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Thread: Synesthesia & Synesthetes

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    Synesthesia & Synesthetes

    Quote Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia
    Synesthesia ... is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes
    Are you a synesthete? What senses are crossed/mixed?

    What effect has synesthesia had on your life? Has it been a boon or a bane, etc?

    What forms of synesthesia are you curious about/would like to have?

    Any questions for other synesthetes?

    And/or share any thoughts or questions.

    Go.

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    Are you a synesthete? What senses are crossed/mixed?

    I experience a rather vivid sound/music -> visual synesthesia.

    (I think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromesthesia)

    When I hear music (or anything music-like, tonal, etc), somewhere in the back of my brain/awareness, like on visual imagination canvas (or whatever), things happen; I "see" things.

    Depending on what I hear the visuals vary widely, but as a theme I've tried to explain it simply to others like some wild kaleidoscopic-screensaverish/music-visualizer experience... while cautioning that this doesn't do the experience justice; I simply lack the language to explain it properly for the lack of suitable referents... I can try to revise in saying that it has more ... dimension than anything actually seen with the eyes.


    What effect has synesthesia had on your life? Has it been a boon or a bane, etc?

    I think it disposes me to approach my selection of music differently than those without this form of synesthesia? That is, often enough I'll seek out and listen to music which "looks" good.

    Growing up and well into young adulthood, I though this was something everyone experienced. It was always just "there", and I never felt it novel to talk about. It wasn't until later that I tried to refer to it once, and people looked at me like I was from outer space, haha. Anyhow, with that new perspective, I'm very pleased that I have this strange sensory twist. It can be leveraged into a kind of "natural high", enriches meditation, and is otherwise just a fun place to which I can escape if I close my eyes to music.

    What forms of synesthesia are you curious about/would like to have?

    I can't say I even understand any of the others, so I don't really want them. Still, they intrigue me in that the notion of synesthesia overall intrigues me.

    Any questions for other synesthetes?

    I wonder about all forms of it and how it effects other people. But in particular, of course, I wonder about other music->visual types, for compare/contrast purposes, heh.

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    Merry Christmas Dot's Avatar
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    Synesthesia is fascinating (I don't have it).

    Any questions for synesthetes?

    Is it consistent? For example, do you always associate a certain sound with a certain color or texture?

    Is it always sound that provokes "visions," or does it ever work the other way around-- do you ever see things that produce "sounds"?

    Do the vision/sound connections have any literal, symbolic, cultural, and/or personal meanings to you, or do they seem random? Also, do the images and sounds ever seem "out of sync," or are they always "well-designed" and complementary?

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    Light intensity variance - > nasal irritation
    Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chobani View Post
    Synesthesia is fascinating (I don't have it).
    Is it consistent? For example, do you always associate a certain sound with a certain color or texture?
    Yes and no. There is a frame-of-mind element to things. So, for instance, what I "see" early in the mornings is slightly different than what I "see", say, at the end of a highly stressed day. The colors and cetain details of the "shapes" and animations are what change, but it is all just variations on the same, root "scene", if you like.

    Is it always sound that provokes "visions," or does it ever work the other way around-- do you ever see things that produce "sounds"?
    Not for me, no. It is one-way, sound->visual.

    Do the vision/sound connections have any literal, symbolic, cultural, and/or personal meanings to you, or do they seem random?
    More "random" than not (random isn't quite right, see below re: audio isomorphism). Although, like cloud-gazing, the higher parts of my awareness can see things in the "clouds" of my sound-visual scape and so conceptual associations can rather incidentally form with thoughts/feelings/memories of symbolic, cultural, and/or personal nature. Take a song which does this, for instance. Over time of listening to that song, all sorts of memory and concept scraps can get accreted into the "auto-visual-memory-skein", to try to explain it. What I "see" doesn't change, but what I "experience" (in conjunction with memory accretions) can.

    There are some songs that have rather incidentally accumulated such a tethering across my mind qua memory/thoughts that to meditatively listen to them can be quite euphoric, centering, aligning.

    Also, do the images and sounds ever seem "out of sync," or are they always "well-designed" and complementary?
    They are always real- or semi-realtime, and always isomorphic to what I'm hearing; so, again, somewhat like you see when you use a media player's "visualizations", driven by the audio's properties in real- or semi-realtime.

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    Formerly PiccoloNamek Lunar Delta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Are you a synesthete? What senses are crossed/mixed?

    I experience a rather vivid sound/music -> visual synesthesia.

    (I think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromesthesia)

    When I hear music (or anything music-like, tonal, etc), somewhere in the back of my brain/awareness, like on visual imagination canvas (or whatever), things happen; I "see" things.

    Depending on what I hear the visuals vary widely, but as a theme I've tried to explain it simply to others like some wild kaleidoscopic-screensaverish/music-visualizer experience... while cautioning that this doesn't do the experience justice; I simply lack the language to explain it properly for the lack of suitable referents... I can try to revise in saying that it has more ... dimension than anything actually seen with the eyes.


