Test Your Synaesthesia

Dear Kathryn

I’ve been thinking about the way you see colours that go with each number, and also colours for each day of the week. It’s called synaesthesia- but you probably know that- and you seem like the have number-colour synaesthesia (which is common). There are other kinds like sound-colour synaesthesia or even sound-taste synaesthesia (people who get a taste whenever they hear certain sounds!). Anyway we were talking about it at Burning Man, maybe, or at Christmas, and I seemed to be able to guess the same associations between numbers and colours as you actually see, even though I know I’m definitely not synaesthetic (did you know that synaesthesia is much more common in women than men?). So I thought what I was probably doing was remembering a synaesthetic association from childhood (did you know that synaesthesia is far more common in children?), and that was how I was getting a colour for each number- from memory .

So, next thought, is there a way to distinguish between someone who just has a memory of an association- or is just imaging an association- from someone who really is seeing actual colours when they are shown numbers? Is there, in other words, a test we can do to check if you are really synaesthetic? And of course there is, so I thought I’d write to you and tell you about it and you can have a go.

We’ll get to the test in a sec, but first here’s how it works. It works because colours are obvious. They jump out at you, they’re a kind of visual building block (there’s an early part of the visual system devoted to colours, and neural specialisation is always a good indicator of importance). So, say if you look at a collection of black things and some of them are red you don’t need to search – the red things just jump out at you. Something we (I mean psychologists) sometimes call ‘pop-out’ (technical, eh?). You can demonstrate this to yourself like this. Your job will be to look at a collection of black symbols, and spot the red coloured ones. Click on this link to open the image in a new window. What you should find is that you don’t have to look at them one by one (“what colour is that one? black. Move on. What colour is that on? black. Move on” etc etc), insteaad you just instantly spot the ones which are coloured red. They pop-out at you. No effort required, the answer is just delivered direct to your conscious awareness.

So here’s the test of synaesthesia (well, it’s a test of number-colour synaesthesia at least, which is one kind you have. Do you have any others?). If numbers really do create an actual experience of colour for you, then different numbers should pop out at you in the same way that different colours should. The trick is to control for the different shapes that numbers normally have. So what some very clever people did [2] was use two numbers that have the same shape, 5 and 2, but are each the reverse of each other upsidedown. Anyway, yes, the test. Your job is similar to last time: look at the image here and try and spot the numbers which are different from all the others. If you can do it as automatically and easily as with the first image then you are really synaesthetic and when you see numbers you really do get an honest-to-goodness perceptual experience of colour. If you can’t, well then it’s not a perceptual phenomenon, but more of a memory and imagination phenomenon (which doesn’t make it not real, it just makes it less unusual).

So this is one way you can confirm to yourself, or test someone else to see if they are properly synaesthetic. Another way is to put them in a brain scanner, and you can see that, for example, numbers really do activate the visual cortex [1].

I’ve put some links and references at the end here, in case you want to read more about it all. It’s really gripping stuff – I’m convinced this is going to be one of the areas of psychology where loads of progress is made in the next few years. The first Ramachandran paper [2] is a great place to start and the second one [3] gives some interesting thoughts on why synaesthesia occurs – perhaps because of excessive ‘cross-wiring’ between different bits of the brain, or, more accurately, a failure to remove cross wiring which everyone has in infancy (brain development after birth actually involves killing off brain cells that aren’t used- ‘neural pruning’- rather than growing new ones). This would also explain why synaesthesia is more common in the young. There’s all sorts of interesting things discussed in the paper, including the higher incidence of creativity reported in synaesthetes and the idea that synaesthesia helped humans develop language (because by connecting different senses it gives a kind of natural symbolism. Me and Matt talked about this more in the book [Hack #50]). The other paper I’ve put in the references is one by a guy called Benny Sannon, who discusses synaesthesia created by taking psychoactives, and his own “extensive, firsthand, experience” with Ayahuasca – a powerful kind of loopy juice which has traditional uses in the indigenous tribal cultures of the upper Amazonian. [4]

Anyway, hope this has been fun for you. I’ll give you a call soon
Love
tom

Links:

  • the taste of music (mindhacks.com)

