Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-29-2015, 06:21 PM
gigi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 25,528

Tell me about your synesthesia


Mine tends to be assigning colors to numbers and letters, and a cold or warm "hue" to them. I realized my upcoming age will be an interesting one. 46 was OK since 4 is a brick red and 6 is some sort of cool jewel tone too, but 47? 4 is brick red and 7 is a sharp acid yellow/chartreuse. So the age (already not a favorite because of that sharp odd 7) is even more chaotic, like the feeling of this:

http://rdistore.com/media/catalog/pr...16-502_1_2.jpg

Maybe it will be a more exciting year than I could imagine!

Also one of my favorite parts of one of my favorite books, The Phantom Tollbooth, is when Milo conducts the movement of the Sun. He crooks his little finger and a lone piccolo plays, and a lemon yellow shard of sun shoots out across the sky. That always made so much sense to me.
  #2  
Old 09-29-2015, 06:42 PM
Hopeful Crow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: City of Destiny
Posts: 883
I don't know if this is really synesthesia or not, but for the last several years, whenever I hear a word that is new to me, that word immediately flashes in black print in front of my eyes. Usually I find it's spelled correctly but sometimes it's not.

Also, I'll "hear" words on rare occasion when I hear something like a bag being crinkled or when my hand brushes across a piece of fabric. It may be a couple of words like "rose fish" or a short sentence like "He is there." I should really write them down because I rarely remember them after a few minutes.
  #3  
Old 09-29-2015, 07:15 PM
McDoogins is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 66
I don't have synesthesia but occasionally when I'm laying in my bed I'll see myself as another person or a series of people. Sometimes men more often women. Strange.
  #4  
Old 09-29-2015, 09:29 PM
GrumpyBunny is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: behind the sofa
Posts: 4,823
Music = colors and patterns, sometimes glitter. Sometimes it looks like fireworks.

For those with chronic migraine, I've heard that there's overlap between that and synesthesia.
  #5  
Old 09-30-2015, 12:56 PM
gallows fodder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,287
Flavors and scents have spatial properties for me -- like the familiar base, middle, and top notes to describe perfume, but more detailed. Frex, rosemary and thyme are both herbs that taste very high, but thyme is flatter and higher than rosemary. Cumin I can't stand because it tastes too low, like infrasound low. Parsley is the panacea -- it can bring too-high or too-low flavors to the middle.

And the year is shaped like a compass circle or a clock, with me in the center of it, and I spin in relation to the months. For January, I'm standing in the center facing north, and Jan is at north or 12 above me. For June, I'm facing south or downward towards the 6, and June is in the 5 position. Etc.
  #6  
Old 09-30-2015, 02:04 PM
GrumpyBunny is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: behind the sofa
Posts: 4,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by gallows fodder View Post
And the year is shaped like a compass circle or a clock, with me in the center of it, and I spin in relation to the months. For January, I'm standing in the center facing north, and Jan is at north or 12 above me. For June, I'm facing south or downward towards the 6, and June is in the 5 position. Etc.
No, no, that's wrong. It's a rising and falling line that resets every year on 12/31. Lows in Jan, Feb, March, rising a bit in April, to a high plateau in the summer. Back down a little bit for September, to October. The end of October to mid-November is lowish, but not as low as Jan-March. Mid-November begins rising again until just after Christmas, when it gently slopes downward.

gallows fodder, things often taste "spiky" or "round" to me. I don't know how much of that is normal. I mentioned to my mom that something wasn't spiced right, because it should be "round" and wasn't, it was straight, and she knew what I meant.

