1213: "Combination Vision Test"

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da Doctah
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby da Doctah » Sat May 18, 2013 5:39 am UTC

Angelastic wrote:
DanAxtell wrote:XKCD has apparently descended into product placement. I have irrefutable evidence that Randall gets a commission from the producers of "42" for every moviegoer with neither synesthesia nor colorblindness, but not both or either

Aww, I got excited about the prospect of an h2g2 movie called "42", looked it up, and found it's just another baseball movie.

Doug Adams didn't create the significance of the number 42. Long before his time, it was the total number of spots on a pair of standard dice, the constant sum of the simplest 3×3×3 magic cube, and the decimal equivalent of binary 101010.

All numbers from 1 to 42 occur in the Bible. 43 does not. There's your mystical significance. (As for movies, I'm not going to see "42"; seeing "Movie 43" has soured me on the concept.)

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Sat May 18, 2013 5:43 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:You guys are all refusing to admit the truth: the first thing every one of us sees is, naturally, boobies. :oops:

It seems that I'm not "one of us".

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby ToadofSteel » Sat May 18, 2013 5:44 am UTC

I have synesthesia, but it's temperature to color, so of course it wouldn't affect this...

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat May 18, 2013 5:48 am UTC

Davidy wrote:You have to gaze through and focus past the picture. I see a 3-D tiger.

Anyhow, I think this cartoon shows that Randal does read and react to the forums. A week ago there was a discussion on "Time" about synethesia and now here we are!
No, I'm pretty sure the only people still reading that thread are the ones already involved in its little cult(s) or whatever.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby mrlawson » Sat May 18, 2013 6:10 am UTC

Afakaz wrote:
mrlawson wrote:*sigh*
I saw a schooner.
:-(


You dumb bastard! That's not a schooner, it's a sailboat!

A schooner IS a sailboat stupid head!

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby corykean » Sat May 18, 2013 6:23 am UTC

I've got grapheme --> color associative synesthesia, with really strongly colored numerals. Seeing the colors of letters and numbers takes a sort of mental switching motion or inner-eye focusing, and then they're just there like sounds and meanings are there in written words. (Come to think of it, reading is kind of like a learned, standardized type of synesthesia, isn't it?) The combination-vision test thing just looks like a jumble of numbers... so I looked at it too long, saw a "3", and then came and read this thread and got distracted by the big 1213 at the top of every post.

There's a website that will tell you whether you have synesthesia, what types, and how strongly, at (I can't post links yet): synesthete dot org.
(I found it after figuring out I actually do have synesthesia, which I thought I really didn't because I don't "project" colors into actual space. You mean most people don't think zero is a white numeral?)

Numerals, letters, and colors: I associate numerals and letters differently. Numerals have strong, immediately noticeable colors, sometimes along with tastes and textures. 2 is bright yellow with a bit of pottery-glaze shiny, but 1 isn't just black, it smells and tastes like licorice (which is a weird pinky-teal word, by the way) and is brittle and matte and stick-shaped. When I think of numerals, the color stands out to me just as much as the quantity signified does. Letters and words are different; I strongly associate them with their phonetic sounds first, then word meaning, then the whole sound of the word, then word and letter colors. Numeral colors stay distinct from one another no matter how they're arranged, but letter colors blend together in words. Letter-colors are like watercolor washes; K-r-y-p-t-o-n-i-t-e turns into Kryptonite. Some letters are stronger or have more mental pigment than others, and capital letters are always stronger than lowercase ones. No letters are as strongly colored as numerals, and they're all flat and don't have tastes or textures.

