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View Full Version : Synesthesia/synaesthesia: anybody here have it? anybody here even know what it is?



Old Hack
09-19-2006, 10:01 PM
I've been reading up on synaesthesia lately, and am considering writing something about it. I am a synaesthete, to a very small degree: when I hear certain sounds I see colours which accompany the sound (for example, squealing car brakes look like silver zig-zags, big kettle drums look like dark red exploding ovals), and time has a shape for me: the year is a squared-off oval, with months, weeks and days threaded like beads all around. Particular dates have fixed places on the oval, which never change, and this oval floats up there, over to my right and slightly above me, about a yard away from my face.

Both my sons have it, it seems: they have coloured hearing, like me. So certain sounds have certain colours. My husband sees geometric shapes when performing calculations. We're a family of mild synaesthetes.

What I want to know is how common this is here. It's meant to have a connection with creativity, and it's suggested, also with autism. So come on, how many of you show synaesthetic tendencies, or have the full-blown condition? And how do you experience it?

There's a nice article about the condition here, just in case anyone is interested. Just in case.

http://www.eyebeam.org/reblog/journal/archives/2005/06/synaesthesia_experts_richard_cyt.html

Unique
09-19-2006, 11:14 PM
I don't know if this qualifies or not since the article never mentioned taste, but for me it's like this:

Culinary Art - A Concerto


I taste music in the preparation
Tomato's fine flute balanced by
the bass note of molasses
A sauce worth its salt encompasses
the entire orchestra
A meal of melody only
strikes a hollow chord
The tongue knows the oboe
is missing.

It's not like I hear with my ears the way a tomato tastes but in a way it is. If it's too acidic and sour, it's like a 'screeching' but in my mouth, not my ears.

badducky
09-19-2006, 11:39 PM
I read about this on livescience... let me look it up:

http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050222_synesthesia.html

There ye go, me heartie!

ARRRHHH!!!

NeuroFizz
09-19-2006, 11:59 PM
Get the book, The Man Who Tasted Shapes by Richard E. Cytowic MD

Cytowic is both a well-known researcher and an award winning writer (of non-fiction). I'm about a third of the way through the book, and he does write well.

Oh, yeah, the book is in its fifth printing (2002 - MIT Press) with an original copyright of 1993, the first printing with Putnam. MIT Press picked it up in 1998

Provrb1810meggy
09-20-2006, 12:02 AM
This may not exactly education, but I think you should consider reading A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. It's about a young girl, I think around 11, who's a synthesete. I think you'd enjoy it.

Shadow_Ferret
09-20-2006, 12:02 AM
I've been reading up on synaesthesia lately, and am considering writing something about it. I am a synaesthete, to a very small degree: when I hear certain sounds I see colours which accompany the sound (for example, squealing car brakes look like silver zig-zags, big kettle drums look like dark red exploding ovals), and time has a shape for me: the year is a squared-off oval, with months, weeks and days threaded like beads all around. Particular dates have fixed places on the oval, which never change, and this oval floats up there, over to my right and slightly above me, about a yard away from my face.



That sounds so cool! But this is the first I've heard of it.

I want to see colors!

Opty
09-20-2006, 12:52 AM
Most people experience it a very tiny bit, but not nearly anything close to the degree that a true synesthete does. It's simply a mixing of the senses, but can vary widely depending on the person.

For instance, if you ever get that horrible, almost painful, somatic feeling running up your spine when nails go across a chalkboard or, for me, when metal scrapes (any metal...the scraping noise makes me have a physical reaction of near pain in my neck/head)...basically...if you've ever "felt" sound, that's a very small example of synesthesia.

I can't imagine what it's like for a full synesthete. I think I'm pretty much a wimp just for the metal scraping thing.

Eveningsdawn
09-20-2006, 01:11 AM
Well, speaking as a mild synesthetic and writer....

these are what comes of my synesthesia.

