View Full Version : Synesthesia, anyone?


justAwierd-o
02-02-08, 09:57 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

I have letter/number -> color

& a little bit of color -> sound


But it's more of an association thing than a sensory one for me.... (which I think is the milder form)

lars
02-02-08, 10:09 PM
Very cool. I've always been very interested in this phenomenon.

I've actually exeprienced it myself a time or two in the past while under the influence of various drugs, like LSD or psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, but I have never experienced it in "normal life" per se.

I understand that some people are born with this, and I have always been very fascinated by that fact.

PS For the record, the LSD and mushroom experiences that I refer to above took place about 20 years ago. ;)

ozchris
02-03-08, 12:34 AM
I've also experienced this effect on a few different substances (many years ago) but never under normal 'conditions'.

In a music production course I did a few years ago I had two classmates that hadn't met each other previously but they both experienced colors as we listened to different tones and audio clips. We did a quick blind test one day after class and they both wrote down the EXACT same color for different tones we played for them. We must have done over 30 different audio clips and they both matched up 100% for which colors they experienced. Fascinating stuff.

dyingInside
02-07-08, 08:41 PM
I can't say I've experienced it. I heard about it in relation to Hildegaard Bingen. In a sense I am jealous, because if I had this, maybe I could have perfect pitch instead of just relative pitch. On the other hand maybe it would get annoying.

Dory
02-07-08, 10:13 PM
HM. I didn't have the patience to read thru all of the wikp. info and I have no idea if this is relevant. I dont see letters or numbers in different colors. However, in my mind spoken or written words evoke different colors. For instance when I hear the word cat in my mind i dont see a cat.. but rather the color orange. Or ice cream i see the color purple. I've never really thought anything about it... and I think I've only ever mentioned it to one other person. Is this the same thing or a form of it? i just thought that it happened to everyone. I also find that I dont remember things by their name, such as for instance i couldn't tell you the name of my deoderant, but I know what color the bottle is. I see everything as a color... rather than the object or its name.

EvilSockMonkey
02-07-08, 11:18 PM
Interesting...I, too, have always been interested in synesthesia, but never have experienced it...ever.

But as a side note, I have noticed that when when I am NOT on my medication (Concerta 54mg), if I close my eyes I have NEVER been able to focus on any point in the darkness of my eyelids; if I try to focus my eyes on a spot, my eyes "chase" the tracers and lights, but the tracers and lights never remain stationary or, at least, calm.

But, when I feel my medication kick in, if I close my eyes the tracers and lights are actually calm, if not stationary, and I can actually focus on any point in the darkness for a prolonged period (not that there is a whole lot to see...)

EHM

justAwierd-o
02-12-08, 09:15 PM
HM. I didn't have the patience to read thru all of the wikp. info and I have no idea if this is relevant. I dont see letters or numbers in different colors. However, in my mind spoken or written words evoke different colors. For instance when I hear the word cat in my mind i dont see a cat.. but rather the color orange. Or ice cream i see the color purple. I've never really thought anything about it... and I think I've only ever mentioned it to one other person. Is this the same thing or a form of it? i just thought that it happened to everyone. I also find that I dont remember things by their name, such as for instance i couldn't tell you the name of my deoderant, but I know what color the bottle is. I see everything as a color... rather than the object or its name.

I'm not an expert, but it seems like that might be on the, erm, spectrum :)
Cool :)

adhdogwalker
02-13-08, 12:33 PM
So I'm going to confess to not having read all the wikipedia info., but I will share this. I associate colors with everything, and I see everything in either colors or "paintings." I have colors that I see in my mind that are different and far more brilliant than anything that I could actually perceive with my eyes. I often see complex abstract paintings when thinking of a theory or idea (usually when I'm trying to come up with a new theory of myself and my existence). I also see very detailed, realistic paintings for certain concepts (usually very explicit scientific or literary ones). When I write a poem or story, I close my eyes and look at the images that spring forth, then struggle endlessly to find the right words to explain what I see. Sometimes these visions take place on a screen that is just out of reach, other times, I experience them as vividly as if I were watching a movie. There are times when these perceptions are stronger than others (when I'm manic they're extraordinarily vivid, when I'm depressed, they're a bit more grey and amorphous). I'm bipolar in addition to ADHD, so I've been wondering lately if my synesthesia (if it can be called that) means that I'm just one step shy of full-on hallucinations or if it's something a little more innocuous than that. At any rate, I am grateful that I am able to experience a world eternally bathed in color.

justAwierd-o
02-14-08, 01:34 PM
Well, I didn't read all of the wikipedia article either :)

I think that's pretty cool, dogwalkder. I can relate to the imagery, but sounds like your world is even more colorful than mine (i'm envious :)).

