The Colourful World of Synesthesia

Synesthesia is a condition where people attribute and experience an association between one sense – the seeing of letters/numbers and another - the perception of colour. A synaesthete may also see colours when listening to music or interpreting sound
or perhaps they will experience a smell when seeing a certain colour. They may see the letter A as being red or S as yellow. Some synaesthetes may even experience taste associated with colour or sound. The common experience is to have the perception of one sense imposed upon another.

An example of how synaesthetes may experience text:

Many who experience Synesthesia assume that everyone else does too. And why wouldn’t they?

I find the idea of Synesthesia intriguing. The association of colour and mood has been studied and evidenced. We all have our very individual colour preferences. What if a synaesthete is only experiencing a dimension or sense the rest of us do not? Perhaps one day we will know – but what it tells me for sure is that you can never be sure what someone else’s perception of something is.

You ears may hear a completely different song as we listen to something together. We can be sure each will have a unique experience.

And isn’t that the joy of being an individual?

With all of these tendencies - genetic, learned, influenced, cultural, inherent, many yet to be explored and identified – we are such individuals with infinite differences.

As we move closer and closer to the roll over of the first decade of the 21st century my wish for planet earth is that as human beings, we learn to love and be fascinated by our differences, our different perceptions and experiences - our different tendencies.

And I have to say, I’m more than a little bit disappointed that I wasn’t born a synaesthete. I guess I’m just going to have to keep adding colour to my life as I always have – by being creative, by loving with free abandon, by shedding fear and by refusing to sleep through this technicolour life we live.

Wishing you a colourful week!

Photo Credit ~ Sylvia Armstrong

1 comment

  • dankitti


    What would your songs taste like? That would be interesting to find out.

    What would your songs taste like? That would be interesting to find out.

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