I close my eyes
and look at myself;
my hands and arms,
my neck, my lips, my face.
With my eyes open,
my skin is just skin,
but with them shut,
it is overlayed with fine traceries
of hot, dripping yellow,
coppery-orange,
a blue the color of melting ice,
and a warm crimson-purple
that I can feel (and nearly see)
even with my eyes open,
in spots and streaks
and patches the shape of kisses.

clearly I do it with people's touches. but I also do it with light and sensation and music -

tasting

the moonlight slides
over my skin -
I close my eyes
and part my lips
to taste it.
it's buttermint
cool and silk-smooth
melting slow
in my mouth
leaving an aftertaste
that is sweet,
and indescribable.


it's hard to put it into words sometimes. but it's real. one of my best friends tastes words and names.

deacon
09-20-2006, 01:18 AM
i got hit in the head with a bat and saw a bright flash. do i have it?

badducky
09-20-2006, 01:20 AM
Maybe, let's try it again and find out...

whistlelock
09-20-2006, 01:22 AM
I think it's far more common than "science" has thought- as DrSpork said. We all have it to one degree or another.

deacon
09-20-2006, 01:23 AM
Maybe, let's try it again and find out...
i think i'll pass. i'm not much on flashing-light research.

Opty
09-20-2006, 01:41 AM
I think neurologists/neuropsychologists have known about it for a long time, it's just that the public hasn't. Information like this is often at the mercy of the media, so if they don't choose to publicize it, it doesn't get out.

And, that's really a shame. There are lots of people who have more intense synesthesia than others, but they think that it's a sign of them "going crazy" or being mentally unbalanced somehow when, in fact, it's just a natural reaction their body has. It's rather innocuous in most cases.

But they don't know that because they have no idea what "synesthesia" is, because the information isn't general pop-culture knowledge. It's a shame.

Kate Thornton
09-20-2006, 02:13 AM
I see time - it goes from year to year in a long scarf-like thing with years and months and days affixed to it in sequence, like a looooong calendar, but it is flexible and moves. Shorter time periods are wider. It is usually a mild yellowy color with dark grey objects on it.

Some sounds are colorful for me - I try to avoid them, even if pleasant - because of the distraction of the sensory input. Dreams are a sort of melding of all the inputs.

writerterri
09-20-2006, 02:49 AM
I've never heard of it. It sounds strange, but cool.


I can't be around opal if I know it's there. It's strange, but if I see opal (the stone) I wan't to get away from it right away and I don't know why.

I don't like chalk boards, chalk or balloons. I have to tell my kids to go play with them in the room and don't bite the balloon with your teeth cause it makes me sick.

So how weird am I?

deacon
09-20-2006, 02:51 AM
I've never heard of it. It sounds strange, but cool.


I can't be around opal if I know it's there. It's strange, but if I see opal (the stone) I wan't to get away from it right away and I don't know why.

I don't like chalk boards, chalk or balloons. I have to tell my kids to go play with them in the room and don't bite the balloon with your teeth cause it makes me sick.

So how weird am I?
don't sweat it, girl, that's just old age easin' up on ya!

writerterri
09-20-2006, 02:57 AM
don't sweat it, girl, that's just old age easin' up on ya!


mmmhmmm... your momma!

Isanthe
09-20-2006, 03:41 AM
I have it. I "taste" words, particularly names. The only person I've told is my husband because I learned at a young age that this was not "normal". I figured it out when I was 3-4 years old and told my mom that I wanted Rolaids because they taste good. I'd never had them before, but that word tasted like cherry cake to me. She looked at me like I was crazy and questioned me about it, but I couldn't make her understand.

Aubrey
09-20-2006, 05:07 AM
I've never heard of it. It sounds strange, but cool.


I can't be around opal if I know it's there. It's strange, but if I see opal (the stone) I wan't to get away from it right away and I don't know why.

I don't like chalk boards, chalk or balloons. I have to tell my kids to go play with them in the room and don't bite the balloon with your teeth cause it makes me sick.