Weird thing: Very occasionally, I get a random sound that generates a taste. There's one Skype sound that makes me taste the color periwinkle. (It resembles

Numbers: I don't have the number line thing at all; I see numbers as distinct 3-d objects in a 2-d void (which I can't rationalize at all, it's not realistic), where they have size according to their quantity but no actual shape (unless I'm thinking of them as squares, cubes, or triangle numbers, or putting them into Fibonacci spirals). If the numbers get too big, they still have colors (just because numerals do), but they're indistinct and don't mean as much. Negative numbers are all watery and dark and have a weird, faint neon glow. Thing is, when I'm actually doing math in my head, it tends to be expressed half-visually without color at all, in animations of moving quantities made of lines, circles, squares, and other geometric shapes as necessary. (That gets lost when I do it on paper, so doing math on paper is annoying. Except I still make mistakes either way. Arrrgh, I love mathematics and hate doing math. [/rant]) The numeral-colors do come in handy for memorizing long, meaningless numbers, like phone or social security numbers. I haven't really thought about trying to use them while doing math (because animated lines), I should...
Okay, I just tried to solve a random algebra problem while focusing on numeral-colors and it was horrible. Turning x (which is a really weird letter, it's both maroon and dark brown at the same time and the capital X is a black and white Moire pattern) into blue (aka 5) helped with multiplying it by 5, but not anything else, and variables like 2b turned into either plain old 2 or a mutant 3-b (because 3 and b are about the same color)... Turning 5*7 into blue-by-green equals, um, green rectangle on blue square? No, 35 is big pink under blue ring. (This... makes a lot less sense written down. XD)
Haha nope, that's waaay more confusing. It might help with the geometric shapes thing, though, because it's easier to remember a greened line than a _______-long one.

jarreboum wrote:What happen when you look at a complete text written in signs you don't know? for example if you look at a text written in japanese or in hindi, would you still see it in various colours? (please take a look at their wikipedia main pages for an example, I can't post links.)

I get this weird effect with all sorts of colors popping up every time I try to "see" the colors of unknown letters. It's actually kind of annoying, I'd probably get a headache if I was a projecting type. If I don't focus on it, it's all one color--Japanese is purple, Persian is pink, roman letters are marigold. If I don't pay any attention at all, they stay black or whatever actual color.

jarreboum wrote:One example on wikipedia is about a person realising he can change the color of the P by adding a bar and making it an R. Do S and $ (dollar sign) have different colours?

S and $ register as completely different letters, as do @ and a. S is pink, $ is yellow-green and/or gold. A, a, @, and 2 are all the same yellow, except sometimes @ is also pink. (And the day and word Saturday are also yellow and/or pink, so these are all associated with one another.) 0 and O and o are all slightly different shades of white, and while I don't like seeing zero written as "oh," I instinctively pronounce it that way (because written "oh" is a white word, but "zero" is a gray plastic word).

jarreboum wrote:Do upper case and lower case variation of the same letter have the same colour? 'C' and 'c' may have, but what about 'R' and 'r'? What do you experience when reading cursive handwriting? some signs have much different writing between cursive and print, like a and b.

Uppercase letters are the same color, but stronger and usually a bit darker. Then there's uppercase X (with the Moire patterns), which is just plain weird. Cursive writing comes out in bolder, slightly different colors, unless it's so fancy or sloppy it's illegible. Then my mind categorizes it as a drawing and doesn't try to color it all, because that would be rude (somehow :?) and too much effort anyway.

jarreboum wrote:About signs you learned later in life like the micron sign 'u' and 'µ', do they also have different colours? does the fact that it pronounces 'mu' changes its colour to that of an 'm'?

Color does not come from pronunciation; PHone is a pinkish brown and Fone is a purple-stained word. The other way around, though, seeing a word spelled with a different color of letter will make me want to pronounce it differently, so rough and ruff, even though they sound the same (in my accent, at least), feel very different to me. When you spell color as colour, I want to put more emphasis on the "our" bit, because u is much more strongly colored than o.
Any symbol that has meaning for me gets a color too. Random, vaguely letter-shaped symbols don't have color, the "battery low" symbol and the letter delta do.

jarreboum wrote:When you read 'one', are you polluted by the colour '1' or do you specifically see three distinct colours?

