Synesthesia hearing colors seeing sounds and more
Synesthesia, Types of Synesthesia, Neurology Research, Neurological Condition, Psychology Research Human Mind, Human Perception, Human Senses, Cognition, Empathy
Synesthesia: hearing colors, seeing sounds, and more
Even when we are all special somehow, and of course have a hidden talent, there is a small proportion of the population who, thanks to biology, can actually do things not everyone can. Things such as hearing or feeling colors, seeing music, tasting shapes and even experience other people’s pain is part of what they easily do. The latest findings of science have proved that highly sensitive people “see” the world in ways most of us can only imagine.
This unusual condition is called synesthesia, and it describes the people who perceive one stimulus through different perceptual modalities causing unusual but pleasant experiences.
Synesthesia is a very rare neurological condition experimented by only 4% of people around the world; synesthesia explains how different our perception and experience of the world actually is.
The people who can perceive the world this way are called synesthetes. The most important thing is to clarify than synesthetes do not actively think about the perceptions; instead, one of the stimuli involuntarily brings to mind the sensation of the other. For example the perception of the word “door” may easily evoke an uncommon perception and the person with synesthesia can feel a flavor and taste it just by hearing that word.
Synesthesia is also called “union of the senses”, because synesthetes involuntarily experience sensations in different modalities producing automatic perceptions in a second (third or more), sensory modality also known as cognitive pathway.
Understanding Types of Synesthesia
There are different types of synesthesia, but in all of them the senses get cross-wired, and people simultaneously feel different sensations. Let’s review a brief explanation of some of them:
- Grapheme-color: the shapes such as letters or numbers are perceived with color while imagined.
- Chromesthesia: colors are triggered by different sounds. While hearing sounds these make people experience colors automatically.
- Spatial sequence: the numerical sequences are seen as points in space, some people may even see a clock next to them. These particular synesthetes usually have great memory.
- Number form: while thinking in numbers, those involuntarily appear in the mind organized as mental maps.
- Auditory - tactile: just by listening to some sounds, synesthetes perceive a specific sensation within their body, in any part of it.
- Misophonia: also known as “hatred of sound” it’s one of the not-so-positive types of synesthesia; in misophonia the sounds trigger strong negative emotions in the synesthete.
- Mirror-touch synesthesia: is a very rare form of synesthesia. These synesthetes feel the same sensation another person is feeling, just by looking at the other person. Usually they possess higher empathy levels than most people.
- Lexical-Gustatory: associations between words and tastes occur, flavors are experienced when hearing words, and they are associated with each other. Every time the person hears a word the same flavor will be felt.
Even when this may sound a lil bizarre to us, synesthetes are so used to the experience that for them it’s completely normal to perceive the world in these so called: “unusual ways”.
The “magical” world of the synesthesia is certainly amazing and it shows us how individual experiences may vary in numerous ways, and how perception of the world changes from one person to the other, in this case in a literal way.
Seeing colors when hearing a sound, tastings words, feeling other people, seeing the world of numbers with simply thinking about it or visualizing the music must be an amazing way of experiencing the world.
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2014-06-18 / Updated on: 2021-11-01