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Synesthete / Synesthesia

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posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 09:11 AM
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Not sure if this enters the metaphysical realm or if it's pure physical .. or both.
Supposedly it's just physical according to experts .. but I'm wondering about that.
There is a brain component ... but is this a 'defect' or a 'gift' or 'just nothing at all important'.
I guess it depends on the person who has it and what they think about it.
4% of the population ... and 25% of artists ... are considered Synesthete.
Either way ... come talk about it ... this is interesting!

The other day I entered the ATS Writing Contest and the term SYNESTHETE came up in discussion. I had never heard the term before. OR if I had ... I'd forgotten. (you'd think that with a degree in psychology I would have heard of it ... but looks like not!) So I decided to look it up. VERY interesting.

The short Synesthete test battery
Requires log in to take the long one but you can get an idea from the test ...

Virtual Synesthesia - colored letters and music animation

Example of how someone with color synesthesia sees numbers

Metaphysical Spirituality - tasting the Universe with Maureen Seaberg

Paranormal and Metaphysical Wiki - Synesthesia

Wikipedia - Synesthesia

In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme → color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored, while in ordinal linguistic personification, numbers, days of the week and months of the year evoke personalities. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be "farther away" than 1990), or may have a (three-dimensional) view of a year as a map (clockwise or counterclockwise). Yet another recently identified type, visual motion → sound synesthesia, involves hearing sounds in response to visual motion and flicker. Over 60 types of synesthesia have been reported, but only a fraction have been evaluated by scientific research. Even within one type, synesthetic perceptions vary in intensity and people vary in awareness of their synesthetic perceptions.

While cross-sensory metaphors (e.g., "loud shirt," "bitter wind" or "prickly laugh") are sometimes described as "synesthetic", true neurological synesthesia is involuntary. It is estimated that synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants. Synesthesia runs strongly in families, but the precise mode of inheritance has yet to be ascertained. Synesthesia is also sometimes reported by individuals under the influence of psychedelic drugs, after a stroke, during a temporal lobe epilepsy seizure, or as a result of blindness or deafness. Synesthesia that arises from such non-genetic events is referred to as "adventitious synesthesia" to distinguish it from the more common congenital forms of synesthesia. Adventitious synesthesia involving drugs or stroke (but not blindness or deafness) apparently only involves sensory linkings such as sound → vision or touch → hearing; there are few, if any, reported cases involving culture-based, learned sets such as graphemes, lexemes, days of the week, or months of the year.


Psychology today - Are You Synesthete

Four percent of the population, when seeing number 5, also see color red. Or hear a C-sharp when seeing blue. Or even associate orange with Tuesdays. And among artists, the number goes to 20-25%! This neurologically-based condition is called synesthesia, in which people involuntarily link one sensory percept to another. The colors, sounds, numbers, etc. differ among people (for example, you might see 5 in red, while someone else sees it in orange), but the association never varies within a person (that is, if 5 for you is red, it will always be red). There is a surprising overall agreement among synesthetes, however.


List of famous people with Synesthesia .. Hey .. Billy Joel is one!! No surprise!!

Synesthete Org Info - A standardized test battery for the study of Synesthesia

After reading up on all this I'm thinking I may have some spacial Synesthesia. I see days of the week and the calendar in shapes. Same with numbers in sequence. Example - the days of the week. I see them running counter clockwise in the shape of an iron ... the handle being Saturday and Sunday, then the flat bottom being Monday through Friday. I guess that's not 'normal' ...
I thought it was. And the years of my life ... I see them running in sequence but they twist and turn like a snake .. some stretched out more than others .. some going straight up ... that kind of thing ... even the years I haven't lived yet. I guess that's not 'normal' either.


Now that I've heard about Synesthesia, I'm wondering about that kids movie - Ratatouille.
Remember when the characters would take a bite of food, then the screen would explode
into colors and shapes ... each time different according to what food they were eating.
I'm wondering if this is a form of Synesthesia. Anyone have this experience IRL?

It has been shown that those with Synesthesia have some difference in their brain from those without. Could those with Synesthesia be what we are all supposed to be evolving to? Or is it 'just one of those things' and it doesn't mean much of anything?

For reference to the discussion that sparked this thread - ATS thread - Life is Chaotic Color




posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


Hi FlyersFan,

Good post! S&F for you. I have Colour Graphemic Synaesthesia which means, in my case, that all numbers (and some letters) have an inherent colour: 1 (white), 2 (pink), 3 (blue), 4 (black), 5 (orange), 6 (dark green), 7 (lime green), 8 (red), 9 (dark brown). A (red), B (??), C (yellow), Y (bright yellow), Z (green).

I was actually very surprised when I first discovered that people didn't understand what I meant when I said that 3 is blue! Not only that, if I see a number actually coloured in a different colour (to the one that number has in my mind), I get a bit annoyed!

edit on 13-1-2012 by cakeordeath because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


A favorite topic of mine. I'm a visual artist. I don't have this, but know people who do. I think it's pretty cool, and gives another layer of meaning to visual works. It's like a code of sorts to their perception.

When I taught art, I used to do a synesthesia project with the students. We listened to music, and I had them ask themselves what shape it was and what color. I had them imagine what the sounds looked like, then had them make a painting about their impressions. Even non-synesthetes can get into this to a great degree and it opened up a different way of processing and interpreting.



