Or.. :)

What do you think?



« Last Edit: 19/01/2009 22:42:49 by yor_on »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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'Sound' the words inside yourself? How can you possibly not?

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Offline yor_on

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When meditating you stop the words.
At least sometimes:)

But 'awake'?
It seems very hard, but I do know that I've had complex 'thoughts' not involving words.
But not connected to 'rational thinking' though.
And yes, I was sober:)
« Last Edit: 19/01/2009 22:49:07 by yor_on »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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I was just wondering if you could EVER stop thinking? When I try to do it I always notice myself holding my breath, maybe my brain stopped thinking for a second and turned many/every thing(s) off. You should try and stop thinking. Not that it probably helps burn many calories...

That was what I said here and I still haven't got a good answer.

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Offline Karen W.

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well...I thought that, that was called THINKING!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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lyner

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It might be more accurate to say that you think about a problem in the same terms that you communicate with other people. Someone who uses signing would, presumably, think in signing!

Would anyone who signs care to contribute to that?

The question is along the same lines as "How does a blind person picture their surrounding space?"
You must use what you know.

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Offline yor_on

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Chemistry4me?
Would that make 'two thoughts, one mind'?
If we had it both it must be a goood question::))
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Offline Chemistry4me

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I don't know. Is there such thing as 'bad minds think alike'  [;D] Not that I am implying anything of course [;D]. Have you meditated before?

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Offline yor_on

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Let me meditate on that first:)
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Offline yor_on

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SC That's good thinking
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Offline Chemistry4me

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Go sit somewhere quite and try not to think at all, make that voice inside your head disappear.

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Offline lightarrow

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Can you think without 'sounding' your thoughts 'inside' as you think?
It must be so, otherwise people who has never heard (deaf) wouldn't be able to think...
But I agree with you, most of the time I think in the same way too. When we think in a fast way, or in some different situations, however, we probably don't use that mechanism. When I read a question here in this forum, e.g., I first have to understand the meaning from english, but I don't always  translate it into my language inside of my mind, so I presume I think and I reason on the pure concepts and then I put them into english again when I reply.
« Last Edit: 20/01/2009 18:47:35 by lightarrow »

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Offline Make it Lady

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I occasionally think in pictures. I guess it is a bit like dreaming.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Do you think athletes in some sports think? For example, tennis or badminton players, do they 'think' aloud to themselves when they are playing? E.g, hit down the line, cross court etc... I mean, they hardly have time to make a shot let alone 'think' aloud to themselves. But maybe someone here is a top-class sportman and can enlighten me on this issue...

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Offline yor_on

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Yes lightarrow, i like to read SF (No surprise, huh:) and started to read English ones when I couldn't find any Swedish SF any more.
So in a way I learned the language as I read them :)

And when I write in English I express myself differently than I would when speaking/thinking in Swedish.
English is a very 'rich' language.

And It's a little like you wrote Lady, its like a different 'coloring' of how I think when I use English.
But I never (as I remember?) thought in pictures, but it sounds real nice.

I think that it is 'muscular memory' that 'jumps' in when athletes do their thing?
And I guess that a deaf mute person can't use words the same way?

They sort of have to reinvent speech on their own I guess.
Sounds very tough/difficult to me.

Ps: didn't Einstein have some sort of dyslexia?
Maybe that's why he thought so differently?

The same as Chinese scholars sees things 'differently' than Westerners when it comes to physics etc?
(Am I sounding stupid now:)
-------

Sometimes when I write it do seem to come out differently than I meant though.
So don't get to pi***d :)
« Last Edit: 21/01/2009 23:22:06 by yor_on »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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The same as Chinese scholars sees things 'differently' than Westerners when it comes to physics etc? (Am I sounding stupid now:)
-------
[???][???]

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Offline BenV

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I don't have a visual thought process, so I generally 'sound things out' in my head (My Mrs pictures words in her head, meaning she's far better than me at spelling and anagrams, and wipes the floor with me in scrabble). I can think in terms of sound though, without having to 'narrate' my internal dialogue.  This comes to a head occasionally when I'm falling asleep, and can almost convince myself to 'hear' music I'm thinking of.

