Techniques for non mental imagers?

i have just read the wiki page & the problem i’m seeing with it & so many of the techniques is that there is an emphasis on someone being able to visualize things in their mind but not everyone is the same not everyone is a visual imager not everyone’s mind works this way so where does that leave anyone such as myself for example when it comes to getting started?

will i or any others be able to get our “foot in the door” or is remembering huge quantities of information only for the mental imagers? are the non mental imagers simply doomed when it comes to remembering vast quantities of information? are they stuck with a terrible memory simply because of the way their mind works? or are there actually ways for them to reach their desired objectives?

What do you mean by “non mental imagers”? Every human(provided they have not been in an accident) has the capability to do these techniques because every human uses spacial awareness each day to navigate through their known world. I don’t understand what you mean by “being able to visualize things in their mind”. Is it the fact that you can’t imagine pictures in your house? This was hard for me at the start but it was made easier the more I did it. If you mean that you can’t think of images, don’t worry! I struggle with this same issue to this day but it gets better, I promise. After a period of time you start to learn how to quickly come up with pictures. If you need help you can ask questions on this very form, either through pm or as a post. If you need anymore help please post or message a member of the form!:smiley: Hope this helps!

What i am saying is that i have what is known as “aphantasia” so i don’t think visually like most my mind simply doesn’t work like that i remember discussing this quite a while back with one of my friends i was telling him about it & he was telling me about how he thinks in images i was shocked to say the least it’s real crazy how most can just conjure up images in their head

I had a coworker, a software analyst, who did not exerience images.

He seemed able to perform all the normal tasks as the rest of us, including, of course, navigating in space and recognizing people, but he assured me he could not visualize anything. I believe he told me that he doesn’t dream in images.

Although I find it hard to imagine what it would be like, I have no trouble believing it. Research has shown that people can remember things without consciously remembering them. My suspicion is that my friend has unconscious access to information that the rest of us perceive through consciously as vision.

Maybe, people experiencing such an effect, it would help to go back to Simonides’ starting point and ask whethe there are any basic memory mechanisms that consistently work well for people who can’t consciously recall images. What is their analogue to remembering who sat where when the building collapsed?

I suspect there must be such an analogue because non-imagers clearly must also have mechanisms to retrieve memories wholesale, just like imagers, or they would not be able to navigate rooms or remember their families.

This guy explains it quite well

& also there is quite a large discussion
about it in the comments of the video

also here’s a post/discussion about it on


also yes i agree there must be a way
for me or any other non imagers
to use some kind of technique/s to help
Improve our memory but the problem
is from the looks of it that the most
useful & powerful techniques
were made by & for mental imagers
without taking any others other than
themselves into account

Yes, I understand you :slight_smile:
I had that problem, right now I use the story method, I just visualize the objects directly, and then the other, like a chain
an alternative as a “blank room” loci with pillars where you add your images there, its like an advanced way to use the chain

I assume the story method would work since you only need to know the story & it wouldn’t matter whether the individual was mentally blind or not i’m not so sure how i would effectively apply it though would it be possible for someone to use the story method to remember large amounts of information? i’ve heard of it very briefly before but i have no 1st hand experience of/with it

I don’t think you need to be good at mentally picturing images or anything. When I am memorizing a deck of cards, imaginary is not the only that plays a factor. I add sound, smells, and touch to the scene I am picturing. When I am recalling cards, I hear a trumpet. I don’t see it. Then I am able to remember the right cards because I was able to to trigger it by sound.

I think you need to add all the senses when you are picturing something. Some senses are more powerful than others depending on what you are picturing.

I am incapable of picturing anything because my mind doesn’t work like that what i want to know is if there is a way for the mentally blind such as myself to leverage any kind of effective techniques to memorize large amounts of information or is this just for the
majority who seem to function & process things the same way as each other?

is there actually anyone here who is very well
versed in the use of mnemonics who is mentally blind? i don’t think there is or if there is they’re either not online or maybe they stopped using this site quite a while back or maybe they don’t even use this site maybe they use another

What wold you say is your best sense?

I am suspicious of claims of aphantasia without significant brain injury or mental disability.

As a disability this would make dyslexia or learning disabilities look like a walk in the park. As most here are well aware this is fundamental to the way we are wired and the absence would be crushing on many levels.

Find images, View the image, close your eyes, and “recreate” the image.

Hi Darkshade,

I am guessing that even though you can not visualize items, your brain still somehow manages to perform many of the same tasks as visualizers, just in a different way. The key, I think, is experimentation with what works and what doesn’t.

Is it okay if I ask you to try something?

Suppose I said to you there is:

  1. a blue herron on your stove,
  2. a child’s red wagon in your fridge,
  3. a diamond necklace in your kitchen sink,
  4. an expensive new watch in your garbage bin
  5. a sorcerer’s hat by the kitchen window.
  6. a massive pumpkin on your living room chair,
  7. a human-sized pencil lying on your sofa, and
  8. a wooly mammoth stomping on your television

After you have read this, giving yourself time to think about the items, can you look away (from this web page) and recall what the 8 strange items are?

If I am correct, you don’t actually need to visualize these items. I am betting you will experience the strangeness of where each item is placed, and that sense of strangeness will help you remember.



