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Forums > Social Discussion > Are There Any Other Synesthetes Here?

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Sporky


Sporky

addict
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 663
Posted:Synesthesia is an involuntary joining in which the real information of one sense is accompanied by a perception in another sense. In addition to being involuntary, this additional perception is regarded by the synesthete as real, often outside the body, instead of imagined in the mind's eye. It also has some other interesting features that clearly separate it from artistic fancy or purple prose. Its reality and vividness are what make synesthesia so interesting in its violation of conventional perception. Synesthesia is also fascinating because logically it should not be a product of the human brain, where the evolutionary trend has been for increasing separation of function anatomically.
R. Cytowic, "Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses" Springer-Verlag, NY (p.1)


I have a crossover between my hearing and my vision (I see music or any sound for that matter) and know that it isn't really that common a thing. So, I was simply wondering whether anyone else here has it...


Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Written by: OvertlyFlirtatiousSpork
...I'm not a freak, I'm not a freak, I'm not a freak, I'm not a freak... alright maybe I am. Hope this helps.



Not a "freak" - a phenomenon! hug

Some people spend fortunes on drugs to have sensations like you do... I don't wanna say I envy you, but for sure I'd have loads of fun and would hang out all the time, listening to music, wandering off in my little wonderland... biggrin


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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roarfire
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

roarfire

comfortably numb
Location: The countryside

Total posts: 2676
Posted:Wow! I remember once when I was about 12 I saw this program about a lady who saw sounds and I've always remembered. The TV show made colours appear on the screen so the audience could understand it more. I was even talking about it with a friend the other day and they had no idea what I was on about so I was beginning to convince myself that I dreamt it all!



I've never known what it's called. I just have the image of the colours on my TV screen representing the sound that I saw that time. I remember she was saying that birds singing outside would be light green blobs of colour or something



That couple of seconds of footage has been with for so many years and you've just answered my question about what the hell it was.



*feels incredibly refreshed*



As for my experiences, I'm not sure if it's the same but I too get the taste/smell thing, but I think everyone does that. A common saying for me when I'm trying new weird foods is 'Does it taste as bad as it smells?'


.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:this thread is actually very ironic to me right now cause i had to learn about this for my licensure exam but had this discussion with a friend about how i had to learn all these useless information that i will never use again, and i used the example of this disorder. to which he replies, "i know what that is!" (although he would have no use for the information in his line of work literally). so it's become a rather amusing joke between us. and here it comes up again. i guess there is a reason i had to learn about it!

i've never really thought about it before. i don't think i'd classify as having it, but i certainly join senses at times....such as equating an emotion to a smell....but that has more to do with how the brain encodes memories. while i joke about "useless" information for my test, i actually find this phenomenon fascinating.


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:One of my students had it. Well, I assume she still does but she's no longer my student. It came up when I was showing them a flash video of molecules bouncing off each other and she said "Oh, this looks like that Eminem song" to which she had to explain for the next half hour what she meant.

It sounds cool. It would be cooler if she could turn it off... I bet it could get annoying after a while. It was interesting that different songs had VERY specific patterns that she saw that were distinct to that song and were always the same.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:1) I don't think of it as a disorder. It's just how I see the world.

2) I think if you grow up hearing a "click" every time a light blinks or noticing that certain sounds are red dashes and others are blue swirls it just all becomes part of how your senses work and it's not distracting at all. It's just...reality.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:sorry if i misspoke on the "disorder" terminology btw. i don't necessarily see it as a disorder either, just how it was referred to in my texts smile

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Sporky


Sporky

addict
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 663
Posted:I agree with Doc L. Because I've grown up always having it I don't really notice it unless I see something interesting or something that makes me ill (dance music and certain voices for instance). Recently, because I'm onw back on medication (the 'wonderful' world of Effexor) I'm not able to see as much as I was before but this is merely a side effect of the meds so hopefuly I'll recover once I'm off them again.