I had worried about them being close to hallucinations, too.. but I also do remember reading an article which stated that there has been no found link between synesthesia and schizophrenia or anything. I have no clue where that article is right now though..

Do you paint at all as well? Or do you illustrate your stories? Maybe you should! :)

somerandomguy
02-08-09, 09:10 PM
I just came across this old post and thought that it was interesting

I'm bipolar/adhd (dr daniel amen described "ring of fire").
I'm good in math and automatically associate each number with a color and different combinations(addition, multiplication, etc) with colors as well as a feeling/mood. Really helps with doing problems quickly.
Music always gives me certain colors as well as well as a light show in my head if i close my eyes.

Interesting, i had never heard of this before.

mpcp1
03-10-09, 05:11 PM
I too have letter/number, which can be difficult when I encounter written numbers that are colored differently from how I see them. For example with bus schedules that are colored and numbered.
I also see colors with sound, but nothing vivid except for with music.

As far back as I can remember I have always associated numbers/letters with colors, and I assumed that everyone else did as well. It wasn't until about 6 years ago that I discovered that I am in the minority, a very small minority, and that few other people associate numbers/letters/sounds with colors.

stef
03-10-09, 05:47 PM
Words have flavors!

reesah
03-11-09, 12:02 AM
color/sound/smell and taste/sound

stef
03-11-09, 08:00 AM
cool - taste/sound - I can't imagine that combination.
Oh I kind of have color/taste too. I hate most shades of yellow, they are like those yellow and orange "dots" candies. but highlighter yellow, is like mountain dew or lemonade.

DeathMetal2000
05-31-12, 05:25 AM
I never realized I had this until I found out other people couldn't see sounds or music and couldn't taste certain colors. I thought this was normal before, amazing gift IMO.

Slo-mo a-go-go
06-03-12, 04:14 AM
I never realized I had this until I found out other people couldn't see sounds or music and couldn't taste certain colors. I thought this was normal before, amazing gift IMO.

He-hehe! Exactly my experience too!

The 1st time I heard of this was during 8th grade band class.
My good friend still remembers my look of disbelief as I asked
"You mean you guys just hear music?!?"

I couldn't imagine not having it!

simple sound=color
music=color w/ motion+ shapes
by sight only*- groups of letters in words=color, some w/ texture (ex "wo"= rippled lite blue vs "ro" lite blue-green polished)
*-I have auditory processing disorder & i think that interferes

stef
06-03-12, 08:19 AM
He-hehe! Exactly my experience too!

The 1st time I heard of this was during 8th grade band class.
My good friend still remembers my look of disbelief as I asked
"You mean you guys just hear music?!?"



our band director has it, once he said "now that was great, try playing that again in the same color". i don't think anyone noticed that.
i had posted here that soind doesnt have taste but sometimes it does actually. our firs trumpet played something like chocolate cake batter or french silk pie. moonlight serenade tastes kind ok like a lemon sherbet or slurpee. i love when brass players sound "buttery".

Slo-mo a-go-go
06-04-12, 07:21 PM
our band director has it, once he said "now that was great, try playing that again in the same color".
Yea! Love hearing the synethesia experience put in words!

our firs trumpet played something like chocolate cake batter or french silk pie. moonlight serenade tastes kind ok like a lemon sherbet or slurpee. i love when brass players sound "buttery".
:lol:!!!

stef
06-05-12, 03:46 AM
Yea! Love hearing the synethesia experience put in words!


:lol:!!!

thank you, it's so nice to say all of that and not have someone think you're crazy!

Sir5r1
06-05-12, 09:15 AM
A lot of prominent musicians describe the different keys in music as "colors."
I believe Keith Jarrett, a phenomenally talented pianist describes music this way.

It could be part of the nonlinear cognition that is part of ADHD.

hanikamiya
06-05-12, 11:18 AM
On the other hand maybe it would get annoying.
Actually, it's normal for those who know it since childhood.