So how weird am I?
The chalk and balloons are probably because of the noise, am I right? As for the opal, maybe you had some unpleasent childhood memory involving one or someone wearing one and, even if you don't remember it, your body as an unconscious aversion to it.

I don't have any interesting quirks I can think of myself, sorry.

Cabinscribe
09-20-2006, 06:38 AM
Numbers are colors to me; it's kind of hard to explain.

About 15 years ago, I read a good article about this in a magazine caled "Hippocrates".

writerterri
09-20-2006, 10:34 AM
The chalk and balloons are probably because of the noise, am I right? As for the opal, maybe you had some unpleasent childhood memory involving one or someone wearing one and, even if you don't remember it, your body as an unconscious aversion to it.

I don't have any interesting quirks I can think of myself, sorry.


Yes, it's a noise thing. As far as the opal-dunno know.

Mac H.
09-20-2006, 10:47 AM
II figured it out when I was 3-4 years old and told my mom that I wanted Rolaids because they taste good. I'd never had them before, but that word tasted like cherry cake to me.A recent story in either Analog or Asimov pointed out that EVERYONE has synaesthesia.

The proof they gave was very simple (I can't remember it word-for-word, but it goes something like this ...

Consider this simple question. It's not a trick question - we are after the 'obvious' answer. There is an unknown language which has the words 'Marb' & 'Varka'. One is the word for 'egg', the other is the word for a sharp bladed weapon. Which is which?Most people will say that obviously 'Marb' is the egg and 'Varka' is the sharp bladed weapon. Why? Because 'Marb' SOUNDS 'round' and 'Varka' SOUNDS 'sharp'.

Somehow our brain wiring associates one sound with one a round shape, and another with a sharp shape - even though there seems to be no logical reason.

Mac

Old Hack
09-20-2006, 11:10 AM
Neuro, I've read the Cytowic book and really enjoyed it. It was a revelation to me, as I'd not really known about the condition before and assumed that either everyone had it, or that I was being peculiar (again).

And it's good to know I'm not the only one here: Isanthe, Kate Thornton, others--we're ALL being peculiar! I'm glad I don't have a form of syn which produces tastes, though, as I suspect it could be quite unpleasant at times. Judging from some of the accounts I've read.

persiphone_hellecat
09-20-2006, 11:23 AM
Maybe I dont anymore because I dont have that much hearing left. I have been losing it for years, but it escalated a few years ago. I was taking a new medication. One day I was sitting in a college class and we were watching a TV program. I started hearing this static ... I looked around to see if anyone else was going nuts from it and no one was... It is permenant now. I can count 8 sometimes 9 distinctive sounds - 5 in one ear and 3 - 4 in the other. They have names now ... The static I call Dead Air. Then there is The Refrigerator which sounds just like my fridge humming. There is crickets. There is one high pitched note which I can actually pick out on the piano. There is the whir whir that is like a siren and a few more. I have no conception of what quiet is like anymore. At times they are louder than others but they are always there. If an AC is on, forget it because it becomes another one of my sounds ... I have had to teach myself how to NOT focus on them because when I do, I forget things - like where I am driving to. They put me to sleep at night and wake me in the morning. I do remember the colors thing, but its gone now. Its been 2 or more years since Ive had my hearing checked because its stupid and useless now. Last time I had 32% left. Im sure its worse. I cannot stand hearing aides because they magnify all the sounds in the room. I also have nerve damage in the actual ear canals and it feels like bugs are crawling in there. The aides drive me batty.

Once an audiologist told me the sounds I am missing. Leaves rustling. You can really hear that? I have no idea how that sounds. Ticking. Little things like that. Not to mention most of what people say to me LOL ...

I wonder if this phemenon (sp?) has anything to do with hearing sensitivity or anything like that ... Oddly hearing impared people are hyper senstive hearing wise. When people think the opposite. Sounds hurt a lot sometimes -

The sad part is - they tell me one day I will be totally deaf. yet I will still have my sounds. Great company huh?