  • Fantastic bibliography of different researchers and their theories of synaesthesia (and links to many PDFs) here
  • This guy has done out the numbers and the alphabet so you can see if you get how they look for him
  • Matt Webb’s notes on the ‘phenomenology of synaesthesia’ paper

  • References:

    1. Elias, L. J., Saucier, D. M., Hardie, C., & Sarty, G. E. (2003). Dissociating semantic and perceptual components of synaesthesia: behavioural and functional neuroanatomical investigations. Cognitive Brain Research, 16(2), 232-237. PDF of draft here
    2. Ramachandran, V.S. and Hubbard, E.M. (2001), Synaesthesia: Awindow into perception, thought and
      language, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8(12), pp. 3–34. PDF here

    3. Ramachandran, Vilayanur S. and Edward M. Hubbard. (2003). The phenomenology of synaesthesia. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10(8): 49–57. PDF here
    4. Shanon, B. (2003). Three stories concerning synaesthesia – A commentary on Ramachandran and Hubbard. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10, 69-74. PDF here

    74 Comments

    1. Posted March 23, 2005 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Test Your Synaesthesia

      Test Your Synaesthesia Via Mind Hacks…

      • Olivia
        Posted July 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I have synesthesia. :)

        • Sophia
          Posted December 3, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink

          Hi i am sophia. i dont have synaesthesia, but i love to learn about it. Lately, i have been reading a book called A mango shaped space…. it is about a girl named Mia who has synaesthesia just like you and all about what is going on in her life. I would love it if maybe we could become pen pals or something. Im really interested about it. :)

          From,
          Sophia (age 11)

        • Tori
          Posted February 21, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

          i have synesthesia too, its awesome! i love it. i think of it as a different look on life. :)

    2. Posted April 9, 2005 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Test Your Synaesthesia

      Test Your Synaesthesia Via Mind Hacks…

    3. Seether
      Posted April 20, 2005 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Youe link for the 2nd image (the one of 5′s and 2′s) should go to popout2.html. It currently goes to popout1.html.

    4. Posted April 20, 2005 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for pointing that out. It worked right if you clicked on it for a pop-up, but the actual link (ie what you were told it linked to if you hovered over it with the mouse) was to the wrong place. Which was a bit confusing for me while i tried to fix it, but it’s done now…

    5. Kat
      Posted September 16, 2007 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      I’m kind of confused. It doesn’t happen with the week days, or with other things, I only experience it when I look at numbers. Does that mean I have it, a small bit of it, or was it like you said, the memory one. I always get a bitter taste in my mouth, when a notes played wrong, because I play piano, clarinet and violin. I just really want to know. I’m fascinated in this stuff too. I love to research about the human mind, although I think mine is a little screwed up. I don’t see things like other people, no, I don’t need glasses. I mean I just kind of see things differently. When someone asks me to picture an apple in my mind, I can’t actually make a picture. I can think of what I know one looks like, yellowish, with splotches of red on it, and a bruise, but I can’t actually see the picture in my mind. Another time they asked me I thought of a book, because it had an apple on the cover, but I thought of the book first. What does that mean, what’s wrong with me!

    6. Kat
      Posted September 16, 2007 at 2:46 am | Permalink

      Oh, do you know anything about knowing how people feel. Like say someone had lost a loved one, and they were hurt. You know they’d feel so sad. I’ve lost someone deer, but not anyone extremely close. The weird thing is, I can imagine how much they’re going through. I can feel what they’re feeling. I feel it, as though it happened to me. Sometimes when I feel it, I start to cry, even though nothings happened to me. Is that normal? For me, it’s like walking down a hallway and feeling everyone’s pain, happiness, love, care, friendship, and hate. I can literally feel it, and it bothers me. It’s almost like knowing what they’re thinking, except not in words. I could look at a person, and tell what they’re thinking right away. Although, I tried to avoid as much eye contact as possible, and for some reason, I don’t know why; I end up looking at their mouths. Is that abnormal? I mean I could look any where else, but I choose to look at there mouths.

      • Emre
        Posted January 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        That’s called empathy.

        • Prince Merluza
          Posted July 25, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          haha. exactly.

