Synesthesia

Synesthesia

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This is a discussion on Synesthesia within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; ...

  1. #1

    Synesthesia

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Synesthesia (also spelled synęsthesia or synaesthesia, plural synesthesiae or synaesthesiae)—from the Ancient Greek σύν (syn), "together," and αἴσθησις (aisthēsis), "sensation" — is a neurologically based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes.

    Synesthesia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Various forms

    Synesthesia can occur between nearly any two senses or perceptual modes. Given the large number of forms of synesthesia, researchers have adopted a convention of indicating the type of synesthesia by using the following notation x → y, where x is the "inducer" or trigger experience, and y is the "concurrent" or additional experience. For example, perceiving letters and numbers (collectively called graphemes) as colored would be indicated as grapheme → color synesthesia. Similarly, when synesthetes see colors and movement as a result of hearing musical tones, it would be indicated as tone → (color, movement) synesthesia.

    While nearly every logically possible combination of experiences can occur, several types are more common than others.


    Grapheme → color synesthesia

    How someone with synesthesia might perceive certain letters and numbers.

    Another example of real synaesthesia for letters and numbers.

    In one of the most common forms of synesthesia, grapheme → color synesthesia, individual letters of the alphabet and numbers (collectively referred to as graphemes), are "shaded" or "tinged" with a color. While synesthetes do not, in general, report the same colors for all letters and numbers, studies of large numbers of synesthetes find that there are some commonalities across letters (e.g., A is likely to be red).


    Sound → color synesthesia

    In sound → color synesthesia, individuals experience colors in response to tones or other aspects of sounds. Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues break this type of synesthesia into two categories, which they call "narrow band" and "broad band" sound → color synesthesia. In narrow band sound → color synesthesia (often called music → color synesthesia), musical stimuli (e.g., timbre or key) will elicit specific color experiences, such that a particular note will always elicit red, or harps will always elicit the experience of seeing a golden color. In broadband sound → color synesthesia, on the other hand, a variety of environmental sounds, like an alarm clock or a door closing, may also elicit visual experiences.

    Color changes in response to different aspects of sound stimuli may involve more than just the hue of the color. Any dimension of color experience (see HSL color space) can vary. Brightness (the amount of white in a color; as brightness is removed from red, for example, it fades into a brown and finally to black), saturation (the intensity of the color; fire engine red and medium blue are highly saturated, while grays, white, and black are all unsaturated), and hue may all be affected to varying degrees.[26] Additionally, music → color synesthetes, unlike grapheme → color synesthetes, often report that the colors move, or stream into and out of their field of view.

    Like grapheme → color synesthesia, there is rarely agreement among music → color synesthetes that a given tone will be a certain color. However, when larger samples are studied, consistent trends can be found, such that higher pitched notes are experienced as being more brightly colored.[19] The presence of similar patterns of pitch-brightness matching in non-synesthetic subjects suggests that this form of synesthesia shares mechanisms with non-synesthetes.[19]


    Number form synesthesia

    A number form is a mental map of numbers, which automatically and involuntarily appears whenever someone who experiences number-forms thinks of numbers. Number forms were first documented and named by Francis Galton in "The Visions of Sane Persons". Later research has identified them as a type of synesthesia. In particular, it has been suggested that number-forms are a result of "cross-activation" between regions of the parietal lobe that are involved in numerical cognition and spatial cognition. In addition to its interest as a form of synesthesia, researchers in numerical cognition have begun to explore this form of synesthesia for the insights that it may provide into the neural mechanisms of numerical-spatial associations present unconsciously in everyone.


    Personification


    Ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP, or personification for short) is a form of synesthesia in which ordered sequences, such as ordinal numbers, days, months and letters are associated with personalities. Although this form of synesthesia was documented as early as the 1890s modern research has, until recently, paid little attention to this form.

    For some people in addition to numbers and other ordinal sequences, objects are sometimes imbued with a sense of personality, sometimes referred to as a type of animism. This type of synesthesia is harder to distinguish from non-synesthetic associations. However, recent research has begun to show that this form of synesthesia co-varies with other forms of synesthesia, and is consistent and automatic, as required to be counted as a form of synesthesia.


    Lexical → gustatory synesthesia

    In a rare form of synesthesia, lexical → gustatory synesthesia, individual words and phonemes of spoken language evoke the sensations of taste in the mouth.

    Jamie Ward and Julia Simner have extensively studied this form of synesthesia, and have found that the synesthetic associations are constrained by early food experiences. For example, James Wannerton has no synesthetic experiences of coffee or curry, even though he consumes them regularly as an adult. Conversely, he tastes certain breakfast cereals and candies that are no longer sold.

    Additionally, these early food experiences are often paired with tastes based on the phonemes in the name of the word (e.g., /I/, /n/ and /s/ trigger James Wannerton’s taste of mince) although others have less obvious roots (e.g., /f/ triggers sherbet). To show that phonemes, rather than graphemes are the critical triggers of tastes, Ward and Simner showed that, for James Wannerton, the taste of egg is associated to the phoneme /k/, whether spelled with a "c" (e.g., accept), "k" (e.g., York), "ck" (e.g., chuck) or "x" (e.g., fax). Another source of tastes comes from semantic influences, so that food names tend to taste of the food they match, and the word "blue" tastes "inky."
    Do you have it or know someone who does? What are your experiences with it?

