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Red.Ink.Rain
07-03-2009, 07:54 PM
Does anyone have it? :)

Sophia
07-03-2009, 08:01 PM
Yup. :)

You might find some of these threads (http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.absolutewrite.com&q=synesthesia&sa=Search&sitesearch=www.absolutewrite.com&client=pub-9577824630550042&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3B VLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3 A336699%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000% 3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BFORID%3A1&hl=en) interesting, where different aspects of the topic have been discussed.

KTC
07-03-2009, 08:04 PM
I've been told that I may have it. I don't really know much about it, really. I haven't even attempted to understand it. But I do associate things with colour and associate colour with things, feelings, etc, etc. I remember arguing with teachers and a specialist about letters having colour. But I could never explain what I meant. I'm sure this doesn't help at all.

KTC
07-03-2009, 08:05 PM
Yup. :)

You might find some of these threads (http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.absolutewrite.com&q=synesthesia&sa=Search&sitesearch=www.absolutewrite.com&client=pub-9577824630550042&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3B VLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3 A336699%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000% 3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BFORID%3A1&hl=en) interesting, where different aspects of the topic have been discussed.

Wow. Looks like it's been discussed a LOT here!

Red.Ink.Rain
07-03-2009, 10:19 PM
Yup. :)

You might find some of these threads (http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.absolutewrite.com&q=synesthesia&sa=Search&sitesearch=www.absolutewrite.com&client=pub-9577824630550042&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3B VLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3 A336699%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000% 3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BFORID%3A1&hl=en) interesting, where different aspects of the topic have been discussed.

Oh, FABULOUS. Thank you!

moth
07-03-2009, 11:40 PM
PM sent. :)

ETA - you already got it, lol.

Barb D
07-04-2009, 01:06 AM
Well, I thought I was very synesthetic, until I took the test in one of the links and it only came up 40%! I smell things when I see them on TV (not in the test) and see colors for numbers (in the test), but I don't see colors for days of the week (also in the test.)

Rowan
07-04-2009, 01:51 AM
Susan Hubbard's character (Ariella) in "The Society of S" and "The Year of Disappearances" has this -- I'd never heard much about it. Fascinating...

KTC
07-04-2009, 02:03 AM
There's tests?

thethinker42
07-04-2009, 04:15 AM
Sounds register in my mind as colors/textures/shapes. Never taken a "test" per se, but there it is. This is part of my why I don't do well writing with a lot of noise: It literally assaults my senses and is very distracting. I usually listen to music, but it has to be music that won't distract me.

Also, my sense of smell diminishes in the presence of noise. In a completely silent room, I can smell damn near anything. I can walk into a noisy coffee shop and not be able to smell the coffee.

benbradley
07-04-2009, 08:20 AM
I'm reading "Born on a Blue Day," a meemoir/bio by an autistic who (as you might guess by the title) has synesthesia. One might guess that the synesthesia and autism are related. Perhaps he mentions this in the book, I forget (I obviously don't have a photographic memory, at least not for this subject).

benbradley
07-04-2009, 08:26 AM
Sounds register in my mind as colors/textures/shapes. Never taken a "test" per se, but there it is. This is part of my why I don't do well writing with a lot of noise: It literally assaults my senses and is very distracting. I usually listen to music, but it has to be music that won't distract me.

Also, my sense of smell diminishes in the presence of noise. In a completely silent room, I can smell damn near anything. I can walk into a noisy coffee shop and not be able to smell the coffee.
That's fascinating (I'm talking about the last paragraph here, though it's all fascinating), and it sounds like a variation of auditory masking:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_masking

moth
07-04-2009, 04:29 PM
Well, I thought I was very synesthetic, until I took the test in one of the links and it only came up 40%! I smell things when I see them on TV (not in the test) and see colors for numbers (in the test), but I don't see colors for days of the week (also in the test.)
You don't have to have every type to have synesthesia. If you see colors for numbers, that's syn and you are a synesthete. :D Don't let a test tell you what you do and don't have - they're only useful to a point.