However when I write I am very sensory oriented. I cannot finish a scene until I have given an impression of all the senses. I am interested to hear more... Fascinating thread.

Old Hack
09-20-2006, 01:09 PM
Persi, I too have hearing loss and tinnitus, although with nothing like the severity that you have. When I was four, my five-year-old sister wondered if ears went in one side of your head and striaght out the other: so she poked a little paint-brush in my left ear, and tried to work it through to the other side. In doing so she ruptured my ear-drum. I was left with only about 70% of my hearing in that ear, but to compensate, my tinnitus arrived. The noise isn't there all the time--just most of the time. I can hear an electrical static noise, like when the TV is on but not tuned to a station; and then another noise which sounds like a fax machine or a dial-up modem connecting to the phone line, a continual string of high-pitched tones. It's worse when I'm tired, or pregnant, or stressed, but it doesn't interfere too much with my life, perhaps because I'm so used to it now (the ear thing was 39 years ago and yes, I have forgiven my lovely sister).

Old Hack
09-20-2006, 01:46 PM
Sorry, posted that one too soon. Here's the rest of what I wanted to say.

The visual things I get remind me of those "floaters" you get in your vision which are, I think, bubbles in the fluid over your cornea (hope I've got that right). I can see that they are there but they are difficult, if not impossible, to look at directly so they exist more in my peripheral vision. They have colour but sometimes I can't quite pin down what that colour is. And no matter what, no one else can see them. It's interesting, sometimes distracting, but not at all distressing now I'm older. It was difficult when I was younger, asking people about it but not realising they didn't do it too, and being told I was making things up, or being looked at as if I were mad.

Mom'sWrite
09-20-2006, 09:58 PM
I'm sorry to hear that Persi. My son is hypersensitive to sound. Certain sounds, like the AC clicking on can make him go into a pure panic attack. And it's not all the time either. Just every once in a while.

I've always heard in color and shape. Music especially. I assumed everyone did.

I can taste certain words and now that I'm thinking about it some paintings I've seen have a flavor associated with them, though I can't really determine whether it is the colors or the shapes within the painting that triggers the taste response.

Certain images can trigger a response of true physical pain. Quick cuts in film hurt me. That film "Koyaanisqatsi" was sheer torture to me.

Salem
08-15-2007, 09:00 PM
Yay! Synesthesia! I have it, too! Here are my syn types:

*I taste names and some words
*graphemes have color, gender and personality
*time is seen as a physical, solid structure
*some songs have color
*anything with a sequence (oreder of the presidents, shoe sized, book series, etc.) has a physical shape.

Salem
08-16-2007, 07:56 PM
Any other synesthetes around?

larocca
08-16-2007, 08:01 PM
I've just gone through life assuming everybody hears colors. I was stunned to learn there's actually a special word for this.

Not only does Varka sound sharp, like a weapon, but it sounds like an excuse for a lame pun along the lines of "Varka you!"

(I wonder what colors I'll hear in hell...)

larocca
08-16-2007, 08:03 PM
P.S. Loud noises drive me batshit -- welcome to China! -- and one of my meditations involves closing my eyes and counting the floaters. Good thing I don't need fingers and toes to count anymore. An eye doctor back in North Carolina expressed wonder I can see at all, but I just unconsciously tune the floaters out and look at the other stuff. Simple.

Shady Lane
08-16-2007, 08:05 PM
One of of my friends has it pretty severely. Her soccer team had plays like 1-Blue and she couldn't handle it, because one wasn't supposed to be blue. She's a really good artist, and she painted a picture of how everything should look--if the grass and the sky and everything were the same colors as their words.

I have a very clear picture in my head of how the months are arranged around the year....sort of a C shape, with January at the bottom hook of the C and December dropping off the top end, but I don't think that's the same thing.