One is a weird word, since one can use it as a gender-neutral pronoun, so it comes out differently from 1 for me. But other number words (e.g. three, seventy-nine) come out stained in the color(s) of their numeral(s). The names of colors are messes of meaning; yellow would have been a purple word, but it's stained yellow, means 2, and tastes like banana-flavored laffy taffy.

jarreboum wrote:Do roadsigns appear in colours too?

I'm an extremely visual thinker, so this may be a more individual thing than the other things, but roadsign symbols usually appear like emoticons, original colors (and usually shapes) intact. :arrow: And the yellow ones are very american cheese flavored. (Huh, I didn't realize I had so many tastes associated with things.) The word "stop" is extremely red, more strongly than numerals even. Anyway, I'll unconsciously assign at least semi-permanent colors to pretty much anything, but things that already have colors won't usually get assigned additional ones.

O-Deka-K wrote:Mu ha ha! Now I know your Kryptonite!

Ack, that sentence. Not a single correct color, except for the purple w (almost). I've never had this reaction before, but my brain immediately flagged every word there as "extremely misspelled." XD (I like the word Kryptonite. It's a green word about a green thing.)


You know those posters that have the names of colors printed in other colors, and you're supposed to read them out loud? Those are terribly confusing, because it's like yellow is also purple but they printed it in green and then orange. :?

The "Martian colors" thing is awesome. 8) (I need to write a novel about colorblind Martian synesthetes now. That's just so perfect.)

I've been reading xkcd for 2 or 3 years and haven't posted in the forum, because I'm in high school and the discussions tend to be all code-y and engineer-y and over my head. (I'm slightly the wrong category of geek (BOOKS, writing, sci-fi, computers and physics a little bit), so I get more than half the jokes but don't know enough to talk about them. So, finally something I can make tl;dr-able posts about. XD
(And I'm partially verifying NoMouse's explanation #2.)

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Editer » Sat May 18, 2013 6:32 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Either way, I suspect a lot of people have scattered memories from age three or so, but they aren't terribly coherent or reliable. I definitely remember my mom being pregnant with and then giving birth to my sister, which happened a few months after I turned 3, and I have a single memory I know happened when I was two, because it was of watching the Challenger explosion on TV. (It likely stuck with me because of how the adults around me were acting, as I definitely won't pretend I understood what was happening at that age.)


I remember going to a party with my dad and coming home with my mom.

:mrgreen:

I do have clear but scattered memories from around the time I turned 4, and one from my first year of preschool when I was 3, seeing my sister, who's a year older, in the room with the 4-year-olds. I have a vague recollection (which may be false) of moving into the house I grew up in, when I was 2 and some fraction; we had been living in a single-wide and the new house was HUGE by comparison, and my sister and I ran from one end of the house to the other and back over and over again.
These days, if you don't have ADD, you not paying close enough attention. -- J.P. Barlow

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Editer » Sat May 18, 2013 6:38 am UTC

I knew a young woman years ago who moved to another city, and once in one of my "Where are they now?" moments I looked her up online and found an article where she talked about her synesthesia, which I hadn't known she had. She'd gone into writing about the arts, and she said that sometimes an editor would make changes in her articles that made them visually ugly, by disrupting the flow or changing the tone in some passage so it clashed with the rest; the edited sections turned unpleasant colors.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Kafke » Sat May 18, 2013 7:24 am UTC

I saw "92" with various background squiggles. AFAIK I don't have synesthesia or color blindness...

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Sat May 18, 2013 7:46 am UTC

Sir Dancelot wrote:If I rotate the image just right I see Jesus.