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Some questions to you (because I'm curious)

What does the sound of the ocean, the purr of a kitten look like?

How does the sound of rain taste?

If you can taste music - what is your yummiest song?

I could come up with more, but maybe this already gets ignored... rolleyes shrug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:An ocean, or any white noise, is grey. Rain, too. Different shades. Rain is solid grey. An ocean comes in lumps (With each wave). A kitten purring is a bunch of rounded brown spikes.

But the description doesn't do the sensation justice.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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phosphojesus


phosphojesus

newbie
Location: Lydney, gloucester

Total posts: 14
Posted:In some situations this may prove usefulin a proffesional capacity
You could prove to be a fantastic musician, composer or producer, able to lead a band or orchestra to feats of accuracy that others would be unlikely to achieve in as short a time as you could, if they notice these errors at all.

By using your ability to see what others hear, as a musician your memory of tracks might be easier to comprehend, I.E. many people use association as a memory aid, you have it built in!

As a bass player my role in my band is to hold the music together, you would make a fantastic bassist as you may be able to visualize your space, where you fit, where everyone else runs around you and how this all looks/sounds to the audience.

As a maestro, conductor or a producer you may be able to see the layers in the music and how it fits together, able to make slight adjustments to make the track better and to you more aesthetically pleasing.

Is it only your friends that you can see colours for, or anybody?
If it was anybody, you would make a fantastic counselor, as you really would know how someone felt even if they didn't say it, they may be embarrassed to speak what they really feel and you would be in the know, partially.

Or when people are lying to you, endlessly useful.

Or have I overestimated this phenomenon, and made it into something it's not?

I just thought, do you see these colours when your eyes are closed, or when blinded by intense light?

This is a very interesting phenomenom to me, although I have never experienced anything like it, I would love to, it would be an amazing experience!

Jesus


According to the philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle, chaos is to be found in it's greatest abundance wherever order is sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organised.

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Sporky


Sporky

addict
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 663
Posted:Its funny you say that. I'm a guitarist and base a lot of the things I write on the colours that I see. I also have perfect pitch with most instruments (drums being the exception tongue) so I do tend to build tracks that are asthetically pleasing to my eyes. That being said, most of them are very strange compared to most music as they to be real explorations of what I see.

I see colours for everyone I hear which can make things a little difficult for me in crowded places as all of the information that I see gets a little too much (I have been known to walk out of crowded shops and streets). It takes me a while to pick up on the nuances of new people and how they speak so if I were to become a councellor of some description then it would take me a few sessions to get to know the person before I was of any use.

Figuring out whether someone is lying is based on a similar idea to a polygraph test (for me anyway) because people's voices tend to become more stressed when they lie but I also use body language to pick up on it too because, like a polygraph, its not entirely accurate. Did you know that a person is more likely to maintain eye contact when lying as they don't need to use their memory centres to retrieve information as much?

I don't get flash-blindness at all (I don't know why) but I do still see the colours even when I close my eyes because they aren't generated by my eyes but the visual centres on the brain so technically they are independant of my 'actual' vision but are still part of it.

Here's another interesting thing: card counting is illegal in all casinos and if you get caughtyou get chucked out and possibly arrested. In a game of blackjack the casino uses four decks (208 cards). I was trying this the other day and found that I can predict when the deck turns from favouring the dealer to favouring the player by having two songs, 104 notes long, playing in my head, one for high value cards and one for low values. As each card is drawn a note from one of the songs is removed and the song goes back to the start. Because I can 'see' the songs playing in my head I can keep track of the cards left in the deck and therefore know when to play for more money.


Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't

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phosphojesus


phosphojesus

newbie
Location: Lydney, gloucester

Total posts: 14
Posted:Wow, I'm never playing blackjack anywhere near you then!

Do you record your music at all, because if you do then it must be truly original where music of today becomes samey. Experimental music is also fsntastic I must say!