    7. Kalee
      Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      So I have this thing where sounds make me feel touch. When people write with mechanical pencils near me I get the sensation of sandpaper on my fingertips often to the point where I cannot touch anything. The sound of styrofoam makes me ultra sensitive to touch and I even sometimes get cold. There are many other sounds that trigger senses. is this synaethesia or am I just crazy?

    8. Kalee
      Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      So I have this thing where sounds make me feel touch. When people write with mechanical pencils near me I get the sensation of sandpaper on my fingertips often to the point where I cannot touch anything. The sound of styrofoam makes me ultra sensitive to touch and I even sometimes get cold. There are many other sounds that trigger senses. is this synaethesia or am I just crazy?

      • Meghan
        Posted April 21, 2011 at 4:03 am | Permalink

        I just wanted to say, you almost just perfectly described what happens to me regularely. I have no idea if this is synthesia or not, but I wish someone would tell me.

    9. Posted September 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Hey everyone! Check this: http://www.tukan.extra.hu !! There is a great synesthesia test – you can vote for the color of each letter and number and see statistics. really interesting.

    10. Mackenzie Neal
      Posted September 18, 2008 at 1:30 am | Permalink

      Dear Kathryn,
      My name is Mackenzie, and I’ve only recently discovered synesthesia. I came across the term when my Science teacher mentioned it vaguely during one of those, “Getting Off-Topic” lessons of his last year. It wasn’t until now that I decided I wanted to try to use it in a science fair project. Even though many of the science articles I’ve read are complex and, honestly barely comprehensible, I’ve come to a basic understanding of this, “condition”. (I’m not quite sure what category it falls under you see.)
      In one of the articles I’ve read, someone mentioned something about “A steady development” in the numbers of people with synesthesia. So it got me thinking, “What if all people have it? What if all people have it, but they have different levels of intensity of it?” I sometimes have the odd sensation of seeing certain images when I hear certain music. (Though these probably don’t have anything to do with synesthesia) But isn’t synesthesia the brain working to make connections with senses, details, and other such things? I’m sorry if I seem ignorant of this topic, but all of those articles meant for scholars and scientists are really confusing for me!
      My new “theory”, if I may call it that, was encouraged after I found another article about the hypothesis that all infants have this mix of senses. I actually saved the link to this article! Here it is:

      http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v2/psyche-2-27-baron_cohen.html

      Anyway, after deciphering this new view, I wondered if synesthesia stuck with some people more than others. (Maybe another explanation, though I can’t really understand quite how this would work out with all of the neurological things…)
      So, I sort of sketched out a plan for my experiment. My mother is a teacher, and she has 93 kids she teaches, (All divided into three separate blocks thank goodness!) So, I asked her if she would be willing to give copies of a certain test to her kids, and a few other classes as well. I’m looking for signs of synesthesia, no matter how small. We’d give the test sometime around October, and then the exact same quiz sometime around January, to make sure that they had the same answers etc. Altogether, this would be roughly, 270 different people taking the quiz. (I may keep 200 to keep it a round number though.)
      I just need to somehow plan this test, and really, this experiment thoroughly. I’m not sure if anyone I know can help me, and I didn’t know if you could give advice, a personal account for “research”, or something of that nature. Please contact me soon!!!!!
      E-mail: Funnyfiz@yahoo.com

    11. Mackenzie Neal
      Posted September 18, 2008 at 1:30 am | Permalink

      Dear Kathryn,
      My name is Mackenzie, and I’ve only recently discovered synesthesia. I came across the term when my Science teacher mentioned it vaguely during one of those, “Getting Off-Topic” lessons of his last year. It wasn’t until now that I decided I wanted to try to use it in a science fair project. Even though many of the science articles I’ve read are complex and, honestly barely comprehensible, I’ve come to a basic understanding of this, “condition”. (I’m not quite sure what category it falls under you see.)
      In one of the articles I’ve read, someone mentioned something about “A steady development” in the numbers of people with synesthesia. So it got me thinking, “What if all people have it? What if all people have it, but they have different levels of intensity of it?” I sometimes have the odd sensation of seeing certain images when I hear certain music. (Though these probably don’t have anything to do with synesthesia) But isn’t synesthesia the brain working to make connections with senses, details, and other such things? I’m sorry if I seem ignorant of this topic, but all of those articles meant for scholars and scientists are really confusing for me!
      My new “theory”, if I may call it that, was encouraged after I found another article about the hypothesis that all infants have this mix of senses. I actually saved the link to this article! Here it is:

      http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v2/psyche-2-27-baron_cohen.html