In case the rest of us want to share, please specify the angle O

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Wlerin » Sat May 18, 2013 7:57 am UTC

Wooloomooloo wrote:... in relation to your driver's license. ... incidentally it leads to memorizing what one is supposed to see based on the partials... </rant>

Which is pretty much what you have to start doing on the road when your vision starts going from age/too much time staring at a lit screen/weariness.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby NoMouse » Sat May 18, 2013 9:20 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Klear wrote:Similarly, I was very surprised to hear that most people don't remember anything before their 4th year
Do you mean age 4, which is the beginning of their 5th year, or their 4th year, which begins at their third birthday?

Either way, I suspect a lot of people have scattered memories from age three or so, but they aren't terribly coherent or reliable. I definitely remember my mom being pregnant with and then giving birth to my sister, which happened a few months after I turned 3, and I have a single memory I know happened when I was two, because it was of watching the Challenger explosion on TV. (It likely stuck with me because of how the adults around me were acting, as I definitely won't pretend I understood what was happening at that age.)

I have some relatively strong memories from the age of three and a month, when I was in hospital with appendicitis followed by pneumonia. I even remember that I woke up during the operation for a brief moment, fortunately I didn't feel anything and couldn't move, I just saw the lights on the ceiling and heard the doctors and I wasn't even scared or anything.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby The Cat » Sat May 18, 2013 10:47 am UTC


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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Klear » Sat May 18, 2013 10:56 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Klear wrote:Similarly, I was very surprised to hear that most people don't remember anything before their 4th year
Do you mean age 4, which is the beginning of their 5th year, or their 4th year, which begins at their third birthday?

Either way, I suspect a lot of people have scattered memories from age three or so, but they aren't terribly coherent or reliable. I definitely remember my mom being pregnant with and then giving birth to my sister, which happened a few months after I turned 3, and I have a single memory I know happened when I was two, because it was of watching the Challenger explosion on TV. (It likely stuck with me because of how the adults around me were acting, as I definitely won't pretend I understood what was happening at that age.)


Either. I have many quite sharp memories long before I was 4, the earliest being a diagonal ceiling above my bed with a toy-bird bade out of an egg, which is something I couldn't have seen after we moved away from out first flat when I was less than a year old. To be fair, I have no way in hell to prove that it's an actual memory and not just a reconstruction based on what I've been told. I know I can be deceiving myself, but still, I'm convinced I remember it.

I most definitely have a memory of one incident when I escaped from my bed, and my parents were quite surprised to see me. I remember clearly the feeling of wanting to tell them I managed to press myself through the bars, but alas - I didn't really know how to talk yet...

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby NoMouse » Sat May 18, 2013 12:09 pm UTC

corykean wrote:<snip>
So, finally something I can make tl;dr-able posts about. XD
Oh, first time poster, your post wasn't visible first, so I want to draw attention at it.
tl;dr - in my case "too long, did read", it was very interesting.

I especially like the part about numbers. It's something completely different than I see, I thought the number line was the only logical way to imagine numbers, now I see how wrong I was. It's still unimaginable for me, that something like that can work, too. :mrgreen: Interesting is that negative numbers are dark/hardly visible for you too. That makes you at least third person here that have these "problems" with negative numbers.


And I was thinking about my letter colors and realized that there are some patterns. For example, sharp letters like A, V, W are either red or orange. E, F, H, L are different shades of blue - all these letters are only made of vertical and horizontal lines. Round letters are more likely to be yellow - like C, D, P, U (again, different shades). M is dark green and N is light green. I, Y, O are white or even transparent. Other letters don't follow obvious rules, eg. S is red, R is dark blue, Q is orange, X is black, Z is the only brown letter. Lowercase and uppercase seem to have exactly the same color. Also, interestingly, purple and pink are not involved in any of my associations (numbers, letters, weekdays...).

