Synesthesia: Do you have it?

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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby AngrySquirrel » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:32 am UTC

Matt - tastes like champagne ice-cream
Matthew - tastes of sunflower seeds
Southampton - blueberry muffins?
Photoshop - unidentifiable taste, bit cardboard-like
England - cold water
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby KallistiEngel » Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:26 pm UTC

I just remembered something that used to happen to my brother when he was a kid. I don't think it happens to him anymore, but still might fall under the category of synesthesia.

He used to get headaches, sometimes really bad ones. And he'd describe them as colors. "Yellow headaches" were more mild if I'm remembering right, and "brown headaches" were the really bad ones. It seems like it'd be the other way around to me, but I don't think it was. I'll have to ask him later.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby -.Mateo.- » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

Every time I hear "Ireland" I think gold and green...I guess the green might come from the whole "emerald island" thing but...gold???

Somtimes, when Im in a situation that implies listening to loud, unpleasant music, I close my eyes and try to relax, and the rythm slowly starts to have not only color, but also shape, the problem is that eventually someone who thinks I passed out wakes me up....yeah, I'm not a party guy.

2 is definitely red, and 3 is green. 5 is green too, and 9 is red (but from all of those, the "stronger" one is 2, the one whose color I feel the most)
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KallistiEngel: If I had to give colors to headaches, yellow would be a strong one, as it seems to me it is a "sharper" color, its intense and "shiny", while brown, calm and dark, would be mild.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Wyvern » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:13 pm UTC

This is a really interesting, but I'm rather glad I don't have it. Just reading through this thread and comprehending how it affects how people with it see the world, I ended up with a sensory overload-induced headache. boo.

And it also reminded me of something else, having nothing to do with this....
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby PerPer » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:45 pm UTC

I've got quite the opposite, I can't imagine numbers, dates, words or anything alike in any fashion or context what so ever, I can't even assimilate them to a graphic image. As I described in a previous thread, my imagination works more on the level of vector graphic rather than pixel based graphic.

I do think that having synesthesia would help a lot when it comes to memory.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Sourire » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:01 am UTC

I think I may have it? I've always thought of numbers, letters and words as having particular "feels".

However, this year, it occurred to me that I have two very strong connections that almost feel...mixed. For one, I seem to associate abstract concepts with colors, which shows particularly well in literature-based classes. I was asked what the first thing that came to mind was, when I thought "home and identity". Well, it was red. What stood out most to me about Lolita? Purple. And it almost feels weird-because I remember being legitimately confused to see that my professor didn't understand why it was Lolita, and I had to go miles out of my way to try to find an explanation for the connection (which ended up making little to no sense).

The second connection, which I think is more common, is between emotion and taste. And I'm not just talking things like bitter jealousy. I'm talking about the thought of warm chocolate tastes being so relaxing I literally just unwind, despite whatever I may be going through. And moreover, in creative writing, many of my analogies come out as an awkward mix of senses. One snippet, for instance, was "Bubblegum flavored happiness" because it was supposed to be pink, and obnoxious.

And at this point I'm not sure if I have it, or not, but I'm beginning to really think so.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby GrantSolar » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:45 pm UTC

Slightly off topic as I don't have synesthesia and nor does anyone I know. My girlfriend however, sees numbers as having genders. I was told a few weeks ago that there was something in Greek culture about this so I told her. She has a Greek Grandad. Thought it was a little unusual.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Lazar » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:14 pm UTC

Necro! I associate each letter and number with a color, roughly as follows:

a
b
c
d
e
f
g
h
i
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u
v
w
x
y
z

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9


When I think of a word, the whole word usually takes the color of its first letter. (The same applies for multi-digit numbers.) There are several recurring colors: for example, b, g, j, w, 2 and 8 all take a lovely spring green.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Jplus » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:33 pm UTC

I couple timbre to colour. I'm too lazy to enter all the color codes, but /a/ is red like a tomato, /e/ is green, /i/ is yellow, /o/ is maroon, /u/ is a very deep, dark, somewhat muddy blue. You should read them as IPA vowels, not as their English pronounciation. This also largely defines most of the alphabet, since the letters are pronounced with vowels (the consonants have a timbre and thence a colour of their own, but vowels tend to dominate those since they have much higher sonority). Words are usually coloured by their dominant vowel, although other phonemes can have their influence as well. Persons tend to have the colour of the pronounciation of their name.

I also have some weaker couplings between these two sensory qualities and shapes and textures. I can sense all of them combined particularly in music. I haven't figured out yet what are the actual couplings and what are the side effects, though.

