This is related to a post by The Nightingale about whether people who are attracted to memory techniques are naturally visual thinkers.
I was reading about synesthesia the other day and saw this page on number form synesthesia:
A number form is a mental map of numbers, which automatically and involuntarily appears whenever someone who experiences number-forms thinks of numbers. Numbers are mapped into distinct spatial locations and the mapping may be different across individuals.
These number forms can be distinguished from the non-conscious mental number line that we all have by the fact that they are 1) conscious, 2) idiosyncratic (see image) and 3) stable across the lifespan.
I never thought about it until I saw this picture in Wikipedia:
It looks like these arrangements aren’t something the person was born with because 1-12 is a clock face, and it’s a base-10 number system. I’m not sure why it’s called synesthesia if it is culturally learned. (Can it really be “stable through the lifespan” if it was learned from a clock face? One would expect it could be relearned or modified at some point.)
In any case, does anyone visualize numbers something like this?
I don’t know if it is as strong as the number forms that the Wikipedia article is describing, but I’ve always had a spacial arrangement for the context of numbers and dates. The perspective on the arrangement varies depending on where I am in the path. If I am trying to call up a date from March to June, it slants sort-of down to the right until around August-September, then up. November is to the left and below December – I don’t think November ever appears above December.