Edit: added colors. I know it's pain for other synesthetes but I wanted to show the actual shades (still may not be 100% accurate). And for me it's nice to finally see them in the "right" colors. :D
Last edited by NoMouse on Sat May 18, 2013 12:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Tide » Sat May 18, 2013 12:27 pm UTC

NoMouse wrote:But it's funny that I have no problem to reach negative years, even though both my number line and timeline look very similar around zero . I can go million years into the past, I can see dinosaurs between 65 million and 200 million BC, then it's a little more blurred and the scale shrinks once more and I see almost nothing except 4.5 billion BC where the Earth "ends" and the timeline starts. And then there's 13.5 billion BC floating somewhere in another dimension outside of my timeline.

Speaking of that, I think I also have a little grapheme -> personality association. Eg. 1 and 3 are very happy and positive numbers, 2 and 7 are sad, 5 is arrogant and so on, but I guess this is also a common phenomenon. Some numbers and letters have stronger associations with colors or characteristics, some are more difficult to realize.


To me, the timeline looks very similiar, but 2000 (or 1997, I'm not sure because they're so close) are in the place of zero, and everything before that are like negative numbers. Just like for you, my "negative" years are much easier to see. Here, I can "turn around" and see pretty well until some hundred years BC. Before that, though, things get really shaded out and even if I can see the points of events like Big bang and dinousaurs, it's completely out of scale and doesn't help a lot. It's just like the ribbon is impossible to see and everything is just points floating around without context. I think this might be because I know so little about this part of time (I'm sure I could see this part when I was younger and had studied dinousaurs in school recently) and it might get clearer if I actually learn some about it. The same way I don't think I could see "backwards" on my number line at all before I learned about negative numbers.

About numbers personalities, to me 1 is a super annoying number. It's the type who, if human, would be mean and insulting all the time and would never do what you told it to. Three on the other hand, I can agree on. To me it's a happy number with a lot of energy. 2 is one of my favourites, a bit shy but very wise and powerful in some way. 8, too, is nice, very quiet and down to earth. This sounds super weird, but the more I think of it, the more I realize I've always been seing it this way.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat May 18, 2013 1:28 pm UTC

My timeline visualization is centered on the present as "zero", and likewise gets fuzzy once I go far enough back that I no longer know the specific years when things happened.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby RarrRaptor » Sat May 18, 2013 2:28 pm UTC

That's obviously the Death Star.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Plautdietsch » Sat May 18, 2013 4:56 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:As someone with deuteranopia, I've often suspected that what other people call "color" is actually just a manifestation of a particular form of synesthesia.


Huh. Never thought of it that way.

I have number->color synaesthesia (associative), but not strong enough to pick out the two numbers. *pouts* But now I'm curious: can someone who's colorblind and has a color form of projected synaesthesia "see" colors they're otherwise "blind" to? Or are they limited to the colors they otherwise see?

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Plautdietsch » Sat May 18, 2013 5:13 pm UTC

jarreboum wrote:Hi Grapheme–color synesthets!

I'm very curious about this, I wonder whether it's an association with the grapheme itself (specific assembly of bars and points make a colour) or its meaning (how you interpret the sign make it colourfull).

Would you like to try a few things for me?

What happen when you look at a complete text written in signs you don't know? for example if you look at a text written in japanese or in hindi, would you still see it in various colours? (please take a look at their wikipedia main pages for an example, I can't post links.)

One example on wikipedia is about a person realising he can change the color of the P by adding a bar and making it an R. Do S and $ (dollar sign) have different colours?

Do upper case and lower case variation of the same letter have the same colour? 'C' and 'c' may have, but what about 'R' and 'r'? What do you experience when reading cursive handwriting? some signs have much different writing between cursive and print, like a and b.

About signs you learned later in life like the micron sign 'u' and 'µ', do they also have different colours? does the fact that it pronounces 'mu' changes its colour to that of an 'm'?

When you read 'one', are you polluted by the colour '1' or do you specifically see three distinct colours?

Do roadsigns appear in colours too?

Ok thats a lot of questions you possibly are tired of answering but I'm very interested in this. Thak you for your time anyway.


I'll try to answer these in order. (I have number->color and ordinal linguistic synaesthesia.)