It's not something I'm usually aware of, by the way, but if I consult myself about the couplings I always turn out to be very consistent. I don't feel it makes any difference to my capability to remember things, although of course it might still do so in a way I'm not aware of. The only situation where I notice my synesthesia more often is in listening to music (attentively). I tend to find music more beautiful and special if it stimulates these sensations more as well.

Afterthought: I highly dislike syntax colouring. It might be because the colours don't match to the words, or even the category of elements that they are attached to. But it might also just have nothing to do with my synesthesia.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Bassoon » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:24 am UTC

I have it only for music, really. But I don't really know how to describe the feelings I get. While I'm playing with band, I'll feel colors in certain sections of music. I'll feel red, or I'll feel blue, or green, etc., at certain sections of the music. The only way I can really describe it is "If this part of the song were a color, it would be x." At certain parts, I'll feel warm or cold, and it's not the room, because it's always at those certain parts whenever we play it. Other parts will make the air feel really thick, like it's difficult to walk through or move in. I kinda picture this like the air has been replaced with clear gelatin.

I also get vague synesthesia in regards to intervals. Some of them are variations in heat, and others are variations in tension of my chest. The last one is sorta like being frightened suddenly--my stomach clenches and slowly lets off. Another type I have is a feeling of relative motion in my body. Kinda like being dizzy, I guess, or being picked up by a certain part of my body. I'll feel the room "tilt" in a sense. It's like a lifting motion...

Here's a vague list (of ascending intervals):

m2 - lifting "tilt" felt in brain stem
M2 - lifting "tilt" in middle of head
m3 - tension in stomach
M3 - lifting "tilt" felt in chest, warm feeling
P4 - tension in stomach, cool feeling
D5 - tension in stomach
P5 - cold feeling
m6 - tension in stomach, cool feeling
M6 - lifting "tilt" felt in chest, warm feeling
m7 - tension in stomach, hot feeling
M7 - lots of tension in stomach, burning feeling
P8 - tension in stomach, cool feeling

Additionally, I associate the note "A", as well as both A Major and A Minor as red. But that's the only note/key I associate with anything.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby dumbzebra » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:40 pm UTC

Funny thing, whenever I think of numbers, I think of them being in a certain row that moves in certain directions:

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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby k.p.b » Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:28 am UTC

Mine's a rather complicated bit of a sound-color dealie, mainly having to do with words and letters. Vowel sounds have colors ( A E I O U ) and consonants have varying degrees of "brightness" based on how they're voiced (M and N are dark, for example, and S and T are the brightest). So each word has a color based on the mixing of the letters that make it up. Lantern, turtle, aftermath, bowl, et cetera. Generally this has little effect on my life at all, except for making me really like some words because the color seems appropriate, or remembering people's names better if the color reminds me of them. Oh, and when I write I have a tendency to give important characters names with lots of As in them, because my brain always associates red things with importance.


woahh i have the exact same thing! i always thought i was weird but i recently read about synesthesia somewhere and was all excited and stuff
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Jplus » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:57 pm UTC

k.p.b wrote:
Mine's a rather complicated bit of a sound-color dealie, mainly having to do with words and letters. Vowel sounds have colors ( A E I O U ) and consonants have varying degrees of "brightness" based on how they're voiced (M and N are dark, for example, and S and T are the brightest). So each word has a color based on the mixing of the letters that make it up. Lantern, turtle, aftermath, bowl, et cetera. Generally this has little effect on my life at all, except for making me really like some words because the color seems appropriate, or remembering people's names better if the color reminds me of them. Oh, and when I write I have a tendency to give important characters names with lots of As in them, because my brain always associates red things with importance.


woahh i have the exact same thing! i always thought i was weird but i recently read about synesthesia somewhere and was all excited and stuff

That's actually also quite similar to my dominant type of synesthesia (just a few posts up). Didn't see this post though.

dumbzebra: your synesthesia reminds me a bit of Daniel Tammet. It's a BBC documentary, you can ignore the tendentious "scientific" bla. The mentionings of synesthesia appear at 3:15, 8:29, 17:09 (longer part), 36:30 (also long, probably most relevant).
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby tastelikecoke » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:03 pm UTC

I have some kind of pseudo-synesthesia.

When I was a child, I had these colored number toys, colored this way:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

The color scheme of these toy numbers got ingrained to my mind, I imagine the 20-29 as a yellowy one.