      Anyway, after deciphering this new view, I wondered if synesthesia stuck with some people more than others. (Maybe another explanation, though I can’t really understand quite how this would work out with all of the neurological things…)
      So, I sort of sketched out a plan for my experiment. My mother is a teacher, and she has 93 kids she teaches, (All divided into three separate blocks thank goodness!) So, I asked her if she would be willing to give copies of a certain test to her kids, and a few other classes as well. I’m looking for signs of synesthesia, no matter how small. We’d give the test sometime around October, and then the exact same quiz sometime around January, to make sure that they had the same answers etc. Altogether, this would be roughly, 270 different people taking the quiz. (I may keep 200 to keep it a round number though.)
      I just need to somehow plan this test, and really, this experiment thoroughly. I’m not sure if anyone I know can help me, and I didn’t know if you could give advice, a personal account for “research”, or something of that nature. Please contact me soon!!!!!
      E-mail: Funnyfiz@yahoo.com

    12. Posted June 9, 2009 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Hey together, you also can test your synaesthesia with the new synaesthesia-tests available on http://www.synaesthesia.com. There are also some new features like the “out-in-space-test” where you can draw you year and your week. Recommend this test to your family and your friends. There are also workshops and informations. Have a look on it.
      Greetings.

    13. Dash Zystrela
      Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      Is there a type of Syneasthesia where a colour is asosiated with a person? (like through there personality)

    14. Kelsie
      Posted May 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Wow! To tell the truth, i have never heard of this, but it sounds really cool. I read about it in a book and wanted to learn more about it from other people who have it. ~Thanks~

    15. Posted July 14, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Hi,
      Good piece.
      We’ve recently been working on a website to allow for the testing of mirror touch synaesthesia.
      This is where the viewer feels a strong sensation when seeing another person, usually, touched. There seems to be a link to the level of empathy the person feels.
      You are invited to take the test. It consists of about 96 very short video clips and an empathy questionnaire at the end. Inevitably there are a few questions about yourself but the study is completely anonymous.
      If you want some followup then please email Naomi Hillman using the email address given on the last page of the study.
      Here’s the link:

      http://surveyvista.com/login/quick/p/1/r/tR4cE3a4

      Cheers,
      Ian

    16. Posted July 24, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Thanks for this, Tom. You packed a lot of valuable information on synesthesia in this short entry. I find the correlation between synethesia and creativity particularly interesting.
      Daniel Siegel, in The Mindful Brain, associates creativity with what he terms “right mode perception” (wherein right hemispheric processes play a key [but not sole] role in perception), which he attributes to the parallel processing power of the right hemisphere (in a right-handed person), facilitated by cross-modal (i.e., interlobe) wiring otherwise lacking in the left hemisphere.
      Such parallel wiring could, as I understand it, mediate the kind of ‘multi-dimensional’ perception as evidenced in synesthesia.
      The reason I use the term ‘multi-dimensional’ and not ‘multi-sensory’ is because, as you noted, such abstract symbols as number can be experienced as colors. Technically speaking, number is not necessarily a sensory modality, as it involves often purely mental symbolism (e.g., the square root of 252 is a purely mental, and not sensory, perception of the world); unless, of course, you include the mind as a sixth sense, as do the Buddhists.

    17. siane
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      hey there
      i have always thouht it to be normal but today i told my friends that when i hear conversationsi hear rythms and patterns in the way people speak i wpuld just like to no if any one else hears this and if it is synethesia itwould be very helpfill if someone could help me out
      thanks

    18. Heather
      Posted November 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      … I’m not synthetic, but I got saw the twos immediately. Am I synthaetic and just not know it?