Foreign text - No color at all. Some alphabets I'm familiar with may have faint color: Tolkien's Tengwar seems to have dark, dull colors. I can read and write in Tengwar, but not fluently.

Changing colors by changing the symbol: Yes. For me, $ is darker than S, and less extraverted.

Upper and lowercase letters, and different fonts/hands/typefaces: Yes, the case changes the color and personality, sometimes radically. Lowercase letters are "lighter", and in my brain they're children rather than adults.

Signs I learned later are similar to alphabets I learned later. Greek symbols are not familiar enough to me to have color or personality yet.

"One" is quite green, while "1" is black. Also, other ways of representing a number do not have the same association: Pentagons are a hot orange or orange-yellow, but 5 is red.

Sometimes I forget that Stop signs are octagons, because octagons are dark purple, and red like that is somewhere between a hexagon and a square.

Hope that doesn't confuse you too much! :D

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby RogueCynic » Sat May 18, 2013 6:00 pm UTC

Talk about timing. I had my eyes checked just last week, including the colour blindness test. Lord knows I needed an exam. I was looking at clarinets on ebay and I swear two of them looked like flutes.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby da Doctah » Sat May 18, 2013 6:35 pm UTC

RarrRaptor wrote:That's obviously the Death Star.
It's not a moon!

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby DerTrommler » Sun May 19, 2013 1:15 am UTC

Hey guys...I had to finally break down and make an account on these forums after creeping in the shadows for so long. It was driving me crazy that this thread was titled incorrectly. The name of the comic is "Combination Vision Test", not "Combination Vision." OP, can you please fix it? Thanks! :lol:

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Sun May 19, 2013 11:31 am UTC

O-Deka-K wrote:I've hypothesized that everyone has superpowers, but most people don't know it.

My superpower is that problems like me, and come to me for care.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby funnyav » Sun May 19, 2013 11:38 am UTC

Thoughts: wouldn't it still be possible for a number-> color synaesthete with partial colorblindness to accommodate all the numerals into their somewhat limited color range?
Furthermore, are there not plenty of other visual properties that could be expressed, for example in a person with complete colorblindness (such as depth, texture, etc?)

I think randall drew the numbers first, and then surrounded them, at least it looks that way with the 2, which appears to stand out a little bit.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby ijuin » Mon May 20, 2013 4:41 am UTC

The whole "Martian colors" idea says that even though the eyes of a colorblind person may not sent the brain the full range of possible data, the brain is still wired to perceive all of the sensations of the full color gauntlet. Thus, even though someone's retinas may lack function in one of the cone cell types, his visual cortex can still output the sensations for those colors given an appropriate stimulus.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby meat.paste » Mon May 20, 2013 1:58 pm UTC

I don't have any of the stated issues (at least none that were diagnosed), but my particular wetware processor makes out the number 88 (faint and elongated, but there nonetheless)
Huh? What?

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Mon May 20, 2013 8:46 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Klear wrote:Similarly, I was very surprised to hear that most people don't remember anything before their 4th year
Do you mean age 4, which is the beginning of their 5th year, or their 4th year, which begins at their third birthday?

Either way, I suspect a lot of people have scattered memories from age three or so, but they aren't terribly coherent or reliable. I definitely remember my mom being pregnant with and then giving birth to my sister, which happened a few months after I turned 3, and I have a single memory I know happened when I was two, because it was of watching the Challenger explosion on TV. (It likely stuck with me because of how the adults around me were acting, as I definitely won't pretend I understood what was happening at that age.)

I have two extremely vague memories from when I was three. I typically say that I my first memory is from age 6, because I don't have anything from between 3 and 6, and it's possible that the ones from age 3 are invented, because they're that brief, blurry and incomplete, and because it's a much more accurate general representation of my memory, which is basically useless. After the one at age 6, I don't have any memories until age 8, where I have 2.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby DavidSpencer » Mon May 20, 2013 10:44 pm UTC

Out of curiosity, are there any programmer synesthetes here (seems likely)? Is syntax highlighting annoying?