It also means I'm pretty good at recognising voices (especially in music) and I'm quite good at the 'musical intro's round' in pub quizzes.

Shame most of the pub quizzes I go to just have questions about Eastenders and premiership football...

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Offline yor_on

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I don't have a link to that Chemistry4me:)

I read an article a few years ago about a Chinese discovery in physics.
And their approach was unusual.

And inspired to some thoughts about how your language, who could be seen as a mirror of society, might form ideas and concepts.

It seems reasonable to me?

--------------------------

BenV :) didn't Beethoven have a similar ability?
I have a vauge memory of him writing music after he became deaf?

Knowing how it would sound without hearing?
« Last Edit: 22/01/2009 14:41:59 by yor_on »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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I don't have a link to that Chemistry4me:)

I read an article a few years ago about a Chinese discovery in physics.
And their approach was unusual.

And inspired to some thoughts about how your language, who could be seen as a mirror of society, might form ideas and concepts.

It seems reasonable to me?
Hmmmm... sounds fair, not sure what you mean by:
And inspired to some thoughts about how your language, who could be seen as a mirror of society, might form ideas and concepts.

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lyner

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I would hazard the suggestion that language often needs to develop a certain way before certain ideas can emerge at all.
Let's face it, without the modern language of Maths - mainly thanks to Islam, I believe - we'd still be whittling sticks and worshiping the Moon. Science just wouldn't have gone anywhere. We couldn't have 'thought' most of it.

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Offline yor_on

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Yeah, SC I agree.
Is there any of you mathematicians that 'think' in math?
When 'working', so to speak.
That would be rather interesting:)

------------

I meant that it started a discussion about how much the cultural influences , language and all, meant for in which way you might solve a problem Chem:)

I don't know how important that is, but it seems to me that different cultures create different solutions.
In old China they had a length measure called 'Li'(?).

And using that, from 'A' to 'B' they might say that it was five Li for example.
But from 'B' to 'A' it was only four Li:)

And it was perfectly logical.
Anyone wanna guess how they thought?


« Last Edit: 22/01/2009 22:51:24 by yor_on »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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Anyone wanna guess how they thought?
Don't have a clue!

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Offline AllenG

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When preforming some tasks I don't think in words, and the more physical the task the more "quiet" my thoughts.
For example, while driving aggressively, I'm not constantly telling myself what I need to do to operate the car. Likewise while cycling I don't have to speak to myself to stay upright, and when picking through harrying traffic my internal conversation is silent.

The less physical  the task the more I mentally speak to myself.
I can't do mathematics without "speaking" the problem out. 



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Offline Chemistry4me

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Those tasks all require different parts of the brain so there might be a clue as to how people 'think'.

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lyner

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Quote
Is there any of you mathematicians that 'think' in math?
My point is that we ALL 'think maths',  even if only when adding numbers together in our head. Our appreciation of simple 'number' is highly formalised and a learned skill. The digits are there in our heads when we pour out milk from a bottle, I'm certain - and that's an analogue quantity. If we didn't think Arithmetic, we couldn't decide how many potatoes we had in the pot and how many each the family would get.
I must say, I 'think' calculus - differentials and integrals- when addressing many of the problems posed on these pages. I 'feel' the Fourier transform on a regular basis.
Does that make me a nerd?

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Offline yor_on

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'A' to 'B'= uphill 5 Li
'B' to 'A' = downhill 4 Li

And it made sense then, and it does today too:)
(energy spent, sort of?)

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Yes, that's true Allen. One could say that bicycling is very connected to ones 'muscle memory' perhaps.

But driving a car?
Maybe??
----

How do one feel Fourier transfoms SC.
Is it like getting 'hunches'?

