synesthesia

Have you heard of it?  Do you know what it is?

Synesthesia is basically a neurological phenomenon where a person’s senses are mixed.  For example, they may look at black and white letters but see them in color, like refrigerator magnets.  They may hear music and see colors– or even hear music and experience taste!

Wikipedia says, “In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme → color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored, while in ordinal linguistic personification, numbers, days of the week and months of the year evoke personalities. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be “farther away” than 1990), or may have a (three-dimensional) view of a year as a map (clockwise or counterclockwise). Yet another recently identified type, visual motion → sound synesthesia, involves hearing sounds in response to visual motion and flicker. Over 60 types of synesthesia have been reported, but only a fraction have been evaluated by scientific research.

Is that not the coolest thing you’ve ever heard of?  My friend Elyse said having synesthesia would be incredible for a writer or artist– just think of all the metaphor that would open up to you.  You could perhaps hear color or taste music or some other wild and fantastic combination.

Thoughts on this?  Have any of your experienced anything like synesthesia?

5 thoughts on “synesthesia

  1. The graphme color, the linguistic, the seeing colors when you hear music… way more distracting than you’d think. 😉 I didn’t even realize until last year that most people don’t ‘see’ colors when they hear music. It truly is amazing, though I can only listen to Classical music for a little while – too much and I get disoriented and even sick. If a person is on a recording (or radio), I either ‘see’ their voice in brown (if it’s soothing) or red (if it’s gratting/annoying). And the Number one is the reason why I’ve never had a problem with historical dates. 🙂 I also get strange vision-sensation around (especially bright) colors . . . not sure how to describe it, but it’s like I can ‘hear’ them (and more often the brighter than the softer colors). Same thing with movements. In a way – at busy places like the Fair or even grocery stores – it can be overwhelming and leave me feeling a tad autistic. 😛 It certainly leads for an intersting life, but there are certainly days (especially when I’m writing), when it all just gets too overwhelming and I wish it’d all just fade nicely away; though I HAVE figured out how to ‘turn off’ the letters going all personified on me, and the music thing if I get frustrated enough.

  2. I actually have a book that’s a true story about an autistic/savant guy that thinks this way! “Born on a Blue Day”–you may borrow it if you want. So interesting–He can learn a new language in a week because he associates words with so many other things!

  3. I think Chris Rice might have this, because he has an album called ‘Smell the Color 9’. But since I think he’s also the one who wrote that annoying song about cartoon characters being saved, I don’t think it has benefited him. And yes, I am a grouchy poop, and whatever else you might call me, Jackie.

  4. Seeing as purple is my most favorite color in the world – I would love it if my name tasted like purple! I think the closest thing I have ever experienced to this is actually the reason I like purple so much. When I see the color purple I often think of grape popsicles and I can almost taste them. This happened to me more when I was younger. But that was pretty much why I decided to like purple. I like grape popsicles!

  5. Pingback: Synesthesia & Synesthetes | iHUEMAN

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