Synesthesia

Some sensitive and neuro-atypical people have various degrees of synesthesia.

“Synesthesia is a neurologically based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme → color 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).”

Synesthesia (Wikipedia)

“Most synesthetes function at a very high level, are highly intelligent and often have excellent memories. Trouble telling left from right and a poor sense of direction are also common. It is not unusual for them to experience difficulties with math. It is also not unusual for synesthetes to report frequent experiences of deja vu, clairvoyance, and precognitive dreams. Fifteen percent of people with synesthesia have someone in their immediate family with autism, dyslexia or attention deficit disorder.”

Cheryl Lynn Bradley, Synesthesia

“Everything people say I see written in front of my eyes, everything I think I also see written. The text (just like the sound) is also in 3-D with different texture and material. Synesthesia can trigger synesthesia. Someone says something, I see the text, the text smells good or tastes good, I feel hungry. Words come very easy to me since I can locate words that have a similar material. In an IQ test I did a reading-test where one had to read 6 A4 pages in 5 minutes and underline 1 of 3 alternatives that showed up in the text now and then. I read all the pages in less than 1½ minutes and got 9/9 on the test. 5/9 was college level (I was told).

“But that is not all. I see smells (in colour). I see tactile impressions (in lines and patterns), I see feelings, also as colours it is called emotional synesthesia.

“But how do you think it feels never to have any distance to anything? When you hear the sound of a car 500 meters away you have some distance, for me it is right in front of my eyes and in my head. When I go shopping (for example) I have to READ everything people say, I have to see their smells, hear their sounds. It feels like having people right in my face and I find it hard to be among people, it’s just too many impressions for me.” – ‘JFK’, synesthete from Sweden

“Negative emotions have stinky smells, i.e. garbage, mold, thunderstorms, etc. and dark or ugly muddyed colors. Postive emotions have bright almost neon colors, and good smells, baking bread, sun, earth, ocean, real flower fragrances, etc.” – Beth, adult Aspie from USA

“I seem to have a mix, not just ‘seeing’ colors but also connecting other senses with each other. If I contract a specific muscle near my ear in a particular way, it feels like a street-car from the 70’s. Tuesdays are both male and female, but Wednesdays are only female, plus orange-red. Good night is soft in the shape of that spiral thingy that Goofy has under on the sole of his shoe. Some sounds tickle. Other sounds sound like fire-works look. Salt is a warm taste.” – Emma, Aspie from Sweden

I don’t have cross-wired senses, but I very strongly associate numbers, letters, weekdays and names with specific colours. Colours also have gender for me. These connections have remained the same since I was a child.

I’ve also always had an inner map of numbers, dates, the year and the 24-hour cycle that does not match regular calendars or clocks. My calendar is counter-clockwise and the hours between 6 am and midnight are all jammed in between 6 and 12 on my internal clock visualisation. This is why I keep getting surprised that the night hours don’t last as long as the day hours – they each fit into one equal half of my internal clock and ‘should’ therefore be equally long… 🙂 – Ing, site-author

Links

Synesthesia Wikipedia
Synesthesia: Phenomenology And Neuropsychology
Everyday fantasia: the world of synsethesia
Mixed Signals
Synesthesia stories
Museums of the mind by Dr Hugo Heyrman – lots of links
Synaesthesia info and more links
Optimnem: The Official Website of Daniel Tammet an autistic savant with synesthesia

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7 Comments »

  1. Iva tsanevska said,

    so i couldn’t really understand is there something wrong with us or we just have it as a gift!?Everybody says different! I have all my numbers and letters in collors,the week comes as a lane,months also and they also have collors but I most think in my native language,but sometimes even in English.Is true that right and left makes me feel confuse!At age of 35 I just realised few moths ago that I never tought before some other people may not have it and how is it then in their toughts!My freiend says when she thinks there is nothing like this.Is difficult to imagine it must be then empty….:)anyway hope is not a mutation on the evolution path

    • Zaida said,

      I have grapheme-color synesthesia and I’m doing a Ted-Talk about it. From what I’ve found, it isn’t a disorder, it’s more of a special ability. My brother has it, too.

  2. Hello! I have spatial sequence synesthesia… and like it’s cited in one of the sources above, I have difficulties with left and right. Everything in my head, time and numbers, go from left to right. Time: Right = past, center + little bit more to the left = present, left = future. Number: zero is near me, where I stand… and the higher the number, the further it is on my left…. With letters it is a bit different: I see them as a circle. I sucked at math (and since that is essential in school i had some problems :(), but was very good at logic exercises. It runs in my family, my brother and mother (no idea for my father… yet) have synesthesia too, so it always seemed like a normal way to see things… it’s only very recently that i’ve learned most of the other people don’t see it like us… i’m still learning more about the subject and now i’m also trying to understand how others see it! 🙂
    Kind regards,
    Stéphanie

  3. ah, correction: “everything in my head, time and numbers, go from right to left” 🙂

  4. […] Fonte: https://insideperspectives.wordpress.com/sensory/synesthesia/ […]

  5. […] Synesthesia. […]

  6. Erin K said,

    I seem to have a tendency to assign gender and age and sometimes personalities and color to letters, numbers,words, and objects. For instance, the letter “A” is a male and he is red and in his 20’s, he is also single and physically attractive. “E” is female and she is yellow, her and “D” are brother and sister, he is dark blue. I do the same thing with numbers. I don’t know why or how I am like that, I just know I have always been like that.
    I also have the time and space synesthesia where I relate to days of the week, months and years in proximity to my location to them.
    A week is oval a shape in a horizontal position. I view the current day as something I am standing on, kind of like places on a game board. If it is Tuesday that means that Monday was the space before me and Wednesday is the space ahead of me, each day of the week also having color, gender and some sort of persona. Tuesday is a male and he is blue and very immature as opposed to his cousin Thursday who is dark blue, old and wise.
    his is a little personal, but I also get perceived images and impressions of locations as well as colors during sex. Its like each session has a theme and colors associated with it. Sometimes I have looking a beautiful stained glass window, sometimes I feel like I am inside a precious gem and I see all the colors associated with the light shining through the facets, sometimes I get the perception of being in an old cabin in the middle of a meadow and I am closely examining the fine grains of the wood. Its very peculiar and I often find it distracting. Climaxes are like pulsating rainbows of color…kind of like looking at tye dye, but it’s richer colors, dark purple, dark blue, dark orange, and they have a sort of metallic and fluid like quality to them. I dont understand all of it, but it is rather neat.


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