Last week I had two blog posts on the subject of dreams and whether or not I see faces in dreams. Initially I thought I didn't see faces at all from the dreams I had that previous night but I thought that maybe this had been influenced by thinking about it. Since then I haven't been sleeping well at all and dreams have not been clear. Then, thankfully, last night happened.
So what is it? Do I see faces or not? I'm glad to say that I do, but just as when I'm awake I can't remember them. I found this out as I was dreaming when my alarm went off and as I woke up I quickly tried to recall everything about the dream I was having. I could recall the room, the lighting, and what was being said and I knew I had seen faces. When I tried to remember the people though there was nothing yet I knew I had seen them.
It's been a while since I've blogged about it, and I do mention it in presentations, but I don't remember people unless I am seeing them that very second. All lost on me is eye color, hair color, and any of the thousands of details that make a face an individual.
I've been intrigued for as long as I've realized I have this quirk as to what causes it. That was one of my motivations for running my Sunglasses Experiment (if you haven't read it you can by clicking the picture of me in sunglasses on the right side column) in that I thought maybe this was caused by my lack of eye contact.
Speaking of lack of eye contact; on my way to the office today I stopped for breakfast and as the lady was seating me I was checking e-mails on my phone and as we started to walk I put my phone down and walked behind her. She was looking at me and I in turn looked away and out the window to my right. As she looked over her shoulder at me and took notice that I wasn't looking at her she paused and slowed down walking. One of the things I often don't describe when I write is the fact that, since I use it most of the time, my ability to process the information from my peripheral vision seems to be sharper than most. So this means that, even though I'm looking out the window, I am paying full attention to what's going on in the area that I'm trying to avoid looking at.
I'm not sure the exact time whether it was one or five seconds, but the time felt excessively long as the lady came to a stop and stared at me. My eyes didn't yield from the window but eventually I realized this lady wasn't moving until I gave eye contact. I redirected my eyes and looked towards her and she began walking again and then a few tables later she said that this is where I would be sitting.
Now, this experience I had at breakfast, is the same way I experience life in my dreams. I go back to my sunglasses experiment and I wonder if the lack of remembering faces when out of sight is due to the lack of eye contact I give because, this morning's experience, the amount of time I actually spent looking at her was a fraction of a second. That being so the social experience, for me, involved a semi-truck driving by, a Mini parking, and a glance at the clock on the wall. Those things are what is remembered from this social experience. Not her height, hair color, or even age for that matter; all of that is lost upon me.
So those are my thoughts on this now. This is something that I'm sure I'll write on more as I learn more about.