Sounds register in my mind as colors/textures/shapes. Never taken a "test" per se, but there it is. This is part of my why I don't do well writing with a lot of noise: It literally assaults my senses and is very distracting. I usually listen to music, but it has to be music that won't distract me.

Also, my sense of smell diminishes in the presence of noise. In a completely silent room, I can smell damn near anything. I can walk into a noisy coffee shop and not be able to smell the coffee.
Your sounds as colors/textures/shapes definitely sounds like syn. The smelling thing could be, but it's hard to know from just what you wrote.

I've been researching syn for the last four years (ever since I discovered I had a few types :D ) so I know probably way too much about it, its types, common misconceptions, stimulus-response pairs, involuntary-ness and consistency over time, etc..... :rolleyes:

backslashbaby
07-04-2009, 04:53 PM
That's fascinating stuff!

Here's the link to the test:
http://www.synchallenge.com/

[I got 57%]

I don't really do this as described, I don't think (visualize numbers... huh? ;) ) but I have strong associations with [smell + weather] and memory, concepts like days, music, etc.

I have no idea if that makes any sense or if it's related, but whatever it is I do that in spades :)

SouthernFriedJulie
07-04-2009, 07:50 PM
I'm reading "Born on a Blue Day," a meemoir/bio by an autistic who (as you might guess by the title) has synesthesia. One might guess that the synesthesia and autism are related. Perhaps he mentions this in the book, I forget (I obviously don't have a photographic memory, at least not for this subject).

Interesting you mention this. My daughter has lately had a growing obsession with green. She has tantrums if I try to put any other colored clothing on her and now instead of calling a 'happy day' by the emotion, it's a green day. Others are still sad or mad, etc.

Never connected it until now. Thanks, this gives me something to research for her therapy.

KTC
07-04-2009, 07:56 PM
That's fascinating stuff!

Here's the link to the test:
http://www.synchallenge.com/

[I got 57%]

I don't really do this as described, I don't think (visualize numbers... huh? ;) ) but I have strong associations with [smell + weather] and memory, concepts like days, music, etc.

I have no idea if that makes any sense or if it's related, but whatever it is I do that in spades :)

Thanks for the test link. I'm taking it right now.

One of the things that I struggled (using struggled here in a minimalist way...isn't really a big deal) with my entire life was seeing words as colours. Well, particular words. When I see the word orange, I see blue...and when I see the word blue, I see orange. People think I'm 'special' when I try to refer to something that is one of these colours, because I say the wrong one before I have a chance to think about it. So, I'll say an orange or a pumpkin is blue. I see orange, but my mind says blue because the word orange is blue. I'm probably not even making sense. Off to do the test...

KTC
07-04-2009, 08:00 PM
Test Result: There is a 93% chance your brain matter contains grade-A synesthesia! Your brain is 93% wired for creativity.

backslashbaby
07-04-2009, 08:05 PM
93%!!! Yeah, I'd say you should add that to your 'expert on' qualifications :D

BTW, I don't visualize mathematical or spatial things at all, but I'm very good at math. I can't think without paper is the thing.

Sorry to get off track; I just love 'thinking patterns' kind of stuff!

KTC
07-04-2009, 08:07 PM
@ THINKER : Do you have a fascination with the number 5? I've had a lifelong fascination with this number. I call it the number of the universe, actually. I know it holds the secrets of the entire universe. I wonder if my obsession with it has anything to do with synesthesia? I see it as vibrant red too.

I also see it as this:


http://www.soccercoachingnotes.com/graphics/fitness/fivedot.gif

That's what I see when I think of five...only in vibrant red.

KTC
07-04-2009, 08:08 PM
93%!!! Yeah, I'd say you should add that to your 'expert on' qualifications :D

BTW, I don't visualize mathematical or spatial things at all, but I'm very good at math. I can't think without paper is the thing.

Sorry to get off track; I just love 'thinking patterns' kind of stuff!

I could sleep through math and still get high nineties. Patterns are a true obsession for me. They actually get my OCD in gear sometimes.

backslashbaby
07-04-2009, 08:14 PM
@ KTC

Do you ever need paper for anything? I can't imagine being so visual.