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Offline Make it Lady

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We may have to have a narrative to do maths but savants see maths pictorally and that's what makes them so good at it.
People do think and learn in different ways. there are 4 types of learners; visual, audio, kinetic and tactile. I'm not sure about the last one but I know it begins with a T. I'm a visual learner but also a kinetic learner to some extent. This means that I memorise things better pictorally and that movement helps me to learn.
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lyner

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How do one feel Fourier transfoms SC.
Is it like getting 'hunches'?
Working with modulation systems and with antenna design gives you a sort of second-nature feeling about 'narrow giving wide and wide giving narrow' but it comes out as a sort of pictorial thing without needing the numbers, initially.

There's a similar thing with music. You / I use a sort of private internal language about chord sequences. Is it an interface between conscious and subconscious processes?

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Offline yor_on

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Is that true about all 'savants' Lady?
And if that is correct, then that would make you SC into a 'visual' thinker?
It seems that we all have a tactile memory.
I guess that this is similar to what I call a 'muscle memory'.

For example if you used to train hard but then stops for a year or two, it is said that you will find it easier to 'come back' into shape, than when you once started.

And I can vote for that:)

---

That is, if I ever get up from my couch.
« Last Edit: 24/01/2009 00:54:26 by yor_on »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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For example if you used to train hard but then stops for a year or two, it is said that you will find it easier than to 'come back' into shape than when you once started.

And I can vote for that:)
Me too, first hand experience!

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Offline Chemistry4me

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I've heard of savants who could glance at a plate with scores of similar objects,
(e.g. M&Ms), and instantly be able to tell exactly how many there were.


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Offline yor_on

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Visual memory Chem?
Could that be some kind of 'prerequisite' for mathematics?
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Offline Chemistry4me

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Perhaps more for actually learning to do (some)things.

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Offline yor_on

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Rubiks cube then.
Would that and mathematics fit together?

I got bored after trying it for only some minutes, but a friend of mine (Kim) was very fast in solving it.
From that he went to computers, and is extremly good at programing different types of systems.
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Offline Chemistry4me

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I remember someone telling me that Rubix cubes are more to do with physics, but there are all these steps to get this square here and then turn this and that etc... so I guess it could be to do with maths. Somehow I can never seem to get more than one side completed, but I don't know the 'formulas' so I can't complain [;)

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Getting back to the original question, do you think aloud while you are speaking your mother language? I am doing it now (thinking aloud) but that is because I am typing and I sound the letters out to myself, e.g M then Y than S etc...

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Offline yor_on

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Yes, it's the same, the difference being that when using English I get this feeling that not only my language, but me too (personality), sort of 'transforms':)
Strange, isn't it?

But I'm kind of, ah, nutty:)
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lyner

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yor-on
I may be a visual thinker but I can never, ever, reckon to learn anything until I have heard someone else actually say it. Weird.

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Offline Chemistry4me

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I may be a visual thinker but I can never, ever, reckon to learn anything until I have heard someone else actually say it. Weird.
What do you mean? You saying that you haven't learnt anything on this forum? [???][:0]

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Offline yor_on

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Forum?


--

Where..
Are we discussing 'times arrow'?

Again.
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Offline Chemistry4me

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[???][???][???][???]

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lyner

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I may be a visual thinker but I can never, ever, reckon to learn anything until I have heard someone else actually say it. Weird.
What do you mean? You saying that you haven't learnt anything on this forum? [???][:0]

er um well . . .

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Aha! I knew it!

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Ethos

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Interesting topic!

As a machinist myself, I catch myself thinking in geometric patterns quite frequently. Someone also mentioned thinking in colors which I also do very often.
As a side to this question, I have often wished I were able to get into the mind of another, to really understand their inner most images, not just the words they use to discribe those thoughts. This has lead me to understand that; The spoken word is such a poor substitute for the inner thought. But with little alternative, it's the best we have when trying to understand the thoughts of others.........Ethos

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Offline Karen W.

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But I like the spoken word and inner thoughts expressed by them...

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline Karen W.

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Someone mentioned sign language and I sign some not fluently but little bits.. and when I do I think in pictures of sign recalling the sign for a certain word in picture form unless its Abc's then its repetition then the sign image in my head then to my fingers! Is that not odd or what!

