Help me find this word please

I have been trying and trying to remember what the word is for people who get really sensational and accurate… flashbacks, I guess… when they smell certain smells. I think it starts with an “S”, but I’m not sure. I had the word as one of those word-a-day email things, but I stupidly deleted the message. :mad:

Not exactly what you’re looking for, but it might have “episodic memory” in the definition. Something to help out while Googling.

I think I’ve got it – synesthesia?

I thought synaesthesis was when the senses started to become confused (i.e. smelling colors)?
Was it a latin/greek root word or something more from old germanic languages? Do you have a feel for that?

I’m not quite sure that synesthesia is what you’re looking for. I could ask one of my doctor friends for you, but I’m not sure they’d have the answer.

I know it doesn’t start with an “S”, but it sounds like ** Proust Phenonemon **you’re decscribing.

FWIW, I read an article not too long ago (I think in the journal of clinincal embryology, but I’m not sure), about how memory comes back - strongly at times - when certain scents are detected. I can probably dig the article up online later today if you’d like it. It was pretty interesting, really. It was mostly debunking the notion that scent is more powerful a ‘reminder’ as any other sense, but it had alternate viespoints that made really good arguments for it.


That synesthesia thing is close, but I wouldn’t mind taking a look at that article ice cream. Thanks to all who posted. :slight_smile:

From a medical dictionary:
cenesthesia: (with a c) the general feeling or sense of conscious existence; the sense of normal functioning of body organs. Sixth sense
ceno- [Gr] word element --new empty; or denoting relationship to a common feature
Hyperesthesia: as state of abnormally increased sensitivily to stimuli.

I don’t know what you mean by flashbacks or smells in particular. Some times people w/ migraines get an aura that sounds like what you are talking about.

Well, I guess I should have elaborated a bit - I seem to be confusing people with the flashbacks bit. What I meant was that whenever I smell something, doesn’t matter what it is, I get this vivid image of <i>something</i> or <i>someplace</i>. This is most often because I have smelled that particular smell at that place, or on that item, etc. The only reason I said flashbacks was because these images certainly aren’t coming from the future. :wink:

Olfactory memory is a term for what you describe. Its obviously not the WOrd, but it is a good way to to state it.

How does this sound?

"SCULLY: I can’t say definitively, but judging from an almost identical suicide of a police officer who was receiving the same psychiatric care, I believe that the victims were suffering from something called Waxman-Geschwind syndrome, the symptoms of which are trance-like states, leading to vivid dreams about the past-- dreams that are more detailed than the conscious mind can recall. It’s also called Dostoyevsky syndrome because the Russian novelist was suffering from it, too. "

X-files, “Demons”