    What effect has synesthesia had on your life? Has it been a boon or a bane, etc?

    I think it disposes me to approach my selection of music differently than those without this form of synesthesia? That is, often enough I'll seek out and listen to music which "looks" good.

    Growing up and well into young adulthood, I though this was something everyone experienced. It was always just "there", and I never felt it novel to talk about. It wasn't until later that I tried to refer to it once, and people looked at me like I was from outer space, haha. Anyhow, with that new perspective, I'm very pleased that I have this strange sensory twist. It can be leveraged into a kind of "natural high", enriches meditation, and is otherwise just a fun place to which I can escape if I close my eyes to music.

    What forms of synesthesia are you curious about/would like to have?

    I can't say I even understand any of the others, so I don't really want them. Still, they intrigue me in that the notion of synesthesia overall intrigues me.

    Any questions for other synesthetes?

    I wonder about all forms of it and how it effects other people. But in particular, of course, I wonder about other music->visual types, for compare/contrast purposes, heh.
    I was going to post about my chromesthesia, but you totally nailed it. My experience of music is extremely similar to yours, and I also make musical choices based on how music "looks" to me. Not only do sounds have colors, but they also have form and shape and visual duration. Sometimes I see full-blown images for particular "visually heavy" songs. Here is an example of what I consider to be a "visually heavy" song. Listening to this, especially while stoned, gives me near-hallucinations of a most beautiful nature.



    For those out there who have sound-color synesthesia, you should go on iTunes immediately and buy everything by the electronic music group "Blue Stone", especially their album "Worlds Apart". You will not be disappointed, I promise you.
    Last edited by Lunar Delta; 12-27-2013 at 10:24 PM.

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    I'm a math person (even though I'm only an EE, which is quite disdained by "pure" mathematicians). To me, many but not all numbers have colors (this is kind of personal and slightly embarrassing). Weird, I know, but, even so.

    I'm also a pianist (amateur but reasonably competent). Apparently, Scriabin (one of my favorite composers for the piano) was a synesthete, and to him, all his compositions were like rich paintings replete with color.

    I've read that synesthesia may be explained by crossed neuronal pathways in the brain (or something like that). But, it's still a mystery but a rich experience for me.

    Most of my thinking is abstract, so all these math colors add context and specificity to my thoughts. It has been a help in a way that I can't explain. Somehow, it seems to simplify things.
    Last edited by Thevenin; 12-27-2013 at 10:29 PM.

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    Formerly PiccoloNamek Lunar Delta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thevenin View Post
    I'm a math person (even though I'm only an EE, which is quite disdained by "pure" mathematicians). To me, many but not all numbers have colors (this is kind of personal and slightly embarrassing). Weird, I know, but, even so.

    I'm also a pianist (amateur but reasonably competent). Apparently, Scriabin (one of my favorite composers for the piano) was a synesthete, and to him, all his compositions were like rich paintings replete with color.

    I've read that synesthesia may be explained by crossed neuronal pathways in the brain (or something like that). But, it's still a mystery but a rich experience for me.
    Of course numbers have colors! For example, the number "4" is definitely a medium-sky-blue color. "3" is a banana yellow color. I don't have to think about this, the experience/impression is instantaneous with the mention or recall of the number in question. Letters have colors too.
    Last edited by Lunar Delta; 12-27-2013 at 10:39 PM.

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    Ha ha! To me, three is red, 4 is yellow, five is green, 11 is beige, 13 is black,…etc,...weird, I know! Sometimes, mathematical functions are a complex mix of moving, dynamic colors to me--sometimes a swirl. This has often helped me solve problems, for some reason I don't understand. It's almost like it's a shortcut.

    I know I'm weird in my own way, but I just can't understand why so many people have trouble learning math. It has always seemed so obvious to me and yet, it seems to be a big deal problem that you often read about in the newspapers. My younger son (he's good at math, too--we all are) says that I just don't get it and I"m insensitive to peoples' problems. But he's an INFJ, so what do you expect?

  10. #10
    Formerly PiccoloNamek Lunar Delta's Avatar
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    Four is yellow? Ugh, don't say that! Just thinking of a yellow "4" makes my mind hurt in ways I can't describe, haha!



    Ah, much better.

    Unfortunately, my number-color perception does nothing to help me with my math issues. I've been to multiple tutors, purchased every book I can afford, and have even undergone cognitive behavioral therapy specifically to treat my math issues, but to no avail. Something just isn't processing correctly, and I am not sure if it can be helped. Trying to do anything but the simplest arithmetic problems makes me feel like my conscious thought processes have ground to a screeching halt.
    Last edited by Lunar Delta; 12-27-2013 at 10:52 PM.

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