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lyner

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 This has lead me to understand that; The spoken word is such a poor substitute for the inner thought. But with little alternative, it's the best we have when trying to understand the thoughts of others.........Ethos

I agree, to a large extent. I think it is the spoken language which has generally helped us to communicate our thought processes with others and has avoided the limitation which would be imposed if we had to figure things out all by ourselves and from scratch. When we think in words, we are using the same sort of process of expressing and understanding concepts as during a conversation with another person. It may be an inferior and simplified version of what's going on  inside but it is as much as our consciousness can cope with and paraphrase.
« Last Edit: 29/03/2009 13:20:00 by sophiecentaur »

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Offline JimBob

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How do one feel Fourier transfoms SC.
Is it like getting 'hunches'?


I have done this and I also think in 3D when working. First on FT's - I have a program for reprocessing seismic data that has, as one of its functions, the ability to change parameters within the FT that is being used to (hopefully) enhance the data and improve the degree of data recovery from the original data acquired in the field. I use hunches and - well, it is only describable as a "visual" - process to make these decisions. 

As for the thinking in 3D - I do it all the time when working on the geology of an area. I do not believe that a geologist can really be effective unless they can do this. Withing the last 15 years, computer programs have been developed to produce visuals in 3D of the subsurface that allow people who are unable to think in 3D to see the subsurface structures in 3D. But it really doesn't help them that much. To be effective, a geologist needs to be able to mentally compare different 3D interpretations all at once. The software has not been able to replicate this function of the mind as of now.

On the topic of mediation - all of the above tasks are meditations. My teacher, a man from India, when asked "who are the yogi's of the west?" answered "The highly successful business men." What he meant by that is that the meditation of concentration is needed to produce the success the people have reached. A scattered mind is not a successful mind. The ability to focus, bore into a single problem to its core and find solutions is as much a meditation as other techniques. There are two primary types of meditation: a.) the attempt to focus on clearing the mind and observing the totality of the universe around and within the Self, and b.) focusing on a specific thing - be it a mandala, a religious icon or a business challenge.

If you meditate regularly, as I have tried to do for nearly 33 years, the mind will eventfully catch up with the effort a person puts forth. Meditation is often compared to taming a very wild horse. I believe this is a very apt analogy. There are daily occurrences of rebellion I must quell with a gentle hand: a strong hand will not work; it will only make the horse more rebellious. Thus, if you wish to be highly successful, meditate. Your life will change.
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline Aklumog

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Someone who uses signing would, presumably, think in signing!

I have taken two years of signing courses and while not deaf myself I can certainly pass along the information that I've heard regarding the subject. According to what I've heard, those who use signing as their 'true language' see their thoughts as their main recall device, depending upon images and pictures, in contrast to our tendency to recall thoughts with sounds and voices as our preferred method.

Beyond that point, however, and this is where I lose all your respect: I believe that the methods in which we think are largely derived from our intelligence. And while all intelligence is intertwined, our favored talents and skills, whether it be linguistics, mathematics, art, music, or anything else that I'm missing all contribute to how we think. According to the level of polarization towards one specific type of intelligence is where all the extreme oddities are derived from. This could be noticed in autistics as well the deaf, blind, insane, and anything and everything else that points us in one direction or the other.
« Last Edit: 31/03/2009 00:55:15 by Aklumog »

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Offline wolfekeeper

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I don't have a visual thought process, so I generally 'sound things out' in my head (My Mrs pictures words in her head, meaning she's far better than me at spelling and anagrams, and wipes the floor with me in scrabble).
I think most people can, if I say the word, 'banana' conjur up a picture in their brain of a yellow curved object with that stalky bit on it... but some can't.

It's mostly just a difference, rather than being inherently good or bad. Some lightning calculators say the numbers to themselves, others picture the numbers dancing in their head, so far as I know they're pretty much as quick doing it either way; it's more of a thinking style sort of thing than a handicap either way, although people may find some tasks are more suited to their thinking style than others.