I didn't remember where I got this though.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby RebeccaRGB » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:08 am UTC

I have the grapheme-color kind of associative synesthesia as well. Here's my alphabet, number line, and calendar:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
January February March April May June July August September October November December

X and Z tend to fluctuate a lot, but they're always some kind of orangish-brownish-gray. I don't actually physically *see* the color, but I very certainly associate these letters/numbers/days/months with those colors. So whether I'm a "real synesthete" is up for debate.

Nicole is a blue name, because the N is blue.
Matt is a dark brown, and Matthew is a lighter brown. (I'm guessing the white of the W mixes with the brown of the M to make a lighter brown?)
Southampton is has bits of yellow, white, and green in it.
Photoshop is pink and yellow (the pink P's and yellow O's are dominant).
England, like English, is green.
History and Social Studies are orange.
Math is red.
Science is blue.
Art is purple.

I once took all this and tried to make a language out of it, to see what certain colors sounded like:
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby 11-73-3-33 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:31 pm UTC

I found this thread because I thought of starting one myself out of curiosity.
Anyway, in my case it is like that: I see digits in colors - something like 1(white) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9, letters (the consonants are of blue hues and the vowels of red hues), and some mathematical concepts - For example, the following are "warm" and are of warm/red tones: Open sets, the sine function, an acute angle etc., while closed sets, the cosine and obtuse angles are "cold" and blue (almost everything falls somehow in one of these two categories, but these are a few examples).
Notes are also of different colors: do re mi fa sol la si.

Many of the connections to colors are so natural to me that I don't really think about it as something unusual unless asked (so it's hard to give more examples), and until about age 17 I wasn't aware of the fact that not everybody sees numbers (etc.) in colors. One time I just mentioned something about it to some friends from school and they had no idea what I was talking about, so after explaining and discussing it I've realized it is not so trivial. When graduating that year I discovered this "condition" actually had a name (an essay on the subject appeared in our English final exam).

Sometimes I ask people about whether they see things in colors this way, but so far I've only met (personally) one other
person who had Synesthesia.

EDIT: Just seen this:

GrantSolar wrote:Slightly off topic as I don't have synesthesia and nor does anyone I know. My girlfriend however, sees numbers as having genders. I was told a few weeks ago that there was something in Greek culture about this so I told her. She has a Greek Grandad. Thought it was a little unusual.
[topic]

Me too :P (About the gender, not the Greek part.)
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby modularblues » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:50 am UTC

Bassoon wrote:Here's a vague list (of ascending intervals):

m2 - lifting "tilt" felt in brain stem
M2 - lifting "tilt" in middle of head
m3 - tension in stomach
M3 - lifting "tilt" felt in chest, warm feeling
P4 - tension in stomach, cool feeling
D5 - tension in stomach
P5 - cold feeling
m6 - tension in stomach, cool feeling
M6 - lifting "tilt" felt in chest, warm feeling
m7 - tension in stomach, hot feeling
M7 - lots of tension in stomach, burning feeling
P8 - tension in stomach, cool feeling

Additionally, I associate the note "A", as well as both A Major and A Minor as red. But that's the only note/key I associate with anything.


Curious. I sort of associate colors with different key signatures, but they appear strongly only in pre-20th Century music. The more contemporary music I react more to the chords as well. I can see where some of these somatic reactions come from... M3 is bright and P5 is open and "hollow" sounding, for example.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Bassoon » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:36 am UTC

For me, E Major is orange-yellow, F Major is green, and Ab Major is a darker red than A Major/Minor.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

Oh man, chords. I have such strong color-alphabet associations that it overpowers what things sound like in ways that don't always make musical sense. Three fingers here is G, G is green, not that the chord sounds green or anything, but it's green to me now. Colorful-alphabet helps me remember the letters of chord progressions, but what things actually sound like is a whole new set of associations that I'm still working on recognizing (and will probably get subtly-overlayed over super strong 'G is green' mode).
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Anachrome » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:24 pm UTC

I don't think I have synesthesia, id est I don't literally 'see' numbers as colours, but certain numbers I associate strongly with certain colours. 2 is a red type; a sort of vibrant mahogany maybe? 3 Is yellowish, but somewhat dulled, and 7 is the same but dulled further, 8 is the same kind of orange that two is red, and nine is a metallic silver. 6 is maybe purple, but isn't very strong; 5 is green in the same way. One is black and zero is clear, although both are very weak associations. 4 is a black with maybe a tint of brown.

