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Difficulty "seeing" things in plain view

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by Andrew, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    I never used to have this problem. But now it happens all the time. I can be looking for something that is in plain view in front of me on the table but my brain doesn't register it. Last night is an example. I could not detect a bottle of pills that was sitting right in front of me. I was about to get up and look in another room, but this problem is so frequent now I decided the pills could be right where I was looking. And there they were.

    There is some kind of recognition problem. My eyes can pass right over something but it doesn't register. Very frustrating. But I have a feeling this is something not rare, and some people have this all their lives.

    BTW, I'm not talking about remembering where I put something. I'm talking about an object not registering despite my eyes scanning it.
     
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  2. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    Hmm, I've had that happen occasionally, but it's rare. It must be a specific type of visual processing problem.
     
  3. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    I do the same thing, I can feel not particularly tired/exhausted, what have you, and it happens, then I am like, hmm. Perhaps I am more out of it then I realize!

    GG
     
  4. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Usually when that happens to me (frequently enough to be annoying) the object I'm looking for is *right next* to something else, or maybe a little underneath it or what have you. It's like I can't process all the objects in my field of vision or something, because they're close together. It is very weird.

    However, there have been times that I swear the object was definitely not there when I was looking, I moved everything and checked, and then when I come back later it's just magically sitting there, right in plain sight.

    My grandmother used to say that brownies/fairies followed her around and hid stuff, then put it back when she turned around. A few years ago I just decided to go with that explanation. :D
     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I actually think this is common in long term patients. It happens to many of us. I think its rarer in new patients. I think it represents a brain dysfunction.
     
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  6. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    I also have a problem when looking at things I cant wrk out what they are - this happens quite frequently.
     
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    Thinking here more, it's as if the recognition cues the object gives me don't register in my brain. Either that or my eyes go right next to it and not on it. Or both. Or maybe my concentration fades in and out without me knowing it.

    Someone pointed out to me that at least I'm aware I have this problem. And I'm grateful for that. It would be even more confusing without this awareness.
     
  8. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    This happened to me again just this morning. I had something in my hand, laid it down on the counter (that had some other stuff on it), and it "vanished". I turned to get something else and when I turned back the thing was *gone*.

    I spent a solid 2-3 minutes frantically moving things around before the object materialized again. And materialize is almost literally what it did. It was sitting behind another object in a place that I would swear I had checked just moments before

    Two things I honed in on this morning: 1) I didn't pay attention to exactly where I laid the object I had in my hand (that is, in my mind I was already moments ahead of reality, i.e., picking up the other thing I wanted before I had actually laid down the object I had in my hand) , and 2) clutter is a BIG part of this phenomenon when it happens.

    I don't know how it is for everyone else in this thread but my housekeeping has suffered a great deal since I began experiencing energy problems. I used to be clean and highly organized before the energy problems and now my house is so disorganized and cluttered I'm intimidated by it even though I'm currently feeling somewhat better physically. Most days it's all I can do to feed myself, scoop the cat poop, walk the dogs, and make sure I have enough clean clothes to "front" my life outside the house as a normal person. And some days I still can't do all that. Forget making more than transient headway against all the devolution of organization and hygiene that has taken place over the years.

    Whenever I make a little headway on my house I seem to have a little crash or whatever, and everything goes back to square one. Plus, I'm starting to exercise now, to get more healthy, and it's like "Hmmm. What do I want to expend my limited energy on today? Exercising or cleaning?" :meh:

    Anyway, again, the two things I realized this morning is that, aside from probably cognitive dysfunction, not being in the moment and clutter contribute to this (for me) when it happens.

    Of course, that's not including the fairies I'm sure I inherited from my grandmother when I inherited her house. :p
     
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  9. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    I have this too Andrew, and it's gotten worse as I'm now older and my vision is poorer, so I need even more cues to "see" something. I really only need glasses for reading, close-up work, but I'm finding that without a sharp focus I can't find things like my hairbrush in a drawer. The problem is not my vision, like you said it's a problem registering what you see, but my poorer vision does make it worse.

    I'm like you too Justy, I think we've even had this conversation before, where we've talked about being able to see something but not identify what it is. Often what I look at just doesn't make sense.
     
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  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I developed exactly this symptom directly after my episode of suspected viral meningitis.

    The brain's ability to detect objects in the visual field is called the pop out visual search, or just visual search.