      • Prince Merluza
        Posted July 25, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        I’m pretty sure you’re organic

      • Alissa
        Posted December 19, 2011 at 2:11 am | Permalink

        I do think you are synesthetic. My mom Is not synesthetic and she could not find the 2s until after i pointed them out. If you really want to know if you are, do any of the alphabet letters have colors/tastes? If so you definetly have synesthesia. Hope this helps!! :)

        • Maddy
          Posted August 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          In a Jamie Ward video, he says that people who see the colored numbers in their minds eye instead of on the page (like me) would have an equal amount of trouble as a non-synesthete on that test.

    19. tom
      Posted December 1, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Or perhaps you just got lucky…This post is just an illustration, for the proper test you would look for the 2 lots of times, in different displays

    20. Annaaaaa
      Posted December 14, 2010 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      I only see colors for numbers with fives in them (red), but I see colors for alphabet letters and days of the week. I also taste some words. I used to be able to taste more when I was younger, and I still remember those words, but the tastes are mostly just from memory. Some still evoke an actual taste, though. For instance the word “church” tastes something like coffee cake and the word “speech” tastes like I’m eating an orange.

      • Alissa
        Posted December 19, 2011 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        WOW!!!! I just have colors in my head. I don’t tast or see them in front of me, but i see them in my head. Does that ever get annoying or frustrating? Like if something is a gross taste, does it bug you? I would love to know!! :)

    21. Posted January 28, 2011 at 4:01 am | Permalink

      So, I have seen colors with numbers, some words, and letters ever since around 3rd grade. I ignored it because i thought it was normal for everyone. But i guess ignoring it ws wrong because I had just found out it was a syndrome after reading a book called “A Mango-Shape Space”. Im 12 and just finding out about this. I’ve not told anyone except my mom. Im not sure if i’m syesthetic. I need to figure this out.

      • Alissa
        Posted December 19, 2011 at 2:06 am | Permalink

        You are definently a synesthetic! I have always wanted to read that book but i don’t know where to find it. I hope this helps you understand!!

        • Lizzy
          Posted January 23, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

          I loved the book “A Mango Shaped Space”! I read that in one day because it was so good. Best book ever. I personally don’t have Synaesthesia, but it is so interesting to learn about. If you have Sinaesthesia, what color is the name Lizzy and Elizabeth?

    22. Karen H.
      Posted February 3, 2011 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      I am so excited to find that I am not the only one who sees things this way. I have never told anyone of this until today. I correlate numbers, days of the week, and months with a specific gender. I don’t actively think about it- they just simply appear that way. I also perceive the callendar mapped quite differently than any I have seen.

      • Maddy
        Posted August 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Lizzy is clear blue, like blue glass, and Elizabeth feels like silk and looks like fire.

    23. marion
      Posted February 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi

      I am an artist and have recently connected with my synaethetic responses to the world and realise I am not a weirdo seeing sounds as shapes and tones colours and numbers as colours. I am keeping a visual sound diary and I would reccomend anyone with similar experiences to do so it is an amazing process. Marion

      • marion
        Posted February 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        I am an artist who has been keeping a sound diary reccording everything I hear in the shapes and colours I see. Numbers are specific colours and tones are always specific in colour also.Colours move in different ways and in different shapes. Piano tones are always green and triangles yellow. Its funny because you can make connections with how you see colour in numbers because the number four is always yellow and the number seven which is similar in shape is yellow with green edges. It is definately genetic and my daughter is autistic. There’s a definate link.

    24. Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m a young synesthete who has grapheme-colour, music-colour, music-motion, and a bunch of others. I know I have synesthesia. But the thing is, your test with the 2s and 5s? It doesn’t actually work. In “Wednesday is Indigo Blue”, Dr. Cytowic says that it doesn’t work because for a synesthete to see the colours, they have to be “attended to”; that is, they need to see the 2s or whatever and recognize that they are 2s before they see colours for them. We have to see that they are 2s, just like normal people. So while synesthetes *might* be a little faster than normal people, take it from a synesthete: the test doesn’t really work.

    25. Melissa
      Posted October 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Numbers dont have colours for me, but I see colours on people.- Or at least I sense them. Some people are really green and others are orange. I can also see white energy surrounding letters, numbers, and people when I look at them. And certain smells have colours too.
      I dont know if what I have has anything to do with synesthesia. Is there anyone that can tell me what this is?