If you record then post a link to where we can hear it, I'm sure it'll be amazing! if not, at least interesting!

Jesus


According to the philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle, chaos is to be found in it's greatest abundance wherever order is sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organised.

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shadows_shaded
BRONZE Member since Feb 2006

newbie
Location: Central Coast, NSW

Total posts: 23
Posted:Romantic conditions blackjack, brain damage and Alexander Scriabin... there is no way to bottom line this. Except maybe with mescaline... speaking of which.



I believe I can relate to this (not with mescaline, that was a joke, though a theoretical possibility). An artist of the visual side of media, making movies as I do, my ever present source of inspiration is music. I believe that I, also, can "visualise" music, in the sense that I almost judge it on its visual integrity. If its not visual to me, I often find it irritating and repetitive, as it doesn't flow into my mind just right. When its flowing it seems to hit the visual centres of my brain...

And everything comes out as fleeting, epic clips of life.

I, for one, love it.

EDITED_BY: shadows_shaded (1141346146)


The voices told me to say it. No really...
Ask them.

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.

Total posts: 756
Posted:I know my best mate has it.. she claims it makes it easier to learn languages as she gets interesting word-colour associations, and they're (I think) the same no matter what language the word is in..

THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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Jozi


newbie
Location: Lancashire

Total posts: 5
Posted: Written by: Sethis


Not sure about romance. It's got to be incredibly lonely. Imagine being the only person able to see. The rest of the world is blind.

How depressed would you get, never to be able to describe sunsets or rainbows or trees to anyone? And no-one understands.

Sorry, wallowing in misery there, I'll stop now.

biggrin redface



Hee, but you're quite right. It's exactly like that. ubblol
I always feel slightly sorry for everyone, and also slightly cross with everyone. Because they don't think that way :P


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Hanz


Hanz

veteran
Location: Bendigo, Vic, Australia

Total posts: 1328
Posted:wow, this sounds quite amazing! it was be fabulous to even spend a day in the shoes of someone with this gift, to understand the world in a whole new way.
It really does sound quite amazing, and if you always had this gift you would think it was normal, just as we believe that seeing objects as we do is normal, but to a blind person, seeing 'nothing' is normal.


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Motley
GOLD Member since Oct 2005

Motley

addict
Location: UK

Total posts: 434
Posted:There was a documentry on synesthesia on the BBC in the 1980's I watched it as part of one of my uni courses. It was very interesting, one thing that they noted was how negative and impact synesthesia had on some peoples lives. Like people who percieve sounds as vision, some of the experiences, say when walking through a busy town sounded really rather frightening and confusing. One guy tasted sound and some sounds resulted in some rather unpleasent tastes, I guess life for these people is pretty hard sometimes. Although for many people its a wonderful experience. I think they mentioned that quite a few renouned artists were thought to be synesthetes, tho i cant remember exactly who.

Motley


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VampyricAcid
SILVER Member since Jun 2005

VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House

Total posts: 1286
Posted:On a slightly different subject, but not too dissimilar i have a friend who babysits for a girl who is mostly blind except for UV light, now he could have been malecowpooing (heehee i like that im gonna use it more) anyone think it could be possible?

Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

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Sporky


Sporky

addict
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 663
Posted: Written by: Motley


Like people who percieve sounds as vision, some of the experiences, say when walking through a busy town sounded really rather frightening and confusing. One guy tasted sound and some sounds resulted in some rather unpleasent tastes, I guess life for these people is pretty hard sometimes. Although for many people its a wonderful experience.




I can't stay in a crowded space for too long without feeling very ill unless I am able to block out all the idle chatter (headphones and iPod normally). Its amazing just how noisy some places like shopping centres are especially when you are able to see every single conversation, all of the store music and whatever else is going on around you. That being said, it is rather useful if I'm trying to find other people as I can 'look' for their voices.

Some parts of it are really amazing but there are, like anything I guess, drawbacks to it.


Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't

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