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: