Synesthesia: What It's Like To Hear Colors

Synesthesia: What It's Like To Hear Colors

Senses being intertwined is pretty cool.
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The idea of hearing sounds, tasting images, and feeling colors makes no sense to most people. As we reach the age of around three years old, our senses start to form clear boundaries against one another and they stop sharing the same space in our brain. For some people, like me, those boundaries never become very rigid. This is called a neurological condition called synesthesia: a “confusion of the senses.”


Scientists don’t have a very firm grasp on synesthesia yet. The scientific community does know that everyone experiences synesthesia at some level; for most people it’s very low. This is why everyone can understand “sharp cheddar” and “piercing sounds.”

There are many famous people who had or have synesthesia, particularly artists and musicians, such as Vincent van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe, and even composer Franz Lizst. Many famous artists and figures are what as known as “pseudo-synesthetes;” people who expressed a form of synesthesia in their art but do not actually have it. There is also a lot of speculation of past and present well known people who may have been synesthetes based on things they have said in their art or otherwise -- for example, Friedrich Nietzsche describes Shoepenhauer’s words as “green and black.” Many people with synesthesia involuntarily assign colors or personalities to words and numbers -- this kind of synesthesia is called ordinal linguistic personification. For example, I see the number eight as a woman who is sort of stuck up and vain.

There are two generally accepted umbrella forms of synesthesia: projective and associative. Projective is when one will actually see colors and hear sounds when their synesthesia is triggered; i.e., if a projective synesthete sees the color sage green, they may actually hear the sound of a water bottle cracking. Associative is when one feels a strong connection between the stimulus and the sense; like when I see green and blue plaid, I’m very much reminded of the smell of a park I went to as a child, but I don’t actually experience the smell.

There are several subcategories of synesthesia -- my mother and I both have spatio-temporal synesthesia, which is when one can see time as a spatial construct. It is thought that the most common type of synesthesia is chromesthesia, which is when sounds translate to colors. This is often where pseudo-synesthesia and speculated synesthesia for famous people comes into play, mostly in music and visual art.

While synesthesia is technically a neurological condition, most of us synesthetes do not view it as a hindrance to our lives, in fact, most of us feel blessed to have it, since it can be an aid to creative practices and memory. Many people with synesthesia do not know that our intertwining of the senses is unusual until we learn that the general population does not share these experiences.

If you have ever attached a color to a sound, or a taste to a physical sensation, I urge you to look further into synesthesia and consider the fact that you may have it. There are some books written on the topic, as well as some online resources. Becoming aware that one has synesthesia can be open a lot of doors, especially for artists and creatives.

(Statistics, facts, and general information on synesthesia paraphrased from the Wikipedia page on synesthesia.)

Cover Image Credit: wiseGEEK

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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4 Methods To Help You Finish Reading That English 101 Book You Hate

Warning: these methods are untested and highly questionable. Proceed at your own risk.

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Ever since I became an English Major, I've heard the same, typical questions that people tend to ask: "So, you want to teach?" "What do you want to do with English?" "What's your favorite book?" etc… But one of the more interesting questions I'm occasionally asked is, "What are some tips to read books?" That is a really good question! Now, I don't know about other English Majors, but I don't have a good answer to this, not at first, anyway. After some deep meditation and a little bs-ing, I have discovered five effective methods to help even the most illiterate of people tackle intimidating classics such as "Moby Dick," "Les Miserables" and "One Fish, Two Fish."

1. Pretend To Be Interested

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As the age old adage goes, "Fake it till you make it." It makes sense to read what's interesting to you, but if you have to read something that's not interesting, pretend that it is! Force yourself to take interest in the seemingly bland and boring. A while ago, I read a short tale about a guy who looked hideous. So much so that he hid his face behind a mask for 40 years without ever taking it off. After all those years, the man threw away the mask. Over time, the man's face grew into the beautiful mask, molding him to take its shape, thus becoming beautiful. Perhaps this story has some questionable connotations, but the idea is interesting. If you put in the effort to be something you are not, you will eventually become that thing. For the ugly man, he became beautiful. And perhaps for you, pedantic.

2. Read Every Word On The Book Except For The Actual Content

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This includes the Title, the Table of Contents, the title of each section and chapter, anything on the back of the book, the About the Author blurb, the review blurbs on the book and the Special Thanks page. This won't actually help you finish the book, but it will give you enough material to pretend that you have…

Just kidding! The idea behind this concept is to give you an idea of what large ideas are being presented in the book. Sometimes, it's easy to get lost in the nuances of side points and counterarguments if you're just diving into the book without a road map. Besides, there is a lot of work put into everything surrounding the content that readers generally don't take advantage of. Each book title, subtitle, chapter title, etc, was created with us, the struggling readers, in mind!

3. Have A Conversation With The Author

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There are three ways to have a conversation with the author of the book. The first is to find a way to call the author, write to them or visit them. The second is to consult the spirits to connect your consciousness with theirs, allowing a free, unobstructed exchanged of ideas, emotions and experiences; this is the most direct approach if your author has already passed into the next realm. That third and final way is to have a one-way conversation with the author by actively asking him or her questions about the issues talked about. Believe it or not, this is probably the most difficult method because it requires you, the reader, to actively search for meaning in the author's words.

4. Change Your Environment

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My Grandpa would always say, "You're unique, just like everybody else!" This goes for your reading environment, as well. Not everybody can cozy up on the couch with hot tea and a good book! I will fall asleep, regardless of the time of day, the amount of caffeine I've consumed or the amount of stress I'm under. Instead, I prefer to read on a hard surfaced chair at a library. I'm somewhat comfortable, but not so comfortable that it distracts me. And the atmosphere is quiet, but not annoyingly so. A friend of mine would only read with his eyes shut! But after a while, he realized that it was bad for his hat and made his eyebrows red hot, so he stopped.

Applying these methods the next time you pick up a book will, without a doubt, ambiguously affect your reading experience! And if I may, I would like to suggest a book, "How To Read A Book" by Montgomery J. Adler. His book isn't advice on how to finish reading a book, but rather how to actually read a book, any book! His ideas are interesting and thought-provoking, and I highly recommend it.

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