Damn that’s hard to remember lol my memory sucks what i’ve noticed is that nearly all my thinking is done subconsciously so like 99% of the time i don’t think because i don’t need to most of it happens subconsciously without my knowledge almost like a hidden background process that would run on someone’s computer also i don’t think or process things visually if someone said to me to memorize all that stuff you told me to i’d only be able to process the concept & idea of what they were explaining i wouldn’t be able to see it like most can they can see things that aren’t there at will i assume this is why they wouldn’t have too much trouble remembering all that because they have the extra visual & mental aid being able to just conjure up images of stuff but obviously if i saw it for real i’d be able to recognize it & even if i didn’t i could still explain it because even though i don’t process things visually i can still recognize things because of the ideas & concepts

If you look at a photo and try to hold the image in your mind, can you still see elements from the photo when you close your eyes?

I’m asking, because I used to have trouble picturing faces. I couldn’t even visualize what my parents looked like. Then I realized that I could picture photos of faces. So to remember what someone looked like, I could think of the photo. With a lot of practice, I could eventually skip the photo.

I don’t think that visualization is necessary, since the techniques tap into the system that most humans use to get through the day (locations and events, linked together with stories). If you aren’t using visualization to keep track of those things, your brain might be using some other system to achieve similar results.

If you want, I could show you a basic technique on Google Hangouts (memorizing 60 random binary digits by looking at each digit only once, and then reciting them forwards and backwards). I’d be curious to see what you think of that technique.

No unfortunately i can’t see anything at all i was reading that this is actually more common than most believe it is the article said that it is believed that on average 1 in 80 have this problem/condition also
i just finished setting up hangouts on my phone i’m interested in trying that binary digits technique out


Going back to my little experiment (if that is okay), I am not sure if I explained clearly what I was aiming for. I was hoping we could set aside all notions about visualizing anything. I understand that is not an option for you.

To make this experiment better, would you mind pretending that you actually are completely blind? So, you start by going to your first location (your stove). Since you are blind, you reach out and carefully feel around the stove. To your huge surprise, you discover there is a large long legged bird standing right there on top of your stove. You can feel it. Its feathers, its body. You can feel that it is very much alive as it moves and reacts to you. Somebody nearby–maybe a spouse or family member–tells you it is a blue heron. Perhaps you feel it some more and wonder what the heck it is doing there…

Just then, you realize something is horribly wrong…you realize that the stove element somehow was turned on and its very hot.

So, what happens next?

Can you use your imagination (without visualizing) to generate some bizarre and strange consequences to this scene? What might happen if there actually was a blue heron (or any color heron) on your stove and the stove element was turned on?

Wouldn’t the heron start screeching and flapping around and trying to get away? Might it actually catch fire? What if it’s wings were on fire, and it was flapping them at you in a panic as it was trying to get away from the stove?

Forget picturing it. The real question is, what would all this FEEL like? Imagine it. A large, freaked out bird on fire in your kitchen, flapping around, trying to escape, etc? What might your feelings might be? Fright? Revulsion? Anger at yourself for allowing this to happen? Puzzlement?

I am trying to ascertain whether you are able to use your (non-visual) thought processes to deliberately generate crazy and outlandish situations that you can use to prime your emotional memory. And, assuming you can do that, I am further wondering if you can now link your emotional memory with your knowledge of places in your home.

Hope that was better. If this experiment is of interest to you, perhaps you could to try to apply the same kind of thinking to the other objects on the list.

Anyway, many thanks for indulging me.



Note: No animals were actually injured in carrying out this thought experiment.

Yeah i completely get what you mean & actually i think that could work but one would obviously have to make up some kind of story/scenario for all the things & try & remember it

right so i think i got it so here’s the scenario i came up with

i walk downstairs into the living room & then on into the kitchen at which point let’s say in this story that i see that the blue heron is on fire it’s jumping all over the place & i’m all like wtf how the hell did this get in here it’s on fire!!! turn the cooker off & put it out
then after that’s dealt with i walk over to the fridge open it & come across a childs red toy car & i think what the hell is this doing in here who’s toy car is this it certainly isn’t anyone i know then after taking the childs red toy car out of the fridge & closing the fridge i walk back out into the kitchen & i find a diamond necklace in the sink & i think how the hell did this get in here who’s is this then i’m like well it’s mine now & it’s getting sold later haha & then i walk on over to the bin & i find a very expensive gold or platinum watch & i also have the same thoughts as before then by the kitchen window i see a sorcerers hat & again i think who’s the hell is that & how did that get in here then next i walk back into the living room & i see a gigantic pumpkin & i think what the hell is that doing in here it’s not halloween for another like 7 months either keep hold of it or get that thing outta here then next to that on the couch we have our “human sized” pencil which i think what the hell why is it so big what is that doing in here
then lastly we have a wooly mammoth stomping on the television the house is pretty much destroyed & in a mess mainly because of the blue heron & the wooly mammoth but yeah the wooly mammoth is huge & it is the main reason the house is destroyed in this case it charged right through the front of the house

this must work then your experiment must have been successful because i can remember it all


If you can not visualize at all right now, then this merely means you haven’t been exercising this particular skill. Others, people who are already equipped with the ability to visualize are probably using this skill on a daily basis since they’re young (consciously and subconsciously).

Why do I believe that? Because about a year ago, I couldn’t create mental images either. I started doing such exercises as Josh suggested. Two 15min. sessions per day. That took me about 2 weeks to literally ‘see’ some results.

I’m pretty sure that, if you’re really put in the time and energy, you can develop this particular mental muscle until you can create clear mental images. It’s just a matter of training.

i managed to do this even though i don’t have that ability i just came up with a story for each item 1 at a time & they were all linked together & also in a place i am very familiar with this must also work for much longer lists too but i think it would take quite a while to go through all the items & come up with a story for it but progress has been made the other day i couldn’t even remember 1 item but i think it was the way tarnation explained it this time that really worked