I have a kind of phoneme-colour system. I don't see the colours, I just know they're there, if that makes any sense. And I have what I call 'ghost touch' - when I look at something, I automatically imagine how it would feel if I touched it with my fingertips. That's my strongest and most immediate association. Next to that are a number of other memories of sensation or my imagination of it (smell, taste, sounds) as well as experiences and association. Synaesthetic sensation is just intertwined with all the other kinds of sensation and imagination I have about it the object in question.
And it kind of works like a secondary filing system that I can use to remember facts and words.

Sir5r1
06-07-12, 12:07 PM
I may have some of this as well but I think it's so integrated into my being I don't even know its there.

arrested_truth
06-08-12, 12:42 PM
I have this with time-spatial idea of numbers, and parts of a year, centuries, months, days of the week, etc. along with extremely accurate long term memory of dates (i.e. October 16th 2009) for certain events in my life, sometimes important ones, and sometimes not so important ones... I did some reading about this a few months ago and there's been rare occurrences and a study of these two qualities being interconnected? I just might have to make my own graphic image for my own concepts :)

Specifically, almost exactly like these... with December-January being the biggest/longest because winter takes forever... and also because my birthday is in January
http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/_46363717_synaesthesia466.gif
http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~hspgmes/images/calendar.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Synesthesia_months_of_the_year.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_crhrcLnqk40/TQ4vCE8WwPI/AAAAAAAAAsA/nLJgnsN7dnM/s1600/Synesthesia.png


Like this, but not quite exact
http://i-cdn.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/sf/1016_syn01.jpg


:yes: On a side note, These are the best forum smilies I think I've ever seen :giggle:

Justin Kay
08-11-12, 07:59 AM
Thanks for the post...
( ADHD + Synesthesia )

I also can see sound or do happened to see even if i don't want to. But I am bit confused about how to classify my experience, because the sound i see is not in colors or taste, it's just some random design.
(I am not on any drugs or medication)

Most of the time I see sound first, then hear it. The confusion for me is that I don't see in colors, but in shades.

Lisa_Mac
10-18-12, 12:38 PM
This is so interesting. I always see numbers as colours.

1=blue
2=red
3=green
4=blue
5=yellow
6=red
7=lt blue
8=green
9=brown
10=black

Also when I visualize numbers, 1 - 10 are in a straight horizontal line, left to right, and then 11 - 20 are straight up vertically and they then continue up in steps every 10 numbers. That's how I see them in my mind. The alphabet on the otherhand is just a straight line from left to right. I also don't see colours in letters. Only numbers.

fracturedstory
10-25-12, 09:38 PM
This is so interesting. I always see numbers as colours.

1=blue
2=red
3=green
4=blue
5=yellow
6=red
7=lt blue
8=green
9=brown
10=black

Also when I visualize numbers, 1 - 10 are in a straight horizontal line, left to right, and then 11 - 20 are straight up vertically and they then continue up in steps every 10 numbers. That's how I see them in my mind. The alphabet on the otherhand is just a straight line from left to right. I also don't see colours in letters. Only numbers.

2 is red for me too. 7 is a cool blue and deep like a swimming pool. Actually I can see it as a deep paint can. And it smells like sawdust.

Colour grapheme is very prominent in me and so is smelling memories. Days/Months have a position in space and music having colour isn't as strong but is still there. Touch also has colour.

moth2flame
06-02-14, 11:31 PM
Ooh! Me! I'm synesthetic in the following ways (maybe more):

graphemes (nearly all letters/numbers) -> colors
graphemes (sometimes) -> personality/texture/temperature/smell
sound (mostly music, but any pure tones) -> color
certain phonemes, names, graphemes -> smell
days of the week -> colors
months of the year -> colors
certain time periods and related concepts also appear in my mind in a spatial manner, such as "a year" is like this loop that surrounds me, and I turn to face the current month as time goes on... yeah.

I too always thought everyone experienced this, especially because my mom and brother both have synesthesia also. We'd get into friendly arguments over what color our names were, and such. :D It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned it's actually something of an abnormality... though one I personally can't imagine life *without*, since it's just a part of my experience of the world. So it goes with most neurological quirks, I guess?

Frustrated One
09-24-15, 02:28 PM
I am not sure if any of this relates to me or not because I do not always associate sounds with colors, but some numbers have colors (and genders). For example, the number 3 is always red and is female. I cannot explain it though.