Last edited by GrumpyBunny; 09-30-2015 at 02:06 PM.
  #7  
Old 09-30-2015, 02:25 PM
Doctor Jackson's Avatar
Doctor Jackson is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Jawja
Posts: 10,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by gallows fodder View Post
And the year is shaped like a compass circle or a clock, with me in the center of it, and I spin in relation to the months. For January, I'm standing in the center facing north, and Jan is at north or 12 above me. For June, I'm facing south or downward towards the 6, and June is in the 5 position. Etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyBunny View Post
No, no, that's wrong. It's a rising and falling line that resets every year on 12/31. Lows in Jan, Feb, March, rising a bit in April, to a high plateau in the summer. Back down a little bit for September, to October. The end of October to mid-November is lowish, but not as low as Jan-March. Mid-November begins rising again until just after Christmas, when it gently slopes downward.
You're both wrong, the year is a spiral moving ever upward. Otherwise, I got nothing.
  #8  
Old 09-30-2015, 04:56 PM
JcWoman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,040
Interesting perceptions about the calendar. For me, it's a large oval with the months arranged around the edge of it. It's hard to describe in words where each month is because it's totally a spatial thing for me. But in my head I'm sitting on the edge of the oval and riding around it as we move through the months. I guess one way to describe it is that in January, I'm standing there in January and can look across a void and see August on the other side. I'm always looking in toward the center of the oval for some reason, perhaps to stay oriented at all times.
  #9  
Old 09-30-2015, 06:24 PM
gigi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 25,528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Jackson View Post
You're both wrong, the year is a spiral moving ever upward. Otherwise, I got nothing.
This is not how I expected the thread to go. I expected knock-down, drag-out fights over whether 5 is blue or orange! (It's clearly grey.)

  #10  
Old 09-30-2015, 07:46 PM
Balance is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 8,428
When I'm very tired, capital letters are red--a bright, swarming red, as if they were selectively illuminated with a laser. And flickering shadows sound like something thin whipping through the air.
  #11  
Old 09-30-2015, 09:04 PM
elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,812
I still don't understand how associating a color with letters or numbers or imaging calendars fits into synesthesia... isn't idea-something-or-other instead?

But anyway, I see sound. Fortunately not too many, but the motor of the fridge kicking on and other sharp noises like a shot gun or a dry branch being snapped make a bright white flash, motorcycles' engines produce purple flashes, the goldfish spitting gravel at the tank walls was black and white like snow on an old TV. The only sound I see with my eyes open is a hazy red at the corners of my vision, and I still don't know what sound it is. The others I only see with my eyes closed, which usually makes it hard to sleep during Bike Week.
  #12  
Old 09-30-2015, 09:24 PM
Heckity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Jackson View Post
You're both wrong, the year is a spiral moving ever upward. Otherwise, I got nothing.
You're all mistaken - a year is an egg - the very top is December with the bottom of the egg June, July and August. This is the worst time of year for me as we climb up the egg to winter.
  #13  
Old 09-30-2015, 10:59 PM
gigi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 25,528
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
I still don't understand how associating a color with letters or numbers or imaging calendars fits into synesthesia... isn't idea-something-or-other instead?
Thanks, this made me look further...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphe...or_synesthesia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideasthesia
  #14  
Old 10-01-2015, 09:15 AM
gallows fodder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,287
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyBunny View Post
gallows fodder, things often taste "spiky" or "round" to me. I don't know how much of that is normal. I mentioned to my mom that something wasn't spiced right, because it should be "round" and wasn't, it was straight, and she knew what I meant.
I get you, sister. It would be fun if we could do a blind taste test, privately record our spatial impressions, and then compare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Thanks, this made me look further...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideasthesia
Ugh, now that calendar is totally wrong. The months need to be moving clockwise!

I'm trying to find the source where I read that the easiest test of synesthesia is in fact the question, "What is the shape of a year?" and Heckity, I found this little blurb from a 1948 New Yorker article of someone else who sees an egg -- is your "visualized year [...] a great comfort and convenience to [you]," too?

