Are You A Synesthete?

Recently, I came home from work, fed my cats then went upstairs to get ready to go out. As I came down the stairs I said to myself “Their dinner smells loud”. I didn’t realise what I had said straight away but then I thought that was a better description than “strong”. It did actually smell loud! It got me thinking about synesthetes – people who have some of their senses connected in a way that most people do not.

I first heard about this on “Sightings”, an American TV programme that I saw a few years ago. I really loved that programme. It’s a shame it was cancelled. It was the first place I heard about dogs being able to detect cancer too.

Anyway, back to synesthesia. One of the most common forms is grapheme-colour synesthesia where a person perceives different letters or numbers as being tinged with particular colours. Another is spatial sequence synesthesia. This is where someone sees numbers, days of the week or months of the year at different points in space. Fascinating! I feel so boring now.   😦

Some famous synesthetes are (or were) Nikola Tesla, Duke Ellington, David Hockney, Billy Joel and Pharrell Williams.

I think the most interesting form of synesthesia is chromesthesia – the association of sounds with colours. How awesome to be able to see sounds! I’d love to see the different colours that musical notes make. Imagine how pretty a concert would look. Probably something like this:

Image copyright Nevit Dilman.

Image copyright Nevit Dilman. Click on the image to view the license. No changes have been made to this image.


8 thoughts on “Are You A Synesthete?

  1. I know! I’d love to “SEE” sounds or smells, etc. Did you see that programme where one bloke got different smells for different words? He was a pub owner and hated anyone ordering a certain drink as it made a terrible smell!

    I think another great thing would be to be able to smell like a dog for a while! (And I don’t mean smell like a dog in the bad way – I know I often do and my car does as well! LOL!)


    • No, I didn’t see that programme. What was it called? Was it on recently?

      I’m not so sure about being able to smell like a dog. I think it might be a bit overpowering as we’re not used to it so you can try that one on your own. 🙂


  2. It would make life more exciting, but would their feelings be as strong as ours? I think I’m content with what I have, listening to music for instance and just feeling it… Loved your pet foods smells being loud though!


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