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon May 20, 2013 10:53 pm UTC

I get a puzzle magazine (Beyond Sudoku - a bunch of Nikoli-style puzzles) that includes a Sudoku variant where if you consider the equivalent cell in each 3*3 block, each number will appear once in that position. So if the central block has a 1 in the top-left, none of the other blocks will have a 1 top-left. To potentially make it a little easier to keep track of for most people, they colour each position a different colour - the top-left cell in each block is red, the central one is orange, the bottom-middle one is pink, bottom-left is yellow, etc.

A friend with number-colour synaesthesia tried doing one and had to give up because most of the squares were the wrong colours for the numbers that went in them...

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby bmonk » Tue May 21, 2013 4:24 am UTC

NoMouse wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Klear wrote:Similarly, I was very surprised to hear that most people don't remember anything before their 4th year
Do you mean age 4, which is the beginning of their 5th year, or their 4th year, which begins at their third birthday?

Either way, I suspect a lot of people have scattered memories from age three or so, but they aren't terribly coherent or reliable. I definitely remember my mom being pregnant with and then giving birth to my sister, which happened a few months after I turned 3, and I have a single memory I know happened when I was two, because it was of watching the Challenger explosion on TV. (It likely stuck with me because of how the adults around me were acting, as I definitely won't pretend I understood what was happening at that age.)

I have some relatively strong memories from the age of three and a month, when I was in hospital with appendicitis followed by pneumonia. I even remember that I woke up during the operation for a brief moment, fortunately I didn't feel anything and couldn't move, I just saw the lights on the ceiling and heard the doctors and I wasn't even scared or anything.

I also can remember a very early event due to medical reasons--when I got very sick from mumps or something at age 2 1/2. I recall being on a bed in our dining room, and that was the only time that bed was there, according to my mother. Other than that, I start recalling things about age 4-6.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby severach » Tue May 21, 2013 5:41 am UTC

So a Holophonor is Synesthesia for the rest of us dry eye people.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby Angelastic » Tue May 21, 2013 6:18 am UTC

DavidSpencer wrote:Out of curiosity, are there any programmer synesthetes here (seems likely)? Is syntax highlighting annoying?

Not to me. I don't really have colours for punctuation marks, and since most of the time text is in black (i.e. not the colour it 'should' be) it doesn't make a whole lot of difference if it happens to be, say, red or green because it's a comment or a literal or something. Syntax highlighting doesn't usually colour single letters/digits, which would draw attention to the fact that they're in the wrong colours, it just changes blocks of text that were already the wrong colour into a different wrong colour.
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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby dtcolton » Tue May 21, 2013 5:55 pm UTC

I don't see anything, nothing.
Some people say they feel alone on this thread. I guess I am too. I searched for those phrases and no one is admitting to it. I don't see a 4 or a 2. I see a big blob full of numbers. All black.
So, what condition is that?
It seems implied by others that graphics like this are used more commonly in other places? Would I have just failed that test?

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Postby Mikeski » Tue May 21, 2013 11:28 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Klear wrote:Similarly, I was very surprised to hear that most people don't remember anything before their 4th year
Do you mean age 4, which is the beginning of their 5th year, or their 4th year, which begins at their third birthday?
I also can remember a very early event due to medical reasons--when I got very sick from mumps or something at age 2 1/2. I recall being on a bed in our dining room, and that was the only time that bed was there, according to my mother. Other than that, I start recalling things about age 4-6.

I've got a few memories that have to be from age 4, since we moved out of our 1st house when I was that age. Having to "save" my tricycle from the garbage collectors when I left it sitting by the curb on the wrong day. A chalkboard in the basement playroom that had (permanent) crayon drawings all over it. A tempermental pound-rescue dog that wouldn't let me pet it most of the time.

