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Synesthesia


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I have recently become aware of this condition. (Thanks Glider!) Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another. For example, one might experience the visualization of color upon hearing a certain sound.

 

I personally experience pleasant odors upon hearing certain music. The odors are so vivid as to almost suggest taste. I first noticed this condition during high school after being hit in the head with a baseball bat, which resulted in a severe concusion. Upon recovery I would experience moderate vertigo and funny letter stacking while reading. This is also when I first experienced the odor of "lemon" when a certain song came on the radio.

 

The doctor I was seeing stated that the brain does some weird things after head trauma, and that it would go away. The vertigo and letter stacking did, the smells didn't. I am now aware of at least three trigger songs that produce this experience, all producing different smells.

 

Is there anyone else on this forum or do you that know of someone with this condition? Please share. Thanks. :eek:

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This isn't really related, but I remember a play (The Yellow Boat) where the kid is saying, "I hear green! I taste yellow! I feel purple! I smell pink!" and so on.

 

Really, synesthesia is a kind of strange condition. I remember it's in one of my books, so ASAP I'll read up on it. But I wasn't aware that different songs would produce it, but not others. I thought it was universal for one sense.

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This is what is says:

 

Synesthesia, or cross perception, is a condition in which a person percieves stimuli not only with the sense for which it is intended, but with others as well. For example, a synesthete, may see musical notes as color hues or feel flavors as different textures on the skin. Experiments have determined that the linking of the senses occurs because of some unique physical condition in the brains of those people. For example, blood flow to some parts of the brain, normally increased by sensory stimuli, decreases in synesthetes.

 

The Handy Science Answer Book ™

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It might be a relation to the evolutionary advantage of remembering something like sticky white sap will make you deathly ill hours after you taste enough of it. The idea of sap can bring on symptoms. We survive because we can connect many abstract ideas to find actual relationships in them. The more successfully we can relate very different ideas for a good outcome, the smarter we are and better adapted for survival.

Just aman

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You might want to read The Man Who Tasted Shapes[/u'] by Richard E. Cytowic

An excellent book. For any who are interested, the full reference is:

 

Cytowic, R. E. (1993). The man who tasted shapes. USA and Great Britain: Putnam's sons (US). Abacus (UK). (ISBN 0 349 10548 0).

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the effect can be induced artificialy with the use of certain drugs such as LSD also.

 

Marijuana too. Stear clear of large doses unless you want to see and feel sound. I'd recommend stearing clear totally anyways.

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