Salem
08-16-2007, 08:06 PM
I've just gone through life assuming everybody hears colors.

Do you mean that if you look at the color blue, for example, it makes a sound? Or do sounds have a color, like a particular song is orange and green?

Salem
08-16-2007, 08:08 PM
I have a very clear picture in my head of how the months are arranged around the year....sort of a C shape, with January at the bottom hook of the C and December dropping off the top end, but I don't think that's the same thing.

That is concept synesthesia. Welcome to the club! Think about months, weeks, decades, centuries. Do any of those have a shape?

thethinker42
08-16-2007, 09:33 PM
I do.

Sounds often have certain colors/shapes/textures, and if there is too much noise, I can't smell anything.

thethinker42
08-16-2007, 09:35 PM
I've never heard of it. It sounds strange, but cool.


I can't be around opal if I know it's there. It's strange, but if I see opal (the stone) I wan't to get away from it right away and I don't know why.

I don't like chalk boards, chalk or balloons. I have to tell my kids to go play with them in the room and don't bite the balloon with your teeth cause it makes me sick.

So how weird am I?

I have an irrational fear of blue Chevy Astro vans (no, really, I do), so I'm just as weird. We could hang out together. LOL

thethinker42
08-16-2007, 09:40 PM
Sorry, posted that one too soon. Here's the rest of what I wanted to say.

The visual things I get remind me of those "floaters" you get in your vision which are, I think, bubbles in the fluid over your cornea (hope I've got that right). I can see that they are there but they are difficult, if not impossible, to look at directly so they exist more in my peripheral vision. They have colour but sometimes I can't quite pin down what that colour is. And no matter what, no one else can see them. It's interesting, sometimes distracting, but not at all distressing now I'm older. It was difficult when I was younger, asking people about it but not realising they didn't do it too, and being told I was making things up, or being looked at as if I were mad.

I get those too...I've been told that it's light reflecting off of white blood cells on your retina.

Incidentally, as if I couldn't get any weirder...everything is grainy to me, like something from a badly scanned photo or a photo taken on 800 or 1600 speed film. Solid black and solid white are psychedelic to me -- constantly moving, swirling, flashing, changing colors, etc. Reading is not easy, but if the pages are grey, it's ok -- black on bright, shiny white (ie., textbooks or magazines) is excruciatingly difficult to read.

Several doctors couldn't figure out what it was. One opthalmologist suggested that it could possibly be something that had never been diagnosed before (my response: "WOOHOO!! I'm getting a disease named after me!")....but a university doc figured out that what's happening is the rods and cones in my retinas are firing too quickly. What I see as tiny, grainy spots are actually gaps in my vision when various rods/cones are between "firings". Pretty cool, huh?

Old Hack
08-16-2007, 09:44 PM
I have a very clear picture in my head of how the months are arranged around the year....sort of a C shape, with January at the bottom hook of the C and December dropping off the top end, but I don't think that's the same thing.

I do that too--only my year is roughly oval-shaped, with December at the top, and March at about 4 o'clock.

I've read a couple of novels which have synaesthetic characters, but I've not yet read one where it's integral to the plot--it just seems to be bunged in for added value. Any suggestions for further fiction reading?

Old Hack
08-16-2007, 09:47 PM
Incidentally, as if I couldn't get any weirder...everything is grainy to me, like something from a badly scanned photo or a photo taken on 800 or 1600 speed film. Solid black and solid white are psychedelic to me -- constantly moving, swirling, flashing, changing colors, etc. Reading is not easy, but if the pages are grey, it's ok -- black on bright, shiny white (ie., textbooks or magazines) is excruciatingly difficult to read.

That sounds similar to how dyslexia affects me: black text on pure white dances right across the page. Have you tried laying a sheet of tinted acetate over the pages, to change the contrast?

Oh, and yes--your vision issues sound VERY cool!