    26. Amy
      Posted November 26, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      My synesthesia is connected to colors and sounds. I have perfect pitch because each key reminds me of a different color so if someone plays a key wrong in my mind the color is off. Also i noticed loud notices trigger it. I heard a book fall off a desk, and i felt like i had the sensation of myself actually being hit by it in the back of the head and it was like the color red was all throughout my mind, and a loud pitch screech it makes me itchy and see the color yellow.

      • Amy
        Posted November 26, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        noises*

      • Alissa
        Posted December 19, 2011 at 2:02 am | Permalink

        Amy, That is exactly how I have synesthesia! If the color is off, I go CRAZY!! It is hard because I am in piano lessons and my mom playes the violin and if i or her plays a wrong note i can not stand it!! Also, Mellisa YES you do have synesthesia! It is almost in the same cadigory as tasting colors. I have never heard of energy surronding people, numbers, or letters but i am pretty sure that is a type of synesthesia. :) I did a science fair poject on synestheisa and it worked really well! By the way Amy, I almost have perfect pich because of colors too!! THAT IS SO COOL!! I am only 12 but I know a lot about synesthesia so if you need any questions for anyone, feel free to post or reply to my comment!!!

    27. lulu
      Posted December 10, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      hi i think i might have synesthesia. the sound of cars on a highway let me see thine strait lines of red with yellow. my brother yelling a washing purple spot. i also see millions of tiny dots all over they flash white and black but this never stops even when i close my eyes. but i have great vision and can see even though they are always there. if someone has something similar please respond.

    28. Alissa
      Posted December 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Lulu, You do have synesthesia and I was watching “Ingenous Minds” on the science channel and there was a guy who had the same thing as you. He saw black and white squares moving left to right and he still saw them with his eyes closed. Also, he hit his head when he was young and had never touched the piano before but after he recovered, he had an urge to sit at the piano, and he played Betoveen like it was nothing. It was not simple Betoveen but it was elaborate pieces. I don’t know what caused this but it was crazy! You are not alone!! If you have any qwestions, reply or comment.

    29. Posted December 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      For anyone interested in doing research on synesthesia, or even those who have synesthesia, I suggest going onto this site- http://www.mixsig.net/nexus/index.php
      you can do research on synesthesia or if you have it just explore your syn. Good bye :)

    30. Catherine
      Posted January 9, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Hello I am a synesthete – I didn’t know it until someone told me that I could be, about ten years ago, during a conversation about words. Id never heard of it before but looked into it and did some tests. Every letter and every number has a colour and texture – every word is a food – every month of the year is a fruit for me with distinct colour and texture. Certain words in the English language trigger a physical response, usually unpleasant – but some words I want to eat, such as the word ‘unusual’ which is plum tomatoes from a can. Many words I repeat over and over in my head as it’s the closest I can get to eating them. If Im on my own, I might even say them out loud! I have always had this and never thought about it until the conversation – if I had thouight about it I would’ve assumed everyone saw letters, numbers etc the same! Also musical sounds have shapes and textures for me as well. Im not sure if this is synesthesia or not but that’s how it is for me anyway.

      • Sophie
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Hello! I am a synesthete myself, Generally I have the same type of synesthesia as you! Although we most likely don’t think the same, for example the month July reminds me of a ball of yarn.. And the word exclamation is like watermelon x) I recommend reading A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. In the authors notes it also gives some links to reccomended websites for synesthetes. Although the character in the book has a different type of synesthesia than me. Oh and names have a picture for me, For example my name ‘Sophie’ is like A sunset, and your name Catherine is like a ripe strawberry. Thanks for reading this.

        ~Sophie

        • Aimi
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          I have the name thing too! Is this considered to be a form of synaesthesia?
          Your name is marshmallows and my name makes me think of flower petals being placed in a circle…I sometimes tell people what their names are to me and i get some extremely funny looks!! I once told a girl her name “Polly” is the ball on the end of a Barbie’s neck that keeps the head from falling off…She didn’t seem to understand…can’t imagine why :P

    31. Posted January 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      I have synaesthesia, and sometimes it is extremely annoying but other wise it is ok.