I also memorize things by association, which I thought was common. I recently tested at the college I was attending for a learning disability. There was one exercise where the therapist mentioned a series of 7-8 numbers at a time and I was to repeat them. Then she listed another series and I was to repeat them in the reverse order in which she said them. After the assessment, she said my score in that particular area was literally off the charts. I told her I felt like I cheated because I repeated the numbers back in my head as she was reading them and when she was done and I thought I had them memorized I repeated them to her. She said "you didn't cheat. Most people can't do that."

I do associations with most things. I took a bar-tending class about 20 years ago and had to remember a few hundred drinks (and I don't drink, so I had no clue what any of these were). I did it all by association. For example, the main ingredient in a Drambuie is scotch. Why?? Well that is easy. Drambuie sounds like buoy which is something that floats in the water off the coast of Scotland.

I am not sure if I strayed off topic or not or if this in in any way related, but I thought everyone was that way.

Roundmouth
09-24-15, 04:14 PM
I have a bit of it. Letters and days tend to be somewhat colored. The musical keys also have the colors of their respective letters. Sometimes feelings have a bit of shape and texture or sounds may have some taste. I don't like names tasting liver.

Roundmouth
09-24-15, 04:20 PM
Monday - light blue
Tuesday - banana yellow
Wednesday - dark blue
Thursday - liver colored
Friday - brick red
Saturday - black
Sunday - brown

They seem to have the same color in different languages too.

anonymous1234
09-05-16, 08:45 PM
i think i have a very mild version of this. i feel like numbers and words almost have personalities or feelings. not full personalties but i feel like one number may be happy another number sad or angry. i also feel this with places and objects..i must be very weired as i cant find anyone like this. does anyone have that thing where cars or buses look angry or happy lol...prob just me again :)

stef
09-06-16, 07:18 AM
I dont actually have this, but it makes sense to me.

places and objects must absolutely "feel right" (like I must use certain pens; and I wont go into a café if I don't like how it's decorated or if everyone seems sulky).

C15H25N3O
09-16-16, 10:04 PM
I have some synestesia and I love the emotional and psychedelic vision it gives to me.

phazonConduit
12-04-16, 02:48 AM
I've actually experienced this for a long time. And I too didn't think much of it until I came to understand that no one else (around me at least) experienced this phenomenon like I do.

I have, since discovering this, seen how much of an advantage it gives me when it comes to analyzing and breaking down theories, concepts, notions, and even philosophies. It's been mostly intriguing when it comes to the arts.

I visualize the words (regarding cardinal directions, motions, movements etc.) and become so passionate about it. There have been times when I have gotten frustrated trying to explain synesthesia using synesthesia per se to break the concept down.

From what I understand, that second sensory pathway (and the inherent ability to tap into it almost involuntarily from stimulation of the primary sensory pathway) is conceived at a very young age from exposure to those connections. Since humans, at a young age, cannot form concrete thoughts, the thoughts are indefinitely abstract and those abstract thoughts seem to solidify the connection over time. It becomes harder to explain, but the ability is genetic and, like a lot of inherent traits, it's triggered during developmental stages.

I've, since I was very little, associated letters and numbers with colors. The associations have become much more complex now and it's impossible for me to not see the color of a word, phrase, or number (and its combinations).

When my language became more advanced, I started noticing how I was specially seeing time. Almost like the essence of time comes in increments shaped like colored blocks. If I think of ten years ago, it feels far away and its "slot" is, from a two point perspective, smaller than two years ago. Almost like I see time as filed documents in the shape of time frames. Even now it's hard to explain.

Given it's a neurological phenomenon, the research done regarding its conception are still unknown. Usually case studies identify the signs of "synesthetic" symptoms.

But, you know, it's comforting to see that others have wondered the same thing. If anything, synesthesia has been making life more pleasurable to me and made art a coping mechanism because it provides a sense of relief that I find pleasing.

stef
12-04-16, 03:45 AM
Yes! for me it gives writing a special dimension as the words have taste and wieght and "texture" ( like if you draw with different pencils and types of paper)
I dont have the color thing but that would be amazing.
i see the year as an oval of monthly calendars

phazonConduit
12-04-16, 09:48 PM
I've never experienced the texture aspect of it, but I do realize I have an easier time studying I give the words shapes I'm familiar with rather than typing them out.