We have opposite thinking patterns that run in our family, and my brother has a photographic memory and went to college for art, bad at math. My dad and I are more mathematical than visually artistic, but we both have to have pen and paper at all times [he's an engineer]. My brother can't relate to the need for paper at all :).

KTC
07-04-2009, 08:18 PM
@ KTC

Do you ever need paper for anything? I can't imagine being so visual.

We have opposite thinking patterns that run in our family, and my brother has a photographic memory and went to college for art, bad at math. My dad and I are more mathematical than visually artistic, but we both have to have pen and paper at all times [he's an engineer]. My brother can't relate to the need for paper at all :).

I guess it would depend on how complex a problem we are talking about. I would say in most cases I do not need paper. But I also have an extreme hatred of numbers...so unless it's something I have to do, I simply don't care. That used to drive my math teachers crazy. I simply hated numbers. I wasn't indifferent to them, I hated them.

Except for 5. I used to explore that number artistically...because I can find it in everything. I don't really see it as a number so much.

benbradley
07-04-2009, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the test link. I'm taking it right now.

One of the things that I struggled (using struggled here in a minimalist way...isn't really a big deal) with my entire life was seeing words as colours. Well, particular words. When I see the word orange, I see blue...and when I see the word blue, I see orange. People think I'm 'special' when I try to refer to something that is one of these colours, because I say the wrong one before I have a chance to think about it. So, I'll say an orange or a pumpkin is blue. I see orange, but my mind says blue because the word orange is blue. I'm probably not even making sense.
The "blue day" title of the book refers to color of the word for the day of the week, and it seems that sort of thing is common among synthesthists, or whatever.

Off to do the test...
I got 63 percent, which is quite a surprise. I was really expecting zero or at most something very low. Numbers don't mean colors to me, sounds and music doesn't mean color, etc. I think that test is rigged.

benbradley
07-04-2009, 10:32 PM
Interesting you mention this. My daughter has lately had a growing obsession with green. She has tantrums if I try to put any other colored clothing on her and now instead of calling a 'happy day' by the emotion, it's a green day. Others are still sad or mad, etc.

Never connected it until now. Thanks, this gives me something to research for her therapy.
It sounds like it would really help to read this book! He writes about having had tantrums and crying when he was a small child due to very similar things.

KTC
07-04-2009, 10:36 PM
I'm reading "Born on a Blue Day," a meemoir/bio by an autistic who (as you might guess by the title) has synesthesia. One might guess that the synesthesia and autism are related. Perhaps he mentions this in the book, I forget (I obviously don't have a photographic memory, at least not for this subject).

I have to read that book.

KTC
07-04-2009, 10:36 PM
It sounds like it would really help to read this book! He writes about having had tantrums and crying when he was a small child due to very similar things.

I can relate to this.

Cassiopeia
07-04-2009, 11:15 PM
I had no idea what it was until I read these threads. 97%

ideagirl
07-05-2009, 01:41 AM
@ THINKER : Do you have a fascination with the number 5? I've had a lifelong fascination with this number. I call it the number of the universe, actually. I know it holds the secrets of the entire universe. I wonder if my obsession with it has anything to do with synesthesia? I see it as vibrant red too.

For me it's 7. And seven is violet.

Some of the associations I have are shapes or, for lack of a better term, certain types of motion--kinetic sensations. And some tastes have colors.

I didn't realize it counted as synesthesia if you only had some synesthetic associations--like if only some numbers have colors. That's neat.

thethinker42
07-05-2009, 04:05 AM
I could sleep through math and still get high nineties. Patterns are a true obsession for me. They actually get my OCD in gear sometimes.

I'm the same way...patterns are an obsession...and I'm OCD. VERY OCD.

Don't have the same obsession with the number 5, but I do have weird obsessions with numbers. Go figure.

HoraceJames
07-05-2009, 04:07 AM
Author/neurologist Oliver Sacks has written about synesthesia, sorry I'm not sure which of his books but it should be a quick google. I recommend him for all things neurological, he's an excellent writer.