Grizzly
08-16-2007, 09:49 PM
Jeffrey Ford's Nebula award winning short story - The Empire of Ice Cream - was based on synesthesia. If anyone's interested, it's a great story.

http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/originals/originals_archive/ford4/ford41.html

Danger Jane
08-16-2007, 10:14 PM
I see landscapes for songs but don't notice them unless I'm really focused on the music. It's how I categorize my music, partly.

I've known about synesthesia for a long time. Read an article about it when I was eight or nine. lol.

Summonere
08-16-2007, 10:18 PM
I think neurologists/neuropsychologists have known about it for a long time...

The ubiquitous "it may be accurate, it may not" resource:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_synesthesia_research

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

An article I have in my hands right at the moment, from TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, cites an 1880 article from Nature.

By the way, I don't have synesthesia, but this topic smells interesting.

Salem
08-16-2007, 10:49 PM
There are a few books by Dr. Cytowic, a synesthesia researcher. One is titled "Synesthesia--A Union of the Senses" and another one is called "The Man Who Tasted Shapes."

thethinker42
08-16-2007, 11:56 PM
That sounds similar to how dyslexia affects me: black text on pure white dances right across the page.

I'm dyslexic too...LOL...except with regard to the vision issue, it's the WHITE that flashes/dances/changes color/etc. The text pretty well stays put...I just can't focus on it. Then when I CAN read it, words and letters don't like to stay in order. LOL


Have you tried laying a sheet of tinted acetate over the pages, to change the contrast?

I have, actually. It helps, but only a little. I also keep my computer monitor VERY VERY dark (except when I'm working on photos, then I have to have the brightness/contrast turned up...I'm a photographer with vision problems, GO FIGURE!)


Oh, and yes--your vision issues sound VERY cool!

It's pretty cool...but it can be pretty damn annoying too!!

Kate Thornton
08-17-2007, 01:05 AM
I do that too--only my year is roughly oval-shaped, with December at the top, and March at about 4 o'clock.


My visuals for a year is like a free-floating scarf partly folded in on itself, with the top trailing out of sight (the beginning of the previous year) and the tail somewhere off to the bottom (coming months). The object is a pale creamy yellow with very thin green symbols on and around it. I can "see" about 2-3 years at a time, always from the center of time. "Months" are delineated by more thin green things.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-17-2007, 01:49 AM
Until I read this revitalized thread, I didn't realize my being able to taste names wasn't all that uncommon! I can't remember all the people I used to take care of in Personnel, but if someone gives me a name, I get either a 'bad' taste or a 'good' taste.

Salem
08-17-2007, 05:43 AM
Until I read this revitalized thread, I didn't realize my being able to taste names wasn't all that uncommon! I can't remember all the people I used to take care of in Personnel, but if someone gives me a name, I get either a 'bad' taste or a 'good' taste.

Me, too! I had a boss named Deborah and I couldn't stand to say her name because it tastes like a mouthful of cold butter. Another name I don't like to say is Grace because it's like licking pavement.

Danger Jane
08-17-2007, 07:58 AM
Me, too! I had a boss named Deborah and I couldn't stand to say her name because it tastes like a mouthful of cold butter. Another name I don't like to say is Grace because it's like licking pavement.

IS GRACE SLICK ANY DIFFERENT?!??!?!!?!?!??

Salem
08-17-2007, 08:29 AM
IS GRACE SLICK ANY DIFFERENT?!??!?!!?!?!??

:eek: Oops! Uhh...of course not! Grace Slick tastes like chocolate cake! Please don't hurt me! Grace Slick is the best tasting name in the whole wide world!

Southern_girl29
08-17-2007, 08:31 AM
The only time I'm able to do this is in the two or three hours preceding a migraine headache. Words have colors in my mind then, and certain foods tend to have a color. It's really weird that it's only before I get a headache, but at least, it gives me a warning and I can drug myself to keep the headache from being so bad.

I also experienced it a little when I was in labor, and right before the pain started. I wonder how weird that makes me.