    32. Evelyn
      Posted January 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      I think I have mild synesthesia ( I won’t say that I “suffer” from it) – I have it with words, people, names and sounds, but not numbers or timemarkers. It’s always interesting to read up on people’s experiances; I find it insightful, and it gives you another views to the world.

    33. Emma
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, that really helped. I’ve got synaesthesia and I was just looking on the internet to see if there were any tests as to how to make sure that it was actually synaesthesia. Here are some things that I think about:
      1 = brown a
      2 = yellow b
      3 = hot pink c
      4 = light blue d
      5 = purple e
      6 = brown/red f
      7 = orange g
      8 = brown
      9 = white
      0 = white

    34. aman
      Posted March 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      i dunno if this is synesthesia…. Bt while i am sad or happy and if i listen to piano or violin, i start seeings things blended with 7 colours… It doesnt happen with justa note or chord… Happens only with continues tunes… A particular repeated sensation that comes when i am happy is of walking, sitting, standing or wateva wit a flock of swans… And my basic color of sadness is violet

      • Will
        Posted January 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

        it is if you have seen emoitions while hearing things it is! :)

    35. M Sola
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      This is the way i see things:

      A-red
      B-blue
      C-yellow
      D-another blue
      E-green
      F-dark green
      G-orange
      H-light blue gray
      I-white

      M-pink
      N-red
      O-black
      P-dark blue
      Q-brown

      R-black
      S-red
      T-brown
      U-purple

      W-dark orange without being brown
      X-black
      y-yellow
      Z-burgundy

      Apparently, as the alphabet goes on, it gets darker!

    36. M Sola
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Interesting, huh?!

      • Raven
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, that’s what happens to the notes on a piano.
        As the notes get higher, they become lighter versions of themselves and as the notes get lower they become darker versions of themselves.

    37. Raven
      Posted October 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      My alphabet goes:

      A-Red
      B-Dark Green
      C-Violet
      D-Cream
      E-Yellow
      F-Brown
      G-Orange
      H-Dark Blue
      I-Gold
      J-Dark Red
      K-Pink
      L-Lilac
      M-Dark Yellow
      N-Turquoise
      O-Light Orange
      P-Burnt Umber
      Q-Olive
      R-Brown
      S-Grey
      T-Violet
      U-Bronze
      V-White
      W-White
      X-Pale Blue
      Y-Light Blue
      Z-Dark Green

    38. Anne
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      I recently discovered that I’m a sound-visual synsethete. I always thought that the colors and shapes I see when I hear sounds were just normal, and everyone saw them. It was quite a shock to hear my science teacher start talking about it, and describing basically how I see the world. I’m doing lots of reading now, and I’m suprised by all the different types of synethesia that are out there. It must be so cool to connect colors with numbers, and all the different things people do.

    39. Posted December 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      When people talk I see the words in the air around them.. Music I see colors and see music notes.

    40. Will
      Posted January 4, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      I don’t have synaesthesia but I am really weird in a way, I taste colors. I don’t understand it! Yellow makes me taste eggs, blue makes me taste steak! But the confusion of this is that my brain has been said “didn’t have synaesthesia”! Do you understand?

      • Becca
        Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        You do have synaesthesia Will. It usually is not tested because it is so uncommon.

    41. Dan
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Have you people not figured out yet that the things we see are spiritual realities and not neurological conditions? Same with those who use drugs to do so. why? Drug abuse is very much akin to witchcraft – potions – that change the spiritual perceptions of the user. There is an opinion in Judaism that Moses was only able to “see” G-d because of synaethesia-like circumstances. Moses heard His Words and “saw” the Speaker. Language is considered very holy – what G-d created He “spoke” into existence – and commanded parts of this “dialogue” to be recorded. Kaballah.

    42. squelia
      Posted March 11, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure I have a mild form of synaesthesia – my strongest forms are associations of colours to numbers, and a weaker form is when i hear music i see colours and stuff.
      I used my synaesthesia to learn my times tables! haha. For example, 6×3 = 18 would be seen as pink times blue equals white and dark green!!! :P

      • Maddy
        Posted August 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        I also used it to do my times table! My mom says that once i said to her that i remembered what 9 times 6 is 54 because purple times light brown is dark blue, dark green, and yellow, and she got really worried because she had never heard of synesthesia before. lol.