But all of these are very abstract colours (er, more abstract than actual colours, if that makes sense): I don't feel really satisfied with my descriptions, and I don't think it's at all possible to physically represent them; they don't seem like *real* colours (dream colours, maybe?).

That was kinda rambly; I do hope I made sense.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Sonata » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:11 am UTC

Old thread is old but I assume it's okay for me to reply since it's recently been replied to.

I associate keyboard keys with people. It changes every now and then though. I look at a key and instantly an image of someone's face comes up.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby modularblues » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:58 am UTC

Sonata wrote:Old thread is old but I assume it's okay for me to reply since it's recently been replied to.

I associate keyboard keys with people. It changes every now and then though. I look at a key and instantly an image of someone's face comes up.

Curious - are they people you know personally or seen on TV, etc.?
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby MrJim » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:07 pm UTC

Don't know if it classes as synesthesia, but i quiet often see flashes of light if its dark and i hear a loud, sudden sound. For Example if its dark and i hear a cracking sound i see a Tv-Static type thing.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Ser Pounce-a-lot » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:47 am UTC

This is really cool and makes me wish I had something unique like this. Must make looking at everyday life interesting. I first read about this on a blog post over at hyperbole and a half, Allie was talking about giving personalities to inanimate objects (something that also comes with Synethesia sometimes, apparently) and people commented about certain letters always being one color.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Brickmack » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:46 am UTC

I have it a little bit, mainly with numbers and colors. Not all of the numbers are associated with colors, but yellow is usually four, green is three, blue is five, purple is 8, and pink is sometimes 9. Dark grey is sometimes 11. All of these work both ways except for grey and 11 (green is three and three is green; grey is 11 but 11 is not grey). The intensity of the colors also varies, sometimes it's just a sort of ring around the outside of my field of vision, sometimes it's a light tint of everything I'm looking at. Sometimes it also goes away completely, usually for just a day or so. Kinda an odd feeling being without it. Anyone else have it where it comes and goes?
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby ShortChelsea » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:52 pm UTC

I have number personality synesthesia, which is not as cool as grapheme color synesthesia. :x Trust me, you don't want to be a synethesthet. It's not fun. When I was five I couldn't concentrate anyway, but I couldn't deal with math.
As part of a homework assignment, a friend of mine found an article where a man was given drugs to induce synesthesia. I wish I could find it, because it was pretty neat. If I remember correctly, he briefly experience grapheme color synesthesia.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby dhokarena56 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:12 am UTC

I've got it for school subjects maths, science, French, English, philosophy, history. And, to a limited extent, letters: a b, c...
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby jobriath » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:36 am UTC

DrStalker wrote:I've never really thought about it before but occasionly (every few months) while drifitng off to sleep I'll suddenly startle and jerk awake. I'm sure there is a sound associated with this, but it's less like an actual sound and more like I drempt a really loud sound... sort of.

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I say "dreamed" just like you, except I spell it dreamt. Also the rhyming seamt (seemed).

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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Little Richie » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:24 pm UTC

I was once conducted by a man who had synesthesia to an huge level, he said he can see the colors as the notes are played. Because of this, his pitch is almost perfect. He could point out a sharp or flat note that one person was playing in a section of almost 15. He described chords in colors, it was a really cool way to have the music analysed.

I didn't get any one-on-one time with him afterwards, but watching him, and seeing how his mind worked was amazing.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby mannequinwithkillappeal » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:19 pm UTC

I didn't know that this was a thing until listening to a Stuff You Should Know podcast about it, with that one thought 'wait, this isn't normal?'
I associate colors with smells. I smell it immediately, but not very strongly unless there is a lot of that one color.
I think this actually began after a really bad seizure a few years ago (I have a seizure disorder/not technically epilepsy anymore), and it seems fairly logical to say that the seizure triggered something in my brain to do this.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby SirBryghtside » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:16 pm UTC

Huh, I always suspected I had Synesthesia, but if the 'entry requirements' are really that simple - yeah, easily.

1's black, 2's yellow, 3's orange/red, 4's pink, 5's blue, 6 is dark green, 7 is light green, 8 is red, 9 is even darker green, and 0 is white/clear.

Name's Tom, kinda reddish orange - which is also my favourite colour. Huh. Well, learn something new every day. I thought that it was normal.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:52 am UTC

Probably not the same thing, but many of my auditive or olfactory or tactile inputs may trigger pain, revulsion, rage, sickness, or paralyzing shivers.

Ironically, I also have very keen auditive and olfactory senses.