Do you all see past years on a shaped timeline, too? This is hard to put into words and images, but I see the decades of the 20th century in a slope, but it's also 3-dimensional and I can't draw that. I was born in 1978, which is probably why that's when the ground floor of the slope begins. If I think of the year 1975, that's up, slightly back, and to my left on the slope. 1995 is on the slight rise of the ground of the slope just left of center. Etc.
  #15  
Old 10-01-2015, 12:18 PM
GrumpyBunny is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: behind the sofa
Posts: 4,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by gallows fodder View Post
I get you, sister. It would be fun if we could do a blind taste test, privately record our spatial impressions, and then compare.
Heh. That would be fun.

Hearty stews and soups, for example, have to taste round and deep, or they're wrong. Same with something like shepherds' pie -- it has to have a depth and roundness of flavor or I don't like it. (I add rosemary to mine, which adds a slightly spiky note).

Some sweets are just sweet, but straight in taste. Good vanilla has layers. Strawberries and other fresh berries tend to not have a lot of depth and are slightly spiky from the acidity of a fresh fruit. Chocolate should be round and deep, or it's wrong. This may be ideasthesia, but I'm not sure; I get the depth/shape via taste.

Last edited by GrumpyBunny; 10-01-2015 at 12:19 PM.
  #16  
Old 10-01-2015, 03:06 PM
Grrlbrarian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: In the octopus garden
Posts: 522
I've got numbers = colors synaesthesia. They have personalities too. For example, three is red and quite naughty, four is brown, calm & reliable, five is blue and mischievous, six is green, sly and troublesome, etc. I found it very distracting when I was doing math as a kid!

Last edited by Grrlbrarian; 10-01-2015 at 03:07 PM.
  #17  
Old 10-02-2015, 09:57 PM
Arabella Flynn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Greater Boston Area
Posts: 788
I've got a lot of them, mostly complex ideasthesias. Back in my school days, I used to drive people bonkers by saying "tomorrow" on Friday when I meant Monday, and "yesterday" on Monday when I meant Friday. The regular school days existed in a tidy grid, with the weekends all sort of snipped out and thrown into an untidy pile on the side.

I have a lot of spatial-number crosswiring as well; higher-order graphs are easy enough in my head that I often don't realize I can't reproduce them in the human world. I use If This, Then That to throw a lot of social media stuff around on the internet, and I had to try to draw the configuration out for a coworker before realizing that what I had constructed was not two-dimensional. Oops. I handle dimensions in excess of three as a sense of... not exactly movement through space, but as a sort of vector sense, a magnitude and direction of a movement. It's hard to describe, and impossible to draw.

It's apparently common to people with synaesthsiae to be able to imagine colors that are simultaneously red-and-green, or orange-and-purple. I'm told it has to do with incomplete suppression of what are supposed to be complementary pathways, or something to that effect. It's always driven me a wee bit crazy that I can 'see' colors in my head that are physically impossible for me to depict with pigment or projected light.

The only one that has ever actually gotten in my way is the link between tone and space. My brain thinks that higher pitches should be closer to my face, or at least higher off the floor. I even wave my hands around when I sing, if I'm not paying enough attention to stop. Guitars are precisely backwards, and pianos just make my brain grumble 'what the hell is this left-to-right business?' There's also a kinesthetic link strong enough that if a piece is transposed, I have to learn it as new. I can't just shift it up or down, because then it's different.
  #18  
Old 10-03-2015, 05:28 AM
tumbleddown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Western PA
Posts: 3,291
Music has colors, shapes and temperature. Some songs, just a few, have a scent/taste. Beyonce's song "Blow" is playing on my computer right now, and I'm tasting pink Starburst candies even though I just ate pizza and the song references Skittles in the lyrics. Cello smells of a rich caramel, piccolo tastes like lime, when Slash plays guitar, no matter what song, I feel like I have a mouthful of pop rocks.

Numbers, words and shapes have colors. Triangles, 4s and the words "recording" and "flighty" are always green. 8s and the words "luxurious" and "mellifluous" are purple, 0s, ovals and the words "best," "angle" and "garrulous" are red.

And the year is conveyor belt, or the deck of a treadmill or an old fashioned roller towel. Something that moves but has no end, with at least one anchor point it revolves around.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017