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Old 11-02-2019, 12:39 AM
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Hearing colors - seeing sounds


This is the strangest condition I have ever heard of. It is called synesthesia and takes many forms. I hate to simply post a link but it is too far reaching to summarize. This just fascinates me as I try to imagine it happening.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

Dennis

Last edited by mixdenny; 11-02-2019 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:14 AM
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As the article indicates, there are many forms of synesthesia, and I believe that it is, if not common, more prevalent than a person may think. I experience what I believe are mid-level mirror-touch synesthesia and low-level spatial sequence synesthesia. With the mirror-touch, when I see someone being slapped, for example, I feel the sensation of being slapped, but not the pain associated with it. It's a strange thing that happens involuntarily, reflexively. But it doesn't occur every time I see such an action, which is why I say I think it's mid-level. In the reading I've done on synesthesia, I've come away thinking that it's a term used to describe a great many perceptions and may even be too broad.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:23 AM
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Hope this doesn't make you hear red, but there are a few threads here.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:39 AM
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Se7en is La7ender.
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:20 PM
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I used to belong to a message board for synesthetes. Sadly defunct now, but I have many fond memories of the place.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:52 PM
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In Grade 2, I wondered why my teacher never mentioned that 2 was red and 5 was blue.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:50 AM
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In Grade 2, I wondered why my teacher never mentioned that 2 was red and 5 was blue.
Cuisennaire, right?
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:04 PM
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Cuisennaire, right?
a little help here?
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:42 PM
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a little help here?
Cuisenaire
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:21 PM
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Oh damn, those colors are ALL WRONG!!!
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:45 AM
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In Grade 2, I wondered why my teacher never mentioned that 2 was red and 5 was blue.
Because 5 is yellow-green (same as E minor). You're right about 2, though.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:03 PM
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Because 5 is yellow-green (same as E minor). You're right about 2, though.
No, 6 is yellow-green. 7 is a weak green. 8 is purple.

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Old 11-03-2019, 01:16 PM
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In Grade 2, I wondered why my teacher never mentioned that 2 was red and 5 was blue.
Which begs the question, do numbers/colors/sounds translate the same for different people.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:58 PM
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Which begs the question, do numbers/colors/sounds translate the same for different people.
There are certain tendencies, but nothing 100%. Heck, I don't think there's anything that pushes 50%.

When synesthetes gather together, the dialogue tends to devolve into mock arguments along the lines of "What, red twos? You're crazy, two is obviously green." We just can't seem to help ourselves.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:20 AM
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Two was red
Five was blue
Now you're hearing Barney, too.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:54 PM
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Two was red
Five was blue
Now you're hearing Barney, too.
I don't know whether o laugh or hunt you down to strangle you with your mouse cord!

Ear worm alert!











(All of the above is a jest, of course. I would never try to strangle a fellow doper, even one who inserts Barney ear worms in my head. No matter who much said Doper deserved it. )

Last edited by Northern Piper; 11-03-2019 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:52 PM
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Nope, that's not it.

When I thought about the digit "2", it was a bright red in my mind's eye. Not the word "two", just the digit. The digit "5" was a bright blue.

Never seen those sticks before.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:19 PM
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Not the same thing as the numbers, but there are high intensity street lights of some kind with a yellowish tint and I can taste the light.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:19 PM
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Not the same thing as the numbers, but there are high intensity street lights of some kind with a yellowish tint and I can taste the light.
Those would be low pressure sodium lights. Haven't seen those in a while, as everything is switching to LEDs.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:07 AM
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I have strong spatial sequence synesthesia.

When I think of an historical year, I see columns of centuries arranged in my mental eye with the location of the year in question highlighted, and I can zoom in and out, as it were. This doesn't give a real sense of what I 'see', nor would any physical diagram, because it's far more complicated than that.

Some centuries have specific colours, which may vary in shade in different regions and if associated with different ideas. Events and ranges of dates appear when they are relevant, as do all kinds of images, maps, and vaguer associations. Everything can change dynamically, rotate, expand and contract as necessary. BC dates and centuries run backwards and downwards to the left instead of upwards and to the right like AD dates and centuries.

Days, weeks, months, and individual years are also spatial in my mind, but in a flexible way that it would be difficult to capture in diagrams. Even when I do arithmetic I 'see' the relationship of numbers visually. When I did mathematics and physics at university, I found that that I was sometimes slower to grasp a new mathematical concept than other students, because I first had to 'see' it in a mental image before I could understand it. But then I would understand it more thoroughly than they did.