Some especially hated offenders:

Loud, irregular bass noises (party music, some motors...).
Human voices.
Music that is too simple (scales, simple looped patterns...).
Certain frequencies (baby wails, some window cleaning screeches, wet strawberry friction sounds).

Contact of skin or hide.
Contact of something wet
Contact of something sticky

Smoke
Tobacco smoke
Cheese (to the point of puking), wine
Sweat odour

It seems to be worsening with age, as I'm wearing earplugs all the time now.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Jplus » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:wet strawberry friction sounds

Wow. I didn't even know that could be audible.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:
Menacing Spike wrote:wet strawberry friction sounds

Wow. I didn't even know that could be audible.


It's the sound when you tear off the green part.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby the_bandersnatch » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:03 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:Some especially hated offenders:

Human voices.

Contact of skin or hide.

Smoke
Tobacco smoke
Cheese (to the point of puking), wine


Wow, them's like some of my favouritest things! I'd hate to live in a world where I didn't enjoy fine wine and the contact of another human.
In girum imus nocte, et consumimur igni
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Jacque » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:48 pm UTC

I think that what most people in this thread are really confusing with synesthesia with is association itself. Part of the being human and living is making and having ingrained associations, be it with words, numbers sounds, tastes, smells, whatever, which is in the same vein – but much different – than actual synesthesia, like the kind that people who Oliver Sacks writes about have.* Classic WebMD syndrome and what not.

*Go pick up a copy of Musicophilia, it's a pretty great read.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby reluctantsaints » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:45 am UTC

I knew a girl whose synethesia was the taste of orange juice associated with multiples of three, if I'm remembering right. I thought it was kind of fascinating. She said she had others, but I don't remember them. I found out about it because we were in a class that was about how our senses actually work. I have associations, but it's always fascinating to learn about the ways it manifests. It seems to be predominately number related, does anyone have know any more-- other than the ones here-- that aren't number related?
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Nomic » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:04 am UTC

On of my friends noticed that the painkillers he was prescribed with when he broke his leg gave him synesthesia (it went away after he stopped taking them). He told me that green and purple produce a pleasant harmonic sound, while yellow is loud and discordant.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby Hyphe » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:02 am UTC

I have smell/colour synesthesia, and to a subtler extent, taste/shape. Smells have colours - like someone is painting on the inside of my nose - but they are often incredibly fleeting or overpowered by what colours I'm looking at with my eyes, and on top of that my colour vocabulary is limited, so often if someone asks me what colour something is, I still have to pause for a moment just so I can concentrate on things. London traffic fumes are a pale dark grey-blue. Chocolate is bright red; vanilla is daffodil yellow and bright white; and lemons (my favourite) are yellowy-green and pale purple. Nuanced flavours such as coffee, whiskey and wines are especially delightful for me, since they have such a variety of colours to them.

Tastes having shape is far far weirder, and possibly not the same thing; the five tastes make me feel like the surface of my tongue is moving and stretching into impossible shapes, like one of those crazy music visualisers. This is, as you may guess, very hard to describe.
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Re: Synesthesia: Do you have it?

Postby jakes1487 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:43 pm UTC

DrStalker wrote:And an amusing synesthesia anecdote: I used to know a girl who saw numbers as colours; always the same colour for the same number. Her mother also did the same thing... but they'd argue over what colour specific numbers were because they each had a different colour -> number mapping.


When we were little, one of the things my sister and I did to pass the time in long car rides was to argue about what color each letter/number/musical note is. Our parents had no idea what we were talking about. :D Despite the two of us having nearly identical kinds of synesthesia, we had very different mappings--they almost never agreed. Having synesthesia, and which kind, seems to run in families; but evidently the mappings do not. Also, I think I heard somewhere that synesthesia is correlated with high intelligence, which would explain why it's common on the xkcd fora--but maybe I'm just making that up. ;)

My numbers mapping: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 As far as how it actually appears to me, it's as though there's a "halo" of the color around the symbol; I can clearly see the actual text color, it's almost like a semitransparent layer in an image editing program. Maybe a good analogy for how I can switch between seeing the character color and the additional color is that it's like hearing the notes in a chord individually or the chord as a whole. The only time I ever found it to be annoying was when taking one of those tests where they show you words in one color that say another color, for instance "green". It's harder for me because I simultaneously see "xxxxx" (the meaning layer), "xxxxx" (the image layer), and "xxxxx" (the synesthesia layer)!

I have a friend who smells sounds very strongly, specifically people's voices. I believe she said my voice was "licorice"; I don't know if that's a good thing!
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