Wednesday, June 2, 2010


okay, so i have gotten quite a few questions about synesthesia. for those who don't know, i'm pretty sure i have something called synesthesia, which is a "neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway" according to wikipedias definition. which, in my case, is that i associate numbers, letters and names with colors, and can "feel" and "see" colors.
if i for example see the letter C, i see and feel the color yellow, and the number 3 is green, and the name Lauren is peach colored. odd numbers are uncomfortable color combinations, mostly green, white and orange combined, meaning i get an uncomfortable feeling from it. so i'm not that fond of odd numbers. and even numbers are soft colors like dark blue, purple and red. yellow is also an uncomfortable color, and it is shaped like a ball with long, cone shaped spikes.
i guess this sounds a bit strange. i didn't know experiencing this was unusual, i though everyone else did too. i figured out i most likely had it when we read an article about synesthesia in my english class and it pretty much described what i experienced. everyone talked about how strange it was. the funny thing was that only a few days before i had started suspecting that maybe not everyone experienced seeing colors like i did. i heard a name on the tv and asked my mom that "wasn't it strange that some names are yellow?" and she just looked at me like i was crazy.
it's not like i see a clear, and long lasting color inside my head. it is more like with dream that seems very clear when you dream it, but the minute you wake up you can hardly remember anything, no matter how hard you try. you can still feel the feeling you got from the dream, but you can't see or remember anything from it. well, that's how i sometimes experience synesthesia. when i see the letter, i see the color flash in my head, but when i try to think of the color, it is sometimes impossible to remember it, i only remember the feeling the color gave me. sometimes i can remember the color, other times not. not sure why, but it varies. so if you ask me for the color of your name for example (many people have) i can't necessarily answer you.
so, i don't know if this makes much sense. but maybe when you read this, you'll realize you might have synesthesia too? i only found out by a coincidence, if i hadn't read that article i probably wouldn't be aware of there being anything called synesthesia.


  1. My boyfriend has something like this, although I don't think it is quite as strong as what you have. But I remember once he said that he associates the number 3 with the colour red or something like that.

  2. i think other cases can actually see visual colors fly across their vision. some people with sounds as well. "see the sound"

    have you read the book mango shaped space? i read it a couple of years ago and it's a but a girl with synesthesia.

    sadly, i don't have it (but i wish i did). but i do associate numbers with colors. odd numbers are pastel colors, and even numbers are bold darker colors like red, green and blue.

  3. Wow, this is amazing, I've been interested in synaesthesia for a couple of years now and it sounds absolutely fascinating, I wish I had it. :) Strangely enough, one of my first blog posts was on the topic. A lot of creative individuals are thought to have had synaesthesia, such as Vladimir Nabokov and his son, David. If you're interested in finding out more, Richard E. Cytowitz has written several books on the topic from a scientific basis as a neurologist. And here are some articles from New Scientist online, too: I hope this helps, please let me know what you think! :D

  4. Hihi, ja, jeg har det og :3 Men jeg trur alle faktisk har det i mer eller mindre grad. Du har sikkert lest Wikipedia-artikkelen (, men den figurtingen til høyre trur jeg det er umulig å bomme på.

  5. i only read an article about that last month in an aussie mag Frankie (issue 34) about a lady Julie who has the same thing. there is a site called the sean day list where you can talk to other people that have the same experiences. if you want to read the article just let me know and i can scan it for you :)

  6. Is it a bad thing or a good thing?

  7. I watched a great documentary on this. Can't remember the title though!

  8. hello bright thing xx

    my best friend has this... 'this' is a silly way to say it, and 'synaesthesia' just sounds kind of numbing, like anesthesia...but in anycase it's wonderful!!
    you have a whole dimension of sense, a richness and experience of the world that other people don't have. (and wish they did!)
    my friend sam is the most amazing unique funny girl i know. i've always loved hearing her talk about how she sees things, how she stores memories, how she hears music is really cool!...which things are what colours...colours are like friends to her...i thought she just had this super creative imagination until i read about synaesthesia too.
    but she always thought everyone was like that too, and slowly as she got older realised that no one else was!
    anyway you have this really funny great gift. be happy about it. don't worry that people will think you are odd or making it up or anything.
    personally i think it means you're a little bit of genius.


  9. oh god, i read this and i have synaesthesia. i thought it was a bit strange, but i'd never think it's a medical condition. i don't have it as much as you do, you know with all the feeling and stuff, but a few letters and names do give me a nudge or something like that. it's cool, though.


  10. I'm a synesthete as well - it makes doing math so much harder, because yellow (2) and red (3) don't add up to green (5)! Do you 'hear' colours? I try to paint what I hear and feel when I listen to certain types of music, but it's more difficult with percussion instruments, because they sort of cancel out all the colors... Strange, no? I love having it though. It sets us apart!

  11. I read a book a long time ago called A Mango Shaped Space, its a young adult book. The character has what you have, or at least something similar. Perhaps a little exaggerated.

  12. I am studying graphic design and in our course we learnt about Synesthesia. I think it's interesting too, how everyone's was different: We learnt about a woman who knew a name and personality for each letter of the alphabet.
    I think it's a strangely beautiful condition to have, and I love how you've described your own experience of it in this post.