I'm not sure whether this counts as synesthesia, but when reading I also hear the voices of the characters, and see the whole scene in my mind's eye. Sometimes when I am really engrossed in a book, I am completely unaware of the pages and printed words, and instead only see and hear the scene unfolding in my mind, as in video, but three-dimensionally.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:23 AM
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I have strong spatial sequence synesthesia.

When I think of an historical year, I see columns of centuries arranged in my mental eye with the location of the year in question highlighted, and I can zoom in and out, as it were. This doesn't give a real sense of what I 'see', nor would any physical diagram, because it's far more complicated than that.

Some centuries have specific colours, which may vary in shade in different regions and if associated with different ideas. Events and ranges of dates appear when they are relevant, as do all kinds of images, maps, and vaguer associations. Everything can change dynamically, rotate, expand and contract as necessary. BC dates and centuries run backwards and downwards to the left instead of upwards and to the right like AD dates and centuries.

Days, weeks, months, and individual years are also spatial in my mind, but in a flexible way that it would be difficult to capture in diagrams.
I do the same thing, but my years are arranged differently than yours.

Quote:
Even when I do arithmetic I 'see' the relationship of numbers visually. When I did mathematics and physics at university, I found that that I was sometimes slower to grasp a new mathematical concept than other students, because I first had to 'see' it in a mental image before I could understand it. But then I would understand it more thoroughly than they did.
With me, this caused me to grasp new mathematical concepts immediately. I was always the best in the class in math.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:37 AM
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Those would be low pressure sodium lights. Haven't seen those in a while, as everything is switching to LEDs.
That's them, I think. Couldn't remember the exact designation. And yeah, they don't seem to be around anymore.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:39 PM
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I experienced it much more strongly when I was younger. But I still see numbers as colors. As a purely visual thinker I think this helps me with math.

When I was younger I had the same thing with letters. I was something of a spelling savant, which I'm sure was connected.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:47 PM
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I don't know if it's related, but all my life, whenever I look at any inanimate object--literally anything; a leaf, a sock, a chair--I immediately orient it in my mind to a human face or form. Chairs have eyebrows, and hands on their knees. A maple leaf has arms and legs. A jar has shoulders and a face. I'm sure this has contributed to my life as an artist; everything has a personality and a visual balance
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:52 PM
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Drop some acid and you might well see musical sounds transmuted into colors pouring out of your speakers.*

*or so I am told.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:29 AM
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Drop some acid and you might well see musical sounds transmuted into colors pouring out of your speakers.*

*or so I am told.
I don't need to drop acid for that. Musical notes and keys are different colors, and they're different than the colors of letters, just as dates are different than the colors of individual numbers.

What's interesting is that there's so much disagreement about the colors of numbers and letters. It would be really amazing if different people saw the SAME colors.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:50 PM
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Well darn. I was hoping to pioneer a new field of math incorporating color into the equations.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:50 PM
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Bevis: "Hey Butthead, do numbers have vowels?"

Butthead: "Uh, Yeah. One is a vowel. So is Zero."

(paraphrased from memory)
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:55 PM
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Since I was a really little kid (almost pre-literate), one was white, two was yellow, three was blue, four was red, five was green, six was orange, seven was grey, eight was black and nine was brown.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:57 PM
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Yellow is a very unhappy color, and to be honest, I am tired of putting up with its shit.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:34 PM
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Wednesday is light orange. So is the 18th century.

Really! They just are. I'm not going to argue about it.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:38 PM
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One is white. Two is green. Three is yellow. Four is reddish-purple. Five is dark blue. Six is brown. Seven is purple. Eight is kind of a purple-pink. Nine is black. 0 is somewhere between white and clear.

My letter and number colors have been completely consistent since I was a little kid. I'm convinced my synesthesia helps me spell really well, though it never did much for my math abilities.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:53 AM
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I hate to break it to you, but wyverns are normally bronze.

There can be mutations, of course.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:00 AM
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Don't even get me started on how the damn things taste. Tuesday moring, for example, has this disgusting clove/anise thing going. By the afternoon it's like chewing on bitter lemongrass.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:00 AM
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And bitter lemongrass is 7 or V or E minor.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:49 PM
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For those who are interested, Other People's Lives had an episode where they talked to a synesthete.
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:31 PM
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I might have a slight case of number form synesthesia. Numbers, and especially dates, fall into certain images. The date thing is useful; it allows me to see how a particular year fits in with others.