I don't remember my one medical emergency from the time: putting my hands out to catch a closing screen door, and putting them right through the window in said door. (Still have a small scar from that.)

My most vivid memory from those years, though, wasn't mine. I have a very distinct recollection of standing in my crib while firemen came in to my room to check the fuse panel, which was in the closet in the bedroom my younger brother and I shared. (Mom had called them due to a potential chimney fire, which turned out to be an overactive sense of smell.) The only thing was... that was in our 2nd house. My baby brother was the one in the crib. I was four, pushing five years old. Watching him in the crib with these strange men running around imprinted that memory into me, somehow. (And I have heard of that before; very young children taking something they saw happen to someone else, and making their own memories from it. Seems the psychologists terms for it are "nonbelieved memory" and/or "disputed memory ownership".)

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby DavidSpencer » Wed May 22, 2013 2:29 pm UTC

Angelastic wrote:Not to me. I don't really have colours for punctuation marks, and since most of the time text is in black (i.e. not the colour it 'should' be) it doesn't make a whole lot of difference if it happens to be, say, red or green because it's a comment or a literal or something. Syntax highlighting doesn't usually colour single letters/digits, which would draw attention to the fact that they're in the wrong colours, it just changes blocks of text that were already the wrong colour into a different wrong colour.


That's really interesting. It makes perfect sense explained that way but at the same time it seems so foreign. Cool stuff, thanks :)

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby pturing » Thu May 23, 2013 5:03 pm UTC

I work in a neuroscience lab that does synesthesia research and I maintain the Synesthesia Battery, a collection of online tests for synesthesia - synesthete dot org

As you might guess, the test in the comic would not work. The synesthetic associations of color deficient grapheme-color synesthetes are probably distributed around the space of colors they do have. I haven't tested this properly yet - it's on my todo list. I suspect that the people who have martian color associations must have had broader color perception during early childhood development, which then degenerated. I'd love to see someone check the genetics of people reporting martian colors to confirm this.

The other difficulty with the test relates to a prominent myth about synesthesia. It was hypothesized that synesthetes should be able to quickly pick out particular numbers from a field of other numbers. However, the tests results do not support this. It looks like grapheme color synesthetes have to give a symbol enough focus to read what it is in order to see the color.

As others have noted, except for some rare exceptions, the particular synesthetic associations are unique to an individual. There are some patterns, for example 0's are often black or otherwise uncolored, and A's and R's are a little more likely to be red. Consecutive items in a sequence tend to have colors that are more distant from each other than other pairs.

I recently helped some folks set up a synesthesia test that will be administered to all incoming students at a university in the UK, so we should know more soon about the prominence of synesthesia. We should also have some upcoming results on associating colors for alphabets learned as an adult, but not until after I finish coding some updates to that test :)

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby Yirtne » Wed May 29, 2013 10:52 pm UTC

I'd like to make an experiment, with the help of fellow synesthetes.

Specific Colors of numbers and words are often different between two individuals, but what about the relative associations between colors of numbers and words?

For example, for me:

"Algebra" has a color similar to 2 (red)
"Dog" has a color similar to 4 (brown)
"House" and "test" are more similar to 5 (yellow)
"Table" is similar to letter B (light brown)
"Palace" is similar to 8 (blue)
"Group" looks like 6 (dark green)
"Rain" is similar to 9 (dark purple)

Actually for me words are made of multiple colors, but there is almost always a predominant hue.


What about you?

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby Klear » Thu May 30, 2013 8:03 am UTC

Well, the dominant hue is the colour(s) of one or more of the letters, usually the first one.

Algebra is mostly red because of A, and has nothing to do with 2.
Test is green for me, since T isn't a very noticeable colour for me (black/blue, depending on context, but usually dark), so the E takes over, etc.

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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"

Postby iamanisland » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:07 pm UTC

I can see the bird from the cover of Mockingjay.......


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