KTC
07-05-2009, 04:44 AM
I'm the same way...patterns are an obsession...and I'm OCD. VERY OCD.

Don't have the same obsession with the number 5, but I do have weird obsessions with numbers. Go figure.

I've started watching that new Obsessed (http://www.aetv.com/obsessed/) show on A&E. I think I have to stop...because it's actually triggering me!

moth
07-06-2009, 04:23 PM
That syn challenge was, well, not a very good test. Quick, yes, but misleading. There's debate over whether the bouba/kiki thing is actually syn-related, and the way the results are phrased really bugs me. Syn is a stimulus-response phenonmenon, and even if a person only has one syn response, then that person does have syn, not a 'percent chance' of having it.

A better test (though a lot longer) is the synesthesia battery (http://www.synesthete.org/). How long it will be depends on how many syn types you check off that you think you might have, but if you're interested in taking it you should block out a good half-hour at least. You get clear results showing how you responded to each stimulus, and I think it even records how long it takes you to click on your responses (it scores less-synesthetic the longer a response takes, since a true syn response is instant and it should only take a second to click the mouse, but if someone's trying to fake out the system and either remember some memorized colors or look them up on a sheet they wrote out, that would take longer). Not all the tests are timed though...it's been a while since I took these but I remember some timed and some not.

The battery does have some drawbacks - you can only choose one color for your response (annoying when you have a letter that's two colors at the same time) and you can't describe any texture or taste etc. your letters/numbers might have. I'm not sure how the test handles letter/number personalities, since I don't have that type, but I remember a long list of possible types and that one might be there too.

IceCreamEmpress
07-08-2009, 05:34 AM
My husband just read a book called The Frog that Croaked Blue, which is an overview by a scientist of case studies of different kinds of synesthesia. He really enjoyed it--it's a short but apparently very informative book!

I'll probably be reading and reviewing it on my Twitter in the next week or so...

Persephone
08-01-2009, 07:22 PM
Check out: Breathing in Colour by Clare Jay - she was my Creative Writing tutor for the first year of my Diploma. It's about a girl with synaesthesia. Published by Piatkus, ISBN 978 0 7499 2978 7. www.piatkus.co.uk It's a very well-researched novel, and not "facts in your face" narrative, if you know what I mean!

AnnieColleen
08-01-2009, 09:19 PM
I posted this a while back... I was data entering a string of numbers and got a strong mental flash of patriotic flag-waving imagery.

I'd just entered 1-5-1-5-3 = white-red-white-red-blue.

Canotila
08-02-2009, 04:57 AM
My neurologist told me that my brain is wired as if I am on a constant LSD trip.

Music, math, speech, writing, everything has its own palettes and colors. I have thrown books across the room because the prose was too brown. I will turn the radio off if the music looks too muddy. When I was a child my violin teacher told me once I had perfect pitch. Not even close. I would tune my violin until the A string made the correct shade of orange-red.

I can hear a song and play it back on an instrument, just from remembering what it looks like. People's voices all look different. My chemistry professor's voice looked like cornflakes. My husband's voice looks like liquid sand but dry not wet. Alan Rickman's voice looks like mercury.

Each language has its own palette. Russian is primarily reds, purples, and whites. It looks like watercolor. French is mostly strong, saturated blues and greens. Spanish has a lot of yellows and browns, English, a lot of browns reds and greens. German and English look a lot alike. I remember talking to one gentleman, and I couldn't understand what he was saying in German because his voice was too red and it interfered with the words.

I failed my chemistry class. When working formulas, the chemical symbols and the mathematical symbols came from different palettes, and interfered with each other. Yellow white with a little brown swirl could mean carbon dioxide, or it could mean 1+3. The patterns in those problems were constantly interrupted. I love the periodic table though. It's a giant spiral with hydrogen in the center, and the rest radiating out. It looks like a galaxy.

Leila
08-03-2009, 03:07 PM
Canotila, that's fascinating! Have you tried writing about it?