Certain words also have a feeling on my tongue. Not quite taste, but close.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:40 AM
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Monday is orange, Tuesday is red, Wednesday is green, Thursday is dark blue and Friday is Yellow. No opinion about Saturday and Sunday.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:20 AM
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Y'all crazy. 0 is black; 1 is brown; 2 is red; 3 is orange; 4 is yellow; 5 is green; 6 is blue; 7 is puprple; 8 is grey; and 9 is white.

Oh, wait...that's just the resistor color code, ain't it?

I don't think I have any synesthetic tendencies. I mean, sure, I may have loose cross-sensual associations, but they're not consistent, and, from what I understand, true synesthetes really do experience the sense that is being crossed (e.g. one physically sees the color blue when hearing, say, an E flat) not just has a loose mental association with the color.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:11 PM
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Synesthesia can cover mental associations as well; in fact, it's much more common that way. If you *know* that A is yellow, because duh of course A = yellow, what else would it be, you don't have to physically see yellow on the page.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:05 PM
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Synesthesia can cover mental associations as well; in fact, it's much more common that way. If you *know* that A is yellow, because duh of course A = yellow, what else would it be, you don't have to physically see yellow on the page.
I guess, but that's not how I originally learned the term, I suppose. Wikipedia says:

Quote:
There are two overall forms of synesthesia:

projective synesthesia: people who see actual colors, forms, or shapes when stimulated (the widely understood version of synesthesia).

associative synesthesia: people who feel a very strong and involuntary connection between the stimulus and the sense that it triggers.

For example, in chromesthesia (sound to color), a projector may hear a trumpet, and see an orange triangle in space, while an associator might hear a trumpet, and think very strongly that it sounds "orange".
Bolding mine. So I guess I've always thought of synesthesia to be projective synesthesia, and not associative synesthesia. The latter sounds to me more like something called ideasthesia.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:20 AM
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The synesthesia message board I was on just called it "projected" or "associative" synesthesia, with both kinds being perfectly valid.

The book Wednesday is Indigo Blue, which was published in 2009, says that "projected" versus "associative" is an outdated distinction, and that synesthetic experience is a whole spectrum rather than binary. Still all valid.

I haven't been keeping up on the latest research, I must admit.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:58 PM
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In what universe is A yellow??? Everyone knows it's red.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:04 PM
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It's funny, it's common for synesthetes' A's to be red and their C's to be yellow, and it used to drive me nuts in discussions because for me it's the other way around.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:36 PM
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It's funny, it's common for synesthetes' A's to be red and their C's to be yellow
Sounds more like a medical condition.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:07 PM
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Is it common for people to have synesthetic tendencies as a child, but to eventually outgrow them? I remember in kindergarten our teacher gave us an assignment to color in the numbers on a worksheet with the same colors as the ones she's posted on the bulletin board (In retrospect the assignment was probably as much about learning to follow instructions as it was about learning numbers and colors). I completely ignored the instructions and just colored them all in the colors they were "supposed" to be in my mind. And I was very specific. To me 7 was supposed to be a blueish green color, but as I only had the basic Crayola 8 pack, I colored the 7 with both the blue and green crayons in an attempt to get the right shade. When the teacher asked why I had done that, I couldn't understand why she didn't get that 7's just obviously were blue-green. And that a red 7 (or whatever color we were actually instructed to color them) was just wrong.

But I don't do that anymore. I don't remember what age I stopped seeing numbers in specific colors, but I definitely no longer do. All the numbers on that calendar on my cubicle wall are just black (except the holidays and paydays, but only because they're actually printed in different colors).

Last edited by WildaBeast; 11-05-2019 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:23 PM
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Some synesthetes apparently did develop associations from the colors of refrigerator magnet letters, but scientists are still exploring the link.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:31 PM
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Is it common for people to have synesthetic tendencies as a child, but to eventually outgrow them?
Yes, many people lose synesthesia around puberty.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:14 PM
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...I remember in kindergarten our teacher gave us an assignment to color in the numbers on a worksheet with the same colors as the ones she's posted on the bulletin board... I completely ignored the instructions and just colored them all in the colors they were "supposed" to be in my mind...
This reminds me of a story about a young child who had begun coloring everything he did in black, nothing else. Troubled, the teacher arranged a conference with the child and his parents and asked him about all the black. He replied, "All my other crayons are broken".

Dennis
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:13 PM
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Everything else has a color so why shouldn't letters and numbers? Our brains don't need training to associate colors with things.
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