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diamond
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Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 8:31 pm

A recent thread in this forum asked what color people associate with jazz music. It got me thinking more about Synaesthesia.

It's often about associating colors with letters or numbers. But it can be far more complicated that than.

Some people see numbers as having a place in space, or a distorted line or curve. Here's an example from Wikipedia:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b1/Galton_number_form.svg/800px-Galton_number_form.svg.png


Though I consider myself to be good with numbers, the way I visualize them is almost impossible to describe. It's considerably more "3D" than the example shown above.

Do you imagine numbers in unusual arrangements? Do you associate colors with them?
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aircatalonia
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 9:47 pm

I don't imagine them in a special arrangement but I do think of some of them in different colors. For instance:

3. Is a bright color for me, not sure which.
5. Definitely blue
6. Green.
8. Something very dark, not sure the color.
9. White
...

I've also wondered if other people have colors for the numbers.

For the months of the year I think of them as an oval with july-august on top and january-february down there.
 
ALexeu
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 9:52 pm

1. I have association of date (months) in my head. E.g. January is always upper from July.
2. Number 4 associates me to letter K.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 10:10 pm

I don't experience synaesthesia as such, but I have extremely strange food and flavour associations with some words, mainly names. For example - Tony is mushrooms, fried. Richard is tomato ketchup. Bill is jelly. Michael is vinegar. Simon is boiled potatoes.
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4holer
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 10:15 pm

...And as the guys in South park might be inspired to say, "Dude, this is really F&%ed up right here"...
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IHadAPheo
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 10:30 pm

If a certain mood moves me I can catch quite a nifty colour vibe from months

July = Purple

December = Black

May = Taupe

I can visualize numbers as moving around a sphere when trying to work out math problems in my head. For some reason this works quite well except when a eclipse (mental block) occurs

IHAP
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arluna
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 11:34 pm

Check out this link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4602748

It must be amazing to hear in color!!

I know this young woman. She is very talented and I think her Synaesthesia contributes to her abilities.

Be sure to listen to the audio on this story and hear her experiences in her own words.

J
 
SmithAir747
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 11:38 pm

Yes, I have synaesthesia too!

I associate numbers and letters with colours, especially vowels.

But I have the rarer form that also includes the association of musical notes (both written and played/heard) with colours, like the pianist mentioned in last reply.

I am also a pianist and violinist, and I associate both the written notes and the played/heard notes with individual colours.

Sometimes I associate days of the week, decades/years, and calendar months with colours, but not as strongly as I do with musical notes, letters, and digits.

SmithAir747
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1337Delta764
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Mon May 04, 2009 11:59 pm

I mostly associate different music genres with colors.

Here is my list:
Jazz - Pink
Rock - Red
R&B - Blue
Disco - Silver
Country - Brown
Classical - Purple
New Age - White
Techno - Gray
Hip-hop - Dark blue
 
Daleaholic
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 12:06 am

I'm not sure about associating numbers with colours, but I do place numbers, days of the week, months and years in like an order in space and they're placed in a way that emphasise the relevance of the day/week/month/year.

It's like a diagram in my mind but I cannot for the life of me draw it...
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1337Delta764
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 12:10 am



Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 9):
I'm not sure about associating numbers with colours, but I do place numbers, days of the week, months and years in like an order in space and they're placed in a way that emphasise the relevance of the day/week/month/year.

Well, as far as months go, an easy association would to associate it with the color of the holiday that most represents the month (i.e. December=Red for Christmas).
 
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mbmbos
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 12:17 am

I don't think I have true synaesthesia, but flavors and odors have three dimensional shapes for me. I can pretty much draw what I'm eating, each flavor having it's own unique shape.

I'm probably just a weirdo.
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diamond
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 3:10 am



Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 9):
It's like a diagram in my mind but I cannot for the life of me draw it...

Exactly! I 'see' numbers, weekdays, months, years, decades, seasons as part of a 3D grid, without the gridlines. This layout is almost colorless and slightly transparent, which makes it unique from the way most people describe Synaesthesia. The fact that I cannot draw it or even explain it well is frustrating.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 3:56 am

Reading your first post, I couldn't understand how anyone could associate colors with music etc... but then just now, as I'm listening to a particular riff, my mind does it's normal trick: It associated different instrumental chords and vocal sounds with varying levels, perhaps best compared to those of a particularly chunky bar chart. It's much more fluid than a chart though, and can overlay many times, depending on the number of instruments, as each one seems to appear on a separate 'layer', yet all are 'visible' at once. The more levels, the more intense the listening experience is, and the heavier the song is, the more the levels change up and down. A particularly good song leads to a chill running down my back and spine - I can't stop it, I just tried again with an old song I hadn't listened to in years, and the same bit did it just as always.

I did some artwork on this years ago, because it was the only way I could get across completely how it appears to me in my mind. I have often thought there was something unusual happening, as none of my friends can pick out all the instruments comprising a song and listen to them all individually at once (the layers of music I see/hear), they just hear music as a block. I'm not sure if this is Synaesthesia though, or something else?