    43. AboveTheRainbow
      Posted March 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Synesthesia seems really cool. Damn! I wish I had it. Sadly I am not synesthetic but I read somewhere that everyone has a little bit of it. I guess at times I have smelled something and described it as a color, when i was 9. I have always thought of the number 4 as green, 5 as blue, and 6 as red. I felt like my life felt that color (eg. when i was in grade 4 i felt green, in grade 5 i felt blue, and in grade 6 i felt red.) Well im not really synesthetic and i might be imagining it. Can anyone tell me if there as any way to “learn” synesthesia or get it other than drugs or getting into an accident >.> i’d rather not go through the pain.

    44. alice
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      i have synaesthesia but is it normal to get feelings when you hear words like thursday feels like dark under a rock and sunday feels like a dragon asleep in a cave?

      • Maddy
        Posted August 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        I think that is another type of synesthesia. Do you mean that you see the picture of being under a dark rock, or you sense that that is what Thursday is? (Did that sentence make sense at all??!) In A Mango Shaped Space, some synesthetes had word-pictures for words. I think this is what you have.

    45. Dan
      Posted April 11, 2013 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      I don’t know if I’m synaesthetic or not. Every person is associated with a color. But time me it’s very logical. I even have a color. I’m a green. Most people’s colors go with their favorite color. And I also get those millions if black and white dots all the time. 24/7 almost like static on a tv. But I have 20/20 vision. I also ‘feel’ music. Like if a note or something is messed up or someone mixes 2 songs incorrectly and doesn’t best match, it becomes very painful for me to the point I even express it on my face. I don’t know. I still think most people see stuff that way. There’s other stuff but I wanna keep thinking it’s normal. Lol.

    46. Becca
      Posted April 18, 2013 at 3:43 am | Permalink

      I have synaesthesia. 4 definate types actually. I have linguistic synaesthesia, grapheme-color, sequencing-spacial, and personality-color. For example, my best friend’s name is Samantha, which is royal blue, but her personality color is light pumpkin. Also, linguistic synaesthesia is saying numbers or letters or other objects have personalities (nope, stuffed animals don’t count). For example, 5 is the mother of 2 and got divorced from 10 because he was a drug addict, etc. Also, for some reason I think everything should be fair. My feet for instance. When I walk a certain distance I make sure to stop on the opposite foot that I started with, to make sure they have taken an equal number of steps. Or, if I haven’t paid attention I go by what “feels” like it has done more. Is this linguistic synaesthesia? Does anyone else
      experience this?For all you non-synesthetes: When you imagine the word “Friday” in you mind,what do you see? I always imagine it red, because I’m a synesthete. But how do you see it? Disregard the next sentence because I was un able to backspace anything after this sentence. when I always imagine it a red, because I’m s

      • Maddy
        Posted August 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Me too! Sometimes if i find myself tapping my fingers, i have to stop and do the same amount of tapping with my other hand, and if i don’t i feel really nauseous.

    47. Brenda
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      This is weird! I have never given my synaesthesia any thought until now..and I certainly didn’t know everyone didn’t associate words with certain colors the way I do. Thursday = dark green. Wednesday = light blue. Monday = red. Tuesday = light green. Sunday = yellow. Saturday = dark red. Friday = dark yellow. I tried to picture the words with other colors and it does not seem right to me.

    48. Becca
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      I do that to! Only for me:
      Monday is a bit darker than baby blue
      Tuesday is bright yellow
      Wednesday is a purplish blue
      Thursday is orangeish
      Friday is red
      Saturday is a classic solid blue
      Sunday is an almost white teal

      • Maddy
        Posted August 4, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        So do I! Only for me Monday is bright yellow, Tuesday is dark blue, Wednesday is dark swampy green, Thursday is orange, Friday is rust-red, Saturday is dark red-brown, Sunday is light green. Sometimes, if it rains on Thursdays, the letters get all out of place in my mind.

    49. Maddy
      Posted August 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi, I’m a grapheme and ordinal linguistic synesthete. Also, most words have textures and feelings with them–like if someone says my name, Madeleine, i immediately feel like i’m touching cold black metal. Does anyone else experience anything like this?


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