Danger Jane
08-17-2007, 08:33 AM
:eek: Oops! Uhh...of course not! Grace Slick tastes like chocolate cake! Please don't hurt me! Grace Slick is the best tasting name in the whole wide world!

BETTER BE


ETA: OOOOOOOOOOOOOH MAN.

Aslera
11-20-2007, 03:02 AM
:p reviving this thread, to add my name to the list.

Velvet, velour, fleece and the cloth they use on the ceilings of cars (and the fabric for car seats) make me feel cold and clammy--the hairs on my arms and legs will raise too. My mother used to trick me into reaching over and feeling a jacket or touching a piece of clothing until she realized that I wasn't just being dramatic

Silk as in the fabric feels very warm--almost like I'm sitting next to the fireplace.

Metal on metal = nails on a chalkboard for most people. It makes red and yellow flashes in my brain and is nearly paralyzing.

Sand = something crawling all over me. I grew up in south Jersey...this was a very miserable one.

The word "peace", and "piece" because its the same sound, feels like water on my feet.

Word and world (sound very similar to me) are both someone's hand pressing on my chest. Additions to the root (ie wordy, worldly) add a circular motion to the same pressure.

Words with the double zz sound (buzz, fuzzy) make the insides of my ears hurt.

Left is up, right is down. There's nothing more confusing than someone saying "Take a right and go up the hill". North is up, south is down...and again, nothing more confusing than "take a left, drive south" because left is north? Or should be. At my subway stop, the train on the left of the platform goes "downtown" and this is strange. Traveling abroad and having the right hand escalator be going up and the left going down is also strange.

I don't like that the months don't go in alphabetical order, but that might be the OCD kicking in, lol. Months cascade down (January's at the top of the mountain).

The word "sharp" feels like a metal knife pressing down on the center of my mouth (random fact; They think "sharp cheese" was named by a synthesete).

Nuts (with the exception of chestnuts and pistachios) smell and taste like dog food to me. I can't swallow them. Terribly unfortunate. My family's big fans of all things that can be cooked with and must include nuts.

Even numbers are "good". They are "soft". They are "warm". They are blues, and greens, and mellow yellows. Odd numbers are "bad". They are black and red. The number zero is barely "there"...as it is neither odd nor even.

I've only recently begun to list all of these things...and keep track of them. Before, I simply assumed most people had these things.

I'm on a syn forum and one girl said she realized she had something special when she, at age 5, received a box of crayons--the gigantic box with 100+ crayons in it. Her response? "Great! Now I have the whole alphabet!"

benbradley
12-28-2007, 12:44 PM
I exchanged a few PM's with someone last summer about this, and there may be an older thread about it. But I just found this news article that may be of interest:
"Researchers: 1 Out of 1,000 People May Smell Sounds"
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318527,00.html

Some people can smell sounds, see smells or hear colors, according to researchers Juan Lupiáñez Castillo and Alicia Callejas Sevilla of the University of Granada in Spain.

The two believe these abilities called synaesthesia exist in all newborns and that some adults — as many as 1 out of 1,000 — retain this skill, but many do not realize it.
...

Red.Ink.Rain
07-03-2009, 10:26 PM
So glad you guys posted this thread! I have a character who's a synesthete, and it's really helpful to read your experiences. :)

thethinker42
07-04-2009, 04:17 AM
Same thing I posted in the Interviews/Experts thread:

Sounds register in my mind as colors/textures/shapes. Never taken a "test" per se, but there it is. This is part of 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. Don't know if that qualifies, but there it is.

ETA: Ha! I see that I've already posted in this thread...didn't realize how old it was. :D

thethinker42
07-04-2009, 09:59 AM
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. Don't know if that qualifies, but there it is.

I would just like to say how much I love AW, because THREE PEOPLE repped me about this post and asked how it applied to really loud farts.

This place is like third grade all over again. *wipes away tear* I love you guys.

And for the record, it doesn't apply, because the sound doesn't outlast the smell.