On Science Channel they are finally talking about Synesthesia, which I've always had, but never knew the name for it. I thought everyone had it. Maybe you have it too. Do you see letters and numbers in color? Do you smell shapes and taste colors?
My son and I argue over our colors. I have always seen letters and numbers in color and shapes, very specific. For example, Sunday is tall and "root-beer-colored" like a tall rectangle or monolith (2001: A Space Odyssey) Saturday is equally tall, and white. Monday is always yellow, so every man, moron or Monroe I meet is yellow at first. I can memorize lines more easily as an actress and writer since all the letters and names are color-coded. Tuesday is forest green, Wednesday is grayish-white with faint striped pattern; Thursday is brown, Friday is spinach green (cooked, not raw leaves) and the texture is sort of chaotic, faintly striped. Friday ends with a corner that closes off the week. So Monday thru Friday, the school-week/work-week is a series of colored blocks all the same height, then Friday has a corner at the bottom, which is like a cozy safe wall
January is burgundy.
You are encased in Friday afternoon and night has a wall on the right, which is the end of the school week. You can lean on the wall. Look up and you’ll see the next day, Saturday, which is really tall and white — but a subdued white with grayish tones. And again, Sunday is tall, root-beer colored.
Also days of the week and months of the year are different shapes and everything has a certain structure.
C is pink, E is light green, F is dark green, G is chocolate brown, H is light brown, I is white, J is root-beer colored, K is burgundy, etc.
I only found out a few years ago that others also have this. I always thought everyone had it. I just found out my son has it too. People think I'm crazy. ~ Lydia Cornell
Famous PeopleSome celebrated people who may have had synesthesia include:
The Biological Basis of SynesthesiaSome scientists believe that synesthesia results from "crossed-wiring" in the brain. They hypothesize that in synesthetes, neurons and synapses that are "supposed" to be contained within one sensory system cross to another sensory system. It is unclear why this might happen but some researchers believe that these crossed connections are present in everyone at birth, and only later are the connections refined. In some studies, infants respond to sensory stimuli in a way that researchers think may involve synesthetic perceptions. It is hypothesized by these researchers that many children have crossed connections and later lose them. Adult synesthetes may have simply retained these crossed connections.It is unclear which parts of the brain are involved in synesthesia. Richard Cytowic's research has led him to believe that the limbic system is primarily responsible for synesthetic experiences. The limbic system includes several brain structures primarily responsible for regulating our emotional responses. Other research, however, has shown significant activity in the cerebral cortex during synesthetic experiences. In fact, studies have shown a particularly interesting effect in the cortex: colored-hearing synesthetes have been shown to display activity in several areas of the visual cortex when they hear certain words. In particular, areas of the visual cortex associated with processing color are activated when the synesthetes hear words. Non-synesthetes do not show activity in these areas, even when asked to imagine colors or to associate certain colors with certain words.
Synesthesia and the Study of ConsciousnessMany researchers are interested in synesthesia because it may reveal something about human consciousness. One of the biggest mysteries in the study of consciousness is what is called the "binding problem." No one knows how we bind all of our perceptions together into one complete whole. For example, when you hold a flower, you see the colors, you see its shape, you smell its scent, and you feel its texture. Your brain manages to bind all of these perceptions together into one concept of a flower. Synesthetes might have additional perceptions that add to their concept of a flower. Studying these perceptions may someday help us understand how we perceive our world.
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