Existential Word Search (Part One)

So, I was thinking tonight, as I wandered out of my apartment on an errand, about how I used to imagine this place prior to actually seeing it and moving into it. I struggled to recall how I’d envisioned it when all I had to go on were vague descriptions from those who stayed here before me. I hadn’t seen any pictures, but I still envisioned it, based on the types of apartments and houses that surround it in its area of Long Beach. I went through something similar in college, imagining what my girlfriend’s house in Massachusetts looked like in the months leading up to my first visit over winter break. In both cases, after I did finally see and become familiar with the actual structures, my prior conception and mental imagery was nearly impossible to recollect.

from dreamstime.com

Here’s what I wonder about this:

  1. Does the human brain naturally discard imagined geographies as soon as it inherits the information (visual, aural, etc.) of the real scene?
  2. Is there a phrase for this? Temporal imaginary spatial displacement or something along that line? Maybe retro-imagineering, to cautiously borrow a page from Disney?

Help me out if you have any idea what I mean.