do you have synesthesia? are you a synesthete?

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there's some talk over here Synesthesia : Classic or Dud? but I'd like to talk about all kinds of synesthesia.

so I heard at least 1 in 200 people have this, which means there must be some number of ilxers who have it. what kind of synesthesia do you have? when did you find out synesthesia isn't normal? what does it help you do? do you find it annoying? do you wish it would go away?

going non-native (dyao), Monday, 3 May 2010 13:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

it tastes like burning

βΠψ (bnw), Monday, 3 May 2010 13:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

a little bit maybe? 5 is definitely red and 8 is blue etc.

coolest thing was dude on some tlc special who, among other talents, could recite pi to the nth place and he explained that it was just all a very familiar landscape to him -- he remembered every hill and barren and clutch of green or whatever, to the point where when they ran pi across a screen with mistakes every few hundred or so digits he would visibly grimace like some one had vandalized his favorite place

rent, Monday, 3 May 2010 13:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

Things are usually expressed in visual terms, mostly sounds, but also other stuff. Most often it's music manifest as loose, coloured shapes, although this is often motivated by say, what a record sleeve looks like, though. Often essays I'm working on tend to take on colours if I've been working on them a long time, and especially if I do late into the night.

I didn't realize this was something when I was like 19. I can remember as a kid thinking I would know what different colour markers would taste like.

I don't think there's much practical application for this, but as I mentioned in the other thread, I have actually paired tracks in mixes because they had complimentary colours.

For me it's not annoying because it's just part of my cognitions. It's hard to imagine not having it, it would be like "listening to music with my eyes closed," as I've remarked in the past, as if there was something that should be there missing.

Tonight I Dine on Turtle Soup (EDB), Monday, 3 May 2010 14:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have grapheme -> colour synaesthesia. Same story, didn't realise everyone else didn't see text that way until I studied it in college. I guess it's the least impressive form of syn. as it's not even linking two different senses - just two forms of visual input. A word will take on the colour of its constituent letters, but the initial letter defines the word's main colour.

Pros - I'm convinced it's part of the reason for me being able to spell and spot spelling errors so well - a word looks doubly wrong if it's spelt wrong, as the colour is off too.

Cons - never experienced any downside until I tried to use the SF Muni. All the lines J, K, L, M, N are represented by colours on the Muni map - oddly the colours they use for this group of letters are what I 'see' for these letters - but they are all associated with the wrong ones! Because the map requires you to look at the letter only as a 'key' then look at the correct colour line, there's been many a time I've been scratching my head over the purple line because to me that's J, when actually the purple line is L or something. It wouldn't be a problem if they were all yellows or browns, it's just freaky that the map colours are almost exactly right for a different line letter.

Not the real Village People, Monday, 3 May 2010 17:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Some people react in total disbelief that this is a real thing, how I see the world (well, text). I have to say I react the same way when another synaesthete tries to tell me E is RED or some such bs. (It's obviously yellow).

The hardest thing is trying to explain that you don't 'hallucinate' the colours - you just 'know' the colour it is. I would describe it a little like seeing something familiar in a black and white photo - you know the colour it ~is~, and you couldn't mistake it for a different colour, even if you're seeing it in greyscale. But that doesn't really describe it that well.

Not the real Village People, Monday, 3 May 2010 18:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

I always thought synesthesia sounded like a lot of fun.

This is four-dimensional art; the 4th dimension is incredibly powerful. (Abbott), Monday, 3 May 2010 18:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

as a child, i always attributed male/female attritubes to letters and numbers. not sure if this is synaethesia.

cutty, Monday, 3 May 2010 20:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

a little bit. sounds as shapes/images mainly. moreso when tired.

tomofthenest, Monday, 3 May 2010 20:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

maybe you're french?

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Monday, 3 May 2010 20:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

bass(plucked, deep) is like a doughnut/torus; often red. a sudden shout is a spearhead moving quickly. flute is a tilde-like squiggle, sometimes cyan. like Not the Real Village People, don't "see" or "hallucinate" this stuff, it just forms part of my perception; like something in peripheral vision i guess.

tomofthenest, Monday, 3 May 2010 20:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't think there's much practical application for this, but as I mentioned in the other thread, I have actually paired tracks in mixes because they had complimentary colours.

this def. i think i definitely have this, a lot of stuff tends to come out as being colours (sounds esp) and most things feel like they have a visual element, tho usually one that is not exactly describable.

plax (ico), Monday, 3 May 2010 20:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, i mean i like how much of the new vampire weekend album sounded like pastel pink, yellow and cyan

plax (ico), Monday, 3 May 2010 20:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

i wish i had known this was actually a thing sooner, i only heard of it like last summer, woulda made a few more art school crits more coherent u kno

plax (ico), Monday, 3 May 2010 20:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

wasn't there some thread where like everyone on ilm was claiming they had more synesthesia that everyone else

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, 3 May 2010 21:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

than

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, 3 May 2010 21:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't have synaesthesia.

crüt, Monday, 3 May 2010 21:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

i don't have it either, but wikipedia says this is a type of synesthesia, and i do this to an extent, but i don't think of it as a thing.

Guns, Computer, The Internet (harbl), Monday, 3 May 2010 21:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

i mean, sort of like cutty, i did that gender thing with letters and numbers (though i didn't always have to articulate in my brain "seven is female" or anything like that), and i had an easier time learning genders of words in french because even the non-obvious ones would just seem right, and i always use mnemonic devices i can't even explain to another person because stuff just seems to be organized by associating multiple seemingly unrelated ideas. but it's not like seeing colors or anything, it's just how my brain is structured. i don't know how other people memorize stuff though, it could be the same.

