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The mind without sight

  1. Nov 12, 2003 #1
    when we see we can understand what we are looking at, we can also visualize what it is that we have seen if we commit it to memory. But why do we visualize our thoughts only to the front of us? for example visualize a train moving through your mind, do you see it right in front of you? well i have found difficulty seeing images or thoughts anywhere but where my eyes can see. Any point beyond my perefrial vision i cant visualize on. This leads me to beleave that we think in 2 dimentions. Is it possible to visualize in 3dimentions? and what would our thoughts be like without sight?

    These are just some of my thoughts of conscienceness.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2003 #2


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    il try to explain this....

    Ok, now that ive tried it i know exactly what u mean

    Its often automaticly, but not concsioulsy assumed that are eyes are where we see", or where vision occurs

    That doesnt seem to make much, sense, but what I am reffering to is that sight itself(The actual chemical reactions), occur in the optic lobe, which is located in the back of the head, and it ccan also be assumed that what are eyes translate light(electromagnetic radiation)
    into something useful, (colors)

    also consider that we do not need our eyes too "see"
    dreams, in which we can clearly "see",
    do not have anything to do with the eyes((besides moving)

    "Is is possible to visualize in 3 dimensions?"

    first, consider what the difference between "visualizing" and "seeing" is,

    so i guees the answer would be yes, if you consider dreaming, in which we, without using our eyes(And therefore our perhipheal field), "see"
  4. Nov 13, 2003 #3
    in dreams we still see in the same way that we do with our eyes (two dimentionaly on our perifrial field). but why is our perifrial field of thought limited to our perifrial field of sight?-sorry im really not sure how to word that.

    perhaps our mind developes thought where we see because that is where the images of sight already form. If so do people blind from birth still see in there head? And mabye it is possible to develope a larger field of thought.
  5. Nov 14, 2003 #4


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    Of course, because visualizing something is memory in action. Even visualizations of ideas we've never directly experienced are the combination of geometric experience.
    Because we only experience objects from that viewpoint, and memory is the replaying of experience. Since we only experience the geomtric world through the 2D surfaces of structures in the visual cortex, we can only imagine things from a 2D perspective.
    That is a harder question, because how visualizations and actual experiences interact is tricky. You can imagine the train, but what about the actual thing you are looking at? Does the train block out what would be behind it, as a real train would? I think they both go through the same filters in the brain and are processed in the same location as well. But but if one can imagine a solid like a train without being obstructed from seeing anything behind it, I have to wonder if there is any spatial relation at all.
    This is certainly a no, coming from 2 sources of evidence. First off, we are certain from our experience that vision is 2 dimensional. Take any image of any object and you can locate anything on it with only X,Y coordinates. Second, data from the outside world provided by science reveals that the brain can only process 2D images received from the retina. Actually, this is the logical result of how the retina can receive light travelling in 3 dimensions. As such it is physically impossible for someone to imagine things in 3 dimensions. That why I laugh when someone claims to be able to picture a 4 spatial dimension, as they are either delluded or literally from another universe.
    Probably memories and assembled memories of our other experiences - touch, smell, taste, sound, emotions, etc.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2003
  6. Nov 14, 2003 #5
    It is possible to dream in three dimensions, which is the next step removed from thought.
  7. Nov 15, 2003 #6


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    So what alternate universe are you from, Iacchus32? Hopefully one with an extra spatial dimension. If visions in dreams also take place in the visual cortex, then dreaming in 3D is a logical impossibility.
  8. Nov 16, 2003 #7
    When you say that you dream in three dimentions do you mean that you can see in all directions from your point of reference, or do you mean that you experience something more?

    Ok i first we need to establish what 3d visualization means.
    Iacchus32 is probably refering to being able to see in all directions from a point of reference. but is that accurately described as seeing in 3d. In order to truly see in 3d there can be no point of reference, therefore it is impossible.

    When I ask if it is possible to see in 3d the question I am actualy asking is, is it possible to see in all directions. think of a fly, it has eyes that must be able to see in many directions(I'm assuming).
    but does its brain interpret those images to be directly ahead?
    What if we had eyes facing in all directions, would we see in all directions, or would all the image form in front of us?
  9. Nov 16, 2003 #8


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    This isn't true for a hypothetical 4 dimensional person in a 4D universe. Such a person would see 3D spaces, as light should be traveling off all points on volumes. This as opposed to only light on surfaces being able to reach the retina.

    This is more akin to seeing a curved surface so as to have a 360 degree vision. The retina is actually curved, so it would just have to be more so. Still, we can't imagine this since we are restricted to the actual curvature our experience gives us. We would see what is behind us as well as in front, but it's not possible for us to imagine what a curved surface completely looks like from the same image.

    One example is to look at the surface of a basketball. You can see the curvature of the surface, but you can't see the whole ball at once. Nor can we imagine what it looks like.
  10. Nov 29, 2003 #9
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2003
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