    If you have any questions about the condition itself or other's experiences, please add them to the conversation as well. I know I will.

    I myself have only slightly expressed synesthesia, and hadn't realized not everyone saw words the way I did until the last year or so. As such, I'm curious about the experiences of others.
    Surreal Breakfast, Zaria and Vexilla Regis thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Isn't that the phenomena that you have very strong connections between certain words or numbers and for instance colours? I know that there are other possibilities, but this is what comes to mind first. So that if someone shows me the number 8, I get a 'red' feeling? I have that when listening to music, certain music represents a certain colour. I'm listening to the Star Wars soundtrack right now and the music definitely is purple. I don't know why, but it just is. I also used to have it when I was a kid while reading, but I completely lost it over the years. I did a test a couple of months ago and it turned out I was everything but a synesthesist (or however it's called). I only scored on the part where I had to listen to musical instruments. Though I still very firmly believe an 8 is red, I promised myself back then to stick to that.

  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaria View Post
    Isn't that the phenomena that you have very strong connections between certain words or numbers and for instance colours? I know that there are other possibilities, but this is what comes to mind first. So that if someone shows me the number 8, I get a 'red' feeling? I have that when listening to music, certain music represents a certain colour. I'm listening to the Star Wars soundtrack right now and the music definitely is purple. I don't know why, but it just is. I also used to have it when I was a kid while reading, but I completely lost it over the years. I did a test a couple of months ago and it turned out I was everything but a synesthesist (or however it's called). I only scored on the part where I had to listen to musical instruments. Though I still very firmly believe an 8 is red, I promised myself back then to stick to that.
    I see music as colours too, mostly blue, See Me Feel Me by The Who screams out blue at me and most heavy Led Zep songs seem red to me

  4. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaria View Post
    Isn't that the phenomena that you have very strong connections between certain words or numbers and for instance colours?
    Yes, exactly. Sorry it took so long to edit in the larger quote.

    I know that there are other possibilities, but this is what comes to mind first. So that if someone shows me the number 8, I get a 'red' feeling? I have that when listening to music, certain music represents a certain colour. I'm listening to the Star Wars soundtrack right now and the music definitely is purple. I don't know why, but it just is. I also used to have it when I was a kid while reading, but I completely lost it over the years. I did a test a couple of months ago and it turned out I was everything but a synesthesist (or however it's called). I only scored on the part where I had to listen to musical instruments. Though I still very firmly believe an 8 is red, I promised myself back then to stick to that.
    Interesting. Do you have any more examples of what color certain songs might be?

    For instance:



    edit: Same question for you, Surreal. I'd like to compare for curiosity's sake.

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Trope View Post
    Interesting. Do you have any more examples of what color certain songs might be?
    edit: Same question for you surreal. I'd like to compare for curiosity's sake.
    I think it's some kind of greenish shade, going to the grey side a little. But doesn't the colour vary from person to person? I think in the test I did I had to say about 50 times how I scored a certain number or words and it seems that if synethesist do these kind of tests, they always score the same colour. You had to pick it from some kind of rainbowlike field, that consisted of all gradients of colours, so it was actually quite accurate. And it took long, my God. I spent at least a whole hour doing it.

    But back to your question: there's a problem with clips, they trouble my judgment, because I see images... I need to close my eyes then. I experience these colours the strongest while listerning to classical or purely orchestral music. There have been composers (like Messiaen for instance) who were synethesists themselves and who painted music in colours, like painters painted their paintings. According to their own experiences of course, because... well... you still need to write it down before an orchestra is able to play it.
    It's really weird, actually.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaria View Post
    I think it's some kind of greenish shade, going to the grey side a little. But doesn't the colour vary from person to person?
    Yes. I was just curious to compare your responses since you both said you have a similar variants.

    I think in the test I did I had to say about 50 times how I scored a certain number or words and it seems that if synethesist do these kind of tests, they always score the same colour. You had to pick it from some kind of rainbowlike field, that consisted of all gradients of colours, so it was actually quite accurate. And it took long, my God. I spent at least a whole hour doing it.
    Now you've got me wondering how they test for other forms. Where's Neph when you need him? I know he knows a lot about this condition in particular. *cough*

    But back to your question: there's a problem with clips, they trouble my judgment, because I see images... I need to close my eyes then. I experience these colours the strongest while listerning to classical or purely orchestral music. There have been composers (like Messiaen for instance) who were synethesists themselves and who painted music in colours, like painters painted their paintings. According to their own experiences of course, because... well... you still need to write it down before an orchestra is able to play it.
    It's really weird, actually.
    Sorry. I should have taken that into consideration before posting the video. Perhaps a link to a song on a music site would have been preferable.

    Thanks for the tip on Messiaen. He's great.