Guns, Computer, The Internet (harbl), Monday, 3 May 2010 21:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

^^^^yep, me too, letters/numbers/days of the week/months of the year have always naturally assumed definite identifiable genders

too dancy, rocking, jazzy, funky or american (Myonga Vön Bontee), Monday, 3 May 2010 22:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

i had an easier time learning genders of words in french because even the non-obvious ones would just seem right

Is it the object or the sound of the word which has a gender? (partly out of curiosity and also wondering whether it would help/hinder if you learnt e.g. German where some of the same objects have nouns of a different gender)

Synaesthesia sounds super rad and I have wished I had it, though I gather it's actively annoying to some people. I do wonder, though, if some people with a milder association of numbers or letters to colours might have had e.g. an alphabet wall frieze as a kid that they're picking up the colours from rather than actual neuroaesthetic crosswiring. But that's probably just envy on my part.

xylyl syzygy (a passing spacecadet), Monday, 3 May 2010 22:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

xpost
Would you say this is an automatic thing, e.g. when you see/hear these things does a "feeling" of male/female encroach upon you, or is it more that if you were asked whether xyz was male/female you'd be able to answer?
With synaesthesia it's a sensory thing that's always there, you can't turn it off. But I find the gender thing interesting.

Not the real Village People, Monday, 3 May 2010 22:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

When I was a very small child, I processed tactile information in purely color terms, but I grew out of it pretty quickly.

I scared the shit out of my mom one morning, as I had slept on my arm wrong, so it had fallen asleep, and the resulting pins and needles caused me to run down the stairs screaming "MY ARM FEELS PINK! MY ARM FEELS PINK!"

(I am still slightly unnerved by certain pinks)

I wish I did still have it, as I feel like it would come in handy trying to make color decisions in film and photos.

ENERGY FOOD (en i see kay), Monday, 3 May 2010 22:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

working with colour etc for a living everyday, i'm pretty sure if i had synesthesia my job would be impossible. am i wrong?

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Monday, 3 May 2010 22:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

Would depend on what kind. If each colour made you experience a taste then yeah that could get pretty disgusting. The best one I've heard of is some guy who actually felt words e.g. some words were round and smooth like a pillar or spiky and painful.

btw if I didn't have it I would think there must be some childhood association like with a wall frieze - but I can't imagine I ever would have had one with the weird range of colours I have (some are iridescenty kind of shades, others very strong bright colours, many shades of brown, and a couple don't really have a strong colour assoc'd with them).

Not the real Village People, Monday, 3 May 2010 22:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's more of a feeling in the background for me, if i want to turn it into something to help me remember something i have to force myself to recognize it

Guns, Computer, The Internet (harbl), Monday, 3 May 2010 22:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

they moved the synesthete next to me at work

velko, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 01:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

working with colour etc for a living everyday, i'm pretty sure if i had synesthesia my job would be impossible. am i wrong?

I'd venture to say you are. Unless you have hardcore synesthesia where you're really confusing senses, I don't see why it would get in the way of working well with colour. The point about not hallucinating colour, and the black and white photo analogy is OTM, it's not like your actually tasting anything when you see the colour red, it's just a kind of knowledge in the back of your head that's there, which, for me at least, you're liminally conscious of. I think the fact that I'm naturally a very visually and very colour oriented person is consistent with my synesthesia.

Tonight I Dine on Turtle Soup (EDB), Tuesday, 4 May 2010 02:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

wasn't there some thread where like everyone on ilm was claiming they had more synesthesia than everyone else

― puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, May 3, 2010 5:16 PM (Yesterday)

probably. synesthesia is the perfect subject for bizarre art school chest-beating, like...

synesthete A: "the number 73 is salmon-colored, octagonal and gender-neutral."
synesthete B: "no you are wrong, the number 73 smells like early Merzbow, tastes like hunger, and feels like warm cherry Faygo splashing against a freshly-painted clown face."
synesthete A: "wow, your brain, it is so quirky and unconventional."

this is the type of argument where everybody loses.

not having a luxury watch is terrible (unregistered), Wednesday, 5 May 2010 02:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

Would you say this is an automatic thing, e.g. when you see/hear these things does a "feeling" of male/female encroach upon you, or is it more that if you were asked whether xyz was male/female you'd be able to answer?
With synaesthesia it's a sensory thing that's always there, you can't turn it off. But I find the gender thing interesting.

It's kind of an instinctive, subconscious thing, and it's subtle - I don't look at a letter and immediately think "man" or "woman" the way I would when seeing an actual person, presumably because of the lack of any emotional investment in the matter. But the perception is definitely there, and it's more elaborate than a simple matter of male-female: it's a sliding scale, a ranking from "most masculine" to "most feminine". Other non-organic concepts that assume a similar ranking are numbers, weekdays, months, geometric shapes, and colours.

too dancy, rocking, jazzy, funky or american (Myonga Vön Bontee), Wednesday, 5 May 2010 17:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

is there some thread abt musicians who love saying they have synaeshesia or did i make that up

just sayin, Saturday, 4 April 2015 11:03 (three years ago) Permalink

PRobably happened in the blood orange thread

, Saturday, 4 April 2015 12:07 (three years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

^ never saw this reply, but it looks like you were correct. reminded of it because of -

"Lorde has a neurological condition known as sound-to-color synesthesia — when she hears certain notes and sounds, corresponding colors appear — and she describes making music in intensely visual terms. "

just sayin, Thursday, 13 April 2017 00:46 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

lol from avey tare's wikipedia -

In an interview with Brightest Young Things, he implied that he has synesthesia and associates sound with visuals.[12] He later clarified that although he has talked about it a lot in interviews he in fact does not have synesthesia. [13]

just sayin, Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:36 (two months ago) Permalink


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