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scrubbsywg
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 4:06 am

odd. i have never ever associated colours with numbers and or math. I went through engineering school doing advanced calculus daily and to be honest never had a method of 'seeing' numbers a certain way. If anything, i tend to look at every day things in terms of cartesian coordinates and geometry and the scientific basis on why things happen(like how things fall, or what happens when two things collide)

The image in the OP just looks weird to me.
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 4:06 am

Anyone ever read "born on a blue day"? It's written by a high-functioning man with autism, a savant sort that can visualize incredibly complex mathematical equations and solve them instantly. He attempts to describe the way he visualizes numbers and dates, and it is all about colors, shapes, and sounds for him, pretty fascinating stuff. Personally, I have no associations between numbers and any color or shape that I'm aware of.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 7:00 am

You guys are whacked......  mischievous 

Never had it for numbers or flavors or sounds but I can view any object in full 3-d effect and flip and rotate it in my mind easily. Viewing any angle based on simple information from description to a picture. It's best with some basic images and it always comes together for me in full 3D. I can see maps and such the same way, with full rotation, reverse views, even "inside". Long before Google Maps and satellite images came about I could do it in my head. Made it easy to work on stuff like cars, or taking stuff apart and putting it back together. Also to get to and back from anywhere and not get lost even if I took a different route. In fact I find I can't stand Google Earth because it is soo limited in what you can do. It has some similarities to what I do but it just lacks so much freedom to move and view that I find it frustrating.

As to sounds, of course music and notes can correspond directly to mathematics but for the life of me I don't "see" the doubling, or smell a color, etc.or understand how one does. I gather greats like Beethoven "saw" music.

Tugg
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rsg85
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 12:57 pm



Quoting Diamond (Thread starter):
Do you imagine numbers in unusual arrangements? Do you associate colors with them?

No but whenever i see the word Synaesthesia i hear the track "Synaesthesia" by The Thrillseakers
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 2:48 pm

I can associate a few months with colors, however, this is mostly due to the holidays that represent the month, or the season the months represent.

January - Light Blue (Winter)
February - Pink (Valentine's Day)
March - Green (St. Patrick's Day)
April - Yellow (at least when Easter occurs during this month)
May - Light Green (Spring)
June - ???
July - Red, White, and Blue (4th of July/Independence Day)
August - ???
September - ???
October - Orange (Halloween)
November - Brown (Thanksgiving/Autumn)
December - Red (Christmas)
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 2:55 pm



Quoting Diamond (Thread starter):

Though I consider myself to be good with numbers, the way I visualize them is almost impossible to describe. It's considerably more "3D" than the example shown above.

You're a synesthete? How cool! So am I.

For me it's sight and sound. If I see a light blinking on and off, even if it's soundless, I will "hear" a clicking with each blink. Now, I don't actually hear the click, but there's a click.

Similarly, different sounds have an associated shape, color, and visual texture. High notes on the piano are shiny blue. Bass notes are browns, ambers, yellows, and usually fuzzy. This is probably the reason that the music I listen to tends not to have words (at least not in English). I focus on the look of the music, so words are a distraction. Besides, a heavy-metal guitar riff looks like a quivering mound of colorful vomit. If you like that stuff, more power to ya, but it makes me nauseated.

I am a synesthete. And I find that somewhat surprising because I'm a right-handed, un-artistic, man. I do have ADHD, which seems to be associated with synesthesia, though.

So what is synesthesia? Well, my theory is that it is a developmental abnormality. Normally, a portion of the cerebral cortex is responsible for processing different senses. The rear of the brain is the visual cortex. The underside of the brain is the olfactory (smell) cortex. There's also some portion associated with hearing and touch (touch is on each side, in the parietal lobe).

Areas of cortex all over the brain are connected to each-other by white matter. As the brain grows and matures, these connections are trimmed and pruned so that the connections that remain are the useful ones that move useful information. My theory is that synesthesia is caused by the persistence of some of these primitive connections.

I have no data on which to base this hypothesis; it's just an educated guess. However, synesthesia is not a medical diagnosis because it is not a disease and it causes no distress or disability. Thus, there is no treatment.
-Doc Lightning-

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diamond
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 6:05 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
You're a synesthete?

Yes, I am. And the list of thing I 'see' in this way is huge.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Well, my theory is that it is a developmental abnormality

Agreed - but I would not want anyone to confuse 'abnormality' with 'disability.' Even though it's hard to describe, I still regard it as a positive attribute. In some cases it feels like a heightened level of awareness.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 16):
You guys are whacked......

I take it that your level of awareness is not so heightened?  Smile
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IMissPiedmont
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 7:49 pm

This whole thread reminds me of conversations I heard while enjoying the effects of a certain illicit substance.
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BAKJet
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Tue May 05, 2009 11:13 pm



Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 9):
I'm not sure about associating numbers with colours, but I do place numbers, days of the week, months and years in like an order in space and they're placed in a way that emphasise the relevance of the day/week/month/year.

It's like a diagram in my mind but I cannot for the life of me draw it...

Yep, thats how it is for me. But I do it with numbers too.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Synaesthesia - Do You Experience It?

Wed May 06, 2009 6:38 am



Quoting Diamond (Reply 20):

Agreed - but I would not want anyone to confuse 'abnormality' with 'disability.' Even though it's hard to describe, I still regard it as a positive attribute. In some cases it feels like a heightened level of awareness.

But, Diamond, you don't want to ride the short bus with me?

Know how I found out I had synesthesia? Once I was talking to someone and I said something like: "Know how when someone walks on the other side of vertical blinds or a picket fence, it makes that 'rat-a-tat-a-tat' sound in your head as he passes each blind?" And he looked at me like I'd just grown a second head.  rotfl 

Well, I dunno, I thought EVERYONE got that! Apparently not. I also do it with swimming. Butterfly is red, backstroke green, breastroke blue, and freestyle black. Why, I dunno. Just is.

But I do wish I could paint a picture of Beethoven's 9th. Or "Angel Falls" by Ayla (a trance track from about 2000). Unfortunately, I can't draw.  Sad
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