  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaria View Post
    Isn't that the phenomena that you have very strong connections between certain words or numbers and for instance colours? I know that there are other possibilities, but this is what comes to mind first. So that if someone shows me the number 8, I get a 'red' feeling? I have that when listening to music, certain music represents a certain colour. I'm listening to the Star Wars soundtrack right now and the music definitely is purple. I don't know why, but it just is. I also used to have it when I was a kid while reading, but I completely lost it over the years. I did a test a couple of months ago and it turned out I was everything but a synesthesist (or however it's called). I only scored on the part where I had to listen to musical instruments. Though I still very firmly believe an 8 is red, I promised myself back then to stick to that.
    Actually, that isn't synesthesia. It's just making connections between letters, numbers, colors and feelings. I do the same thing but I can feel the personalities of different numbers and certain words have a "Feel" to them, same with music. I don't link up songs to colors like you though, if anything parts of the songs or specific notes can 'feel' like different colors.

    Synesthesia is the condition where your senses become kind of "Crosswired." Like tasting colors, seeing sounds, hearing tastes or hearing colors. Synesthesia is usually visual, as far as I know. It's more than just a linking of ideals- It's actually SEEING the sound, taste or touch. It's actually pretty common with LSD.
    Good example: I read a trip report about a musician that took two hits of strong acid. In the comeup, the musician pressed a key on the keyboard and litterally saw a note float up from the keyboard. A few minutes later, the keyboard became too confusing for him to use. Haha.

    But, then again, there are probably varying degrees. It may just be amplified on LSD.
    And, yes, I have experienced synesthesia. CEVs turning different shades based on the notes of music or sounds around me.

    Actually, that makes me really wonder. Hallucinations are manifestations of the inner mind to the outer body. Suppose that we all have synesthesia but to smaller extents and different areas. That's why we have musicians or artists or physicists. The 'crosswiring' of full-on synesthesia might not just be a temporary thing but the amplification of those 'crosswirings' is. Ooohhh... This might go off into a wonderful tangent.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Psilocin View Post
    Actually, that isn't synesthesia. It's just making connections between letters, numbers, colors and feelings. I do the same thing but I can feel the personalities of different numbers and certain words have a "Feel" to them, same with music. I don't link up songs to colors like you though, if anything parts of the songs or specific notes can 'feel' like different colors.

    Synesthesia is the condition where your senses become kind of "Crosswired." Like tasting colors, seeing sounds, hearing tastes or hearing colors. Synesthesia is usually visual, as far as I know. It's more than just a linking of ideals- It's actually SEEING the sound, taste or touch. It's actually pretty common with LSD.
    Good example: I read a trip report about a musician that took two hits of strong acid. In the comeup, the musician pressed a key on the keyboard and litterally saw a note float up from the keyboard. A few minutes later, the keyboard became too confusing for him to use. Haha.

    But, then again, there are probably varying degrees. It may just be amplified on LSD.
    And, yes, I have experienced synesthesia. CEVs turning different shades based on the notes of music or sounds around me.

    Actually, that makes me really wonder. Hallucinations are manifestations of the inner mind to the outer body. Suppose that we all have synesthesia but to smaller extents and different areas. That's why we have musicians or artists or physicists. The 'crosswiring' of full-on synesthesia might not just be a temporary thing but the amplification of those 'crosswirings' is. Ooohhh... This might go off into a wonderful tangent.
    Well, if I need to see notes coming up from my keyboard, I'm definitely no synesthesist (I didn't think I was one, though. I just see happy colours while listening to music). I've been making music since I was seven and thank God, nothing weird ever came flying towards me from the instrument. Now that would have been scary. I also never tasted anything particular or so. Not even when I was a kid, and trust me... I was a weird kid.

    I wonder what it must be like if one experiences very strong crosswiring, as you call it. Must be tiresome, I imagine. Or maybe you're just so used to it that you have no clue how your life would have been without it.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Psilocin View Post
    But, then again, there are probably varying degrees. It may just be amplified on LSD.

    Actually, that makes me really wonder. Hallucinations are manifestations of the inner mind to the outer body. Suppose that we all have synesthesia but to smaller extents and different areas. That's why we have musicians or artists or physicists. The 'crosswiring' of full-on synesthesia might not just be a temporary thing but the amplification of those 'crosswirings' is. Ooohhh... This might go off into a wonderful tangent.
    A compelling idea. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if you were correct in this assertion. However, it could simply be that I'm projecting my own experiences. I'll have to look around a bit online to see what I can uncover.

    In any case, I know that words and language fascinate me in large part because of the way I experience them. To me, they have discernable shapes and textures. I enjoy the way I construct sentences out of words like building blocks by fitting them together to create pleasing forms. While I realize this isn't full-blown (or perhaps even slight) synesthesia, I can say without a doubt that it does have a noteworthy effect on me.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Trope View Post
    Yes, exactly. Sorry it took so long to edit in the larger quote.



    Interesting. Do you have any more examples of what color certain songs might be?

    For instance:

    YouTube - the postal service - such great heights High Rez

    edit: Same question for you, Surreal. I'd like to compare for curiosity's sake.
    It sounded light silver and pale blue


     
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