Does anyone have it? :)

Yes :)

I have always had colours for numbers, letters, weekdays, months. (Grapheme-colour synaesthesia, if you want the official name.) And words in general. I used to think that everyone knew the colours, and that teachers deliberately had alphabet charts in the wrong ones just to be annoying. And I have a few words which have particular tastes as well. The name 'Stella' tastes like tunafish, and 'Dwayne' tastes like mothballs. My partner's last name has a very deep rich sweet taste.

There's a reasonable amount of evidence for synaesthesia being a genetic thing. My sister has it too, although hers is way better than mine. She not only sees colours for the alphabet, she also sees them for music. She sometimes does paintings of particular songs she loves.

SilverPhoenix
08-04-2009, 11:38 PM
I agree the test is misleading. I got 73% and I know that can't be right. I don't normally associate anything with colours or images, but I'm good and instant at association if I'm actually asked 'what image/colour does this make you think of?'

Like you say the number 9 and ask what colour? I say mauve straight away, because 9 makes me think of night and a warm sort of coldness, and mystery. But when I'm dealing with numbers normally, it's just 9.

It's supposedly genetic ;)

benbradley
08-05-2009, 01:00 AM
I'm reading the book "Outliers" and it has a fascinating tidbit about numbers - Asian languages such as Chinese have very consistent and concise words for numbers The digits one through nine are all single syllable. multidigit numbers are all consistent such as one-ten, one-ten-one, one-ten-two, one-ten-three whereas English has unique and unrelated words for those: ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen... it's apparently (though perhaps not solely) because of this language difference that Asians are better at math than those in Western countries.

Canotila
08-05-2009, 02:13 AM
Canotila, that's fascinating! Have you tried writing about it?



Yes :)

I have always had colours for numbers, letters, weekdays, months. (Grapheme-colour synaesthesia, if you want the official name.) And words in general. I used to think that everyone knew the colours, and that teachers deliberately had alphabet charts in the wrong ones just to be annoying. And I have a few words which have particular tastes as well. The name 'Stella' tastes like tunafish, and 'Dwayne' tastes like mothballs. My partner's last name has a very deep rich sweet taste.

There's a reasonable amount of evidence for synaesthesia being a genetic thing. My sister has it too, although hers is way better than mine. She not only sees colours for the alphabet, she also sees them for music. She sometimes does paintings of particular songs she loves.

Not writing, but I have done a lot of paintings. One day when I get my own toddler proof studio set up, I hope to do a series of the periodic table with each individual element. They all make their own little spiral with the atomic number and everything coded in there. Gallium is my favorite, it looks like an orange julius being flushed down the toilet.

I think it's true that it is genetic. My nephew has it, I think. He's three years old. I have several pet corn snakes, and they are varying shades of brown, red, and orange. Once we were working on colors, which he is very good at anyway, and I asked him what color that snake was. He sniffed it and said "purple". I asked him if he was sure, and he said that yes, the snake smelled purple. Then I asked him what color the snakes scales were, and he said "oh, those are orange", which was correct. I had him smell my other snakes and he said they all smelled purple too.

That's so cool you can taste stuff! Mine is all visual.

RavenCorinnCarluk
08-06-2009, 11:18 AM
I never really talked about some of the weird sensory issues I had as a kid. I still barely talk about them now, but at least now I know other people don't have the same impressions I do.

Since I was little, saliva has always smelled like Herbert. Not everyone's, mostly my own, but whenever I smell it, Herbert pops into my head.

I haven't taken any of these tests, and, honestly, it doesn't seem like you could make an all encompassing test for synesthesia. Just in this post, even people who have a similar form have different reactions.

I was watching a British quiz show called QI, and they were talking about synesthesia, and they said pretty much any combination of crossed senses is synesthesia.

The mind is a mysterious place, isn't it?

shethinkstoomuch
08-15-2009, 08:36 AM
I'm not really sure if I have synesthesia; I find that music will paint pictures in my mind. The beginning of Pink Floyd's "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond (Part 1)" will bring green, rolling fields on a cloudy day.
Not so much with the numbers-words-colors (but 3 is blue and 42 green for whatever reason).
I guess that might count.