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 09:52 AM
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I have a bit of synesthesia too. Posted somewhere here already I think. I have a gender and some colours for letters and numbers.

e.g.
1,4,5,7, and 10 are all male.
abcdegopqsu are female.

Funny thing is -I counted my female v male characters one time and they split exactly in half, though there are a couple of androgynous ones included in the alphabet, or maybe these are ones I got confused about as I got older. v,w and y,z get me mixed up sometimes. Perhaps they're a bit of both. Nah, Z is definitely male.



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 09:53 AM
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I'm a grapheme synesthete and have been for as long as I can remember. I distinctly remember having a ABC coloring book as a small child, and coloring in the letters with what I believed to be their "right" colors. It's not that I visually see letters and numbers in colors, it's more a feeling, a very strong association. Words have their own colors too, depending on the letters they are comprised of and the order they are in. Remarkably, these associations have remained very very consistent for many many years. I can't explain it. It's just the way it is for me I guess. This is how I see numbers and letters, more or less:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S TU V W X Y Z

I've gotten many strange looks over the years when I tell people that my favorite number is 5 because it's green.



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 10:07 AM
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I've just realised for the first time how I chose the gender of my letters and numbers. All the females are curvy or round and all the males have either straight lines and/or angles.

Crikey, I've been doing that since I was a toddler too. But I wonder why all my teddies were boys?



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by wigit
All the females are curvy or round and all the males have either straight lines and/or angles.

Oh I'm thinking something Freudian right now. (just teasing).

I don't know much of anything at all about this so I'm wondering .. 'they' say it's brain chemicals and wiring. But I'm wondering if there is some metaphysical things happening as well that we don't know about. Perhaps people who are wired for this can see/feel/taste things that others can't ... because they are further along in evolution and are plugged into things that the rest of humanity isn't? I'm wondering if this isn't a glitch but is instead something bigger. Alas .. I'll probably never know. (but it's kind cool to think about).



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by wigit
 


This reminds me of this video I saw recently which talks about sacred geometry and how male and female energy is depicted geometrically, male energy being linear, female energy being rounded. Interesting stuff. Maybe you were just tapping into the basic underlying structure of existence?




posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


Thank you for posting this FlyersFan! I am happy that I interested you enough for you to research and make a thread on it.

Flyersfan wrote an excellent piece for the current writing contest here on ATS. Here is a link to the original thread that started this conversation. Besides, it's a good read by Flyersfan:

Life is a Chaotic Color

It made me think of my Synesthesia. I'm a grapheme synesthete. Letters and numbers evoke colors to me and like one of the posters above I sometimes get annoyed when letters or words are not the right color.

Like I mentioned in the other thread, the Taco Bell sign annoys me because the words "Taco Bell" should be green not purple.

I'm happy to see there are quite a few ATS'ers who are Synesthetes as well.

S&F for you Flyersfan!



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by Erowynn


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



Wow! Just swap your colors for 7 and 5 and you and I are very close. Synesthetes are very particular about their colors and the color choices here aren't exact but pretty darn close. What I mean by that is my red colored 5 is a very particular shade of red that will be slightly different from the red you perceive from a 7.
edit on 13-1-2012 by tsawyer2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by tsawyer2

Originally posted by Erowynn


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



Wow! Just swap your colors for 7 and 5 and you and I are very close. Synesthetes are very particular about their colors and the color choices here aren't exact but pretty darn close. What I mean by that is my red colored 5 is a very particular shade of red that will be slightly different from the red you perceive from a 7.
edit on 13-1-2012 by tsawyer2 because: (no reason given)


I know what you mean. My red number 1 and red number 7 are actually two different shades of red. Same for my number 9, but ATS only has a pink and a red to choose from. I chose the color that was closest to what I see with my mind's eye. It's not exact but the best I can do with what I was given.



posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by Erowynn


I know what you mean. My red number 1 and red number 7 are actually two different shades of red. Same for my number 9, but ATS only has a pink and a red to choose from. I chose the color that was closest to what I see with my mind's eye. It's not exact but the best I can do with what I was given.


Cool, You know what I mean then.

My number 1 and 5 reds are different too. One is a lighter type red where 5 is darker. My number 9 is sort of brownish, but I understood what you were going for there.

And it's not something we choose either, it's just the color it's supposed to be.



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 05:09 AM
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I am also a synesthete, only I can see musical notes in physical forms in my minds eye. I have always had this 'ability' since I can remember, and ever since I was a child I would just zone out while listening to music, observing the various shapes and colors that appeared panoramically in my mind. For many years I thought it was just my active imagination, until I came across the term synesthesia while listening to a hip-hop album by Pharell Williams, who claimed to also be a synesthete as well. Apparently many if the greatest composers and producers, such as Beethoven, Quincy Jones, and Kanye West have all been said to possess this trait. It is indeed a strange albiet interesting phenomenon of the brain. Glad to know there are others out there like me who have this ability....

Good to be in the minority,
---1Luv



posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 12:50 PM
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I wonder if some of the creators of Disney's Fantasia were synesthete's? There's a lot of musical psychedelia in that film.



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