    I think it is called "pop out," because when the brain is working properly, the items you are looking for in your visual field seem to just effortlessly pop out into conscious awareness.


    I find this deficit in my brain's visual search ability particularly a nuisance when searching for written information on a page. Prior to my meningitis, I could very rapidly scan pages of text, and in seconds instantly see the salient bits of textual information. But nowadays the only way I can quickly find relevant phrases or sentences is by using the Find function in my browser or word processor.

    My visual search deficit also makes me feel uncomfortable, and initially quite disorientated, in unfamiliar and busy environments, like say large shopping malls or large train stations. This is because my brain finds it hard to notice the salient aspects of the environment, such as signs, notice boards, ticket offices, customer service points, etc.

    I actually feel particularly slow and stupid in unfamiliar and busy environments, because it takes me so long to get orientated and to latch on to the salient aspects in the world around me.

    I have been looking for drugs that might improve visual search ability, but have not found anything as yet.

    This study found that visual search involves the frontal cortex and parietal cortex:

    Efficient "pop-out" visual search elicits sustained broadband γ activity in the dorsal attention network

    So possibly drugs that act on these areas of the brain might help.


    Interestingly enough, autistic children have a superior pop-out visual search ability compared to the general population.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
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  11. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    @Hip you have just described me perfectly. I love it when there is a name for what we experience, it makes describing things so much easier.
     
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  12. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Yes, it's always very useful to find the right name. In fact it took me a while to find this term for the brain's ability to notice and register objects in your visual field. I was hoping that after finding the name, it would then lead me to some effective treatments, but unfortunately that was not the case.
     
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  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    In my case this is it. I can look right at it, peer at it, see it very clearly, and still not know what it is.
     
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  14. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    A few days ago I was looking for my blood pressure measuring device. I looked at the night stand where it normally sits. I didn't see it there. I was about to look elsewhere when I remembered I have this problem. So I looked again, and there is was in clear view. The device is not small and there was nothing in front of it.
     
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  15. student

    student Senior Member

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    Can be your brain, Andrew. After 20 days not with a specialist? How comes first with – ophthalmic diagnosis.

    For those that just read: When this is new – than better see the doc.



    My proposal: Brain – to eyemuscle problem. Is good to check it early …
    (other options - far to complex to get dealed with, here.)
     
  16. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    @Andrew when I had my neuropsy, the I showed impaired in the area of the brain where you translate images to recognize the concept that has a name but I forgot.

    Mine has gotten much better(almost gone), I had horrible hh6v and since I upped the antivirals my brain issues are better so I don't think is a permanent loss. I also have POTs and I am on OI meds. so I guess either one of those could have solved the issue for me.
     
  17. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    I have it all the time and I just think my brain is shrinking and will look like a monkey brain soon.
     
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  18. November

    November

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    I hadn't really thought of this symptom for ages, because it manifested itself so much less after I got LDN (low-dose naltrexone) a few years back. It's not completely gone but the difference is so great that it doesn't bother me too much. B12 helps a lot, too.

    Now it just got on my way a few days ago and I was lucky enough to see the title of this discussion when I came upon it yesterday. With these two coincidences, I remembered the last months before I got the ME/CFS diagnosis and started taking LDN.

    It did depend on the day but on a good-enough-to-be-up-and-about-but-a-bad-anyway day I couldn't find what I was looking for at groceries and couldn't be sure if I just missed it or if there just wasn't any. There were instances when I saw the world like photos taken a few seconds apart, in which people moved a few meters and my brain just couldn't keep up. And once I just couldn't see/process what the room around me looked. It was a room I know well but not at my home. We were visiting relatives and it was the room we always stay in. I couldn't see things before they were pointed out for me.

    So, I think that for me, a place with lots of people and noise can at times be as bad as a place I know a little too well.

    And @Hip, I too have to thank you for the vocabulary. "Visual search" will help me on, since doctors often seem to need precise words to get the idea.

    And about the medication, LDN does help me with everything, but the positive impact on this visual search and everything to do with the process between eyes and brain has been immense. I also got back my ability to scan text on an average-or-better-than-that day.
     
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  19. Chrisb

    Chrisb Senior Member

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    Haven't read all the thread. Is it about some doctors whenever they have a patient with ME before them?
     
  20. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    This happens to me when I'm compensating my mental energy for physical energy. Grocery shopping is a problem, even with my list written right in front of me I still miss things on my list.
     
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