[bksvol-discuss] Re: O_T Synesthesia: The Man Who Tastes Shapes

  • From: Carrie Karnos <ckarnos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2005 15:53:19 -0800 (PST)

Hi Sue,

No, synesthesia is not the same as experiences linking 2 disparate things
together.  It's a cross-linkage in the brain, probably from birth, between
2 'senses' that normally are not linked in most people.  (There's a theory
that ALL people have synesthesia at birth but lose it as they grow up,
with a few exceptions - I've heard it's 1 out of every 2000 people has
synesthesia). My daughter has the most common form of synesthesia.  She
'knows' that A's are red, B's are orange, C's are red, etc.  They just
simply are.  She doesn't see A's as red, but there's a tickle in her mind
that tells her they are.  So when she is reading a page, she senses all
these colors as she reads the words.  There is most likely a genetic
cause, since most people with synesthesia think O's and I's are clear,
white, light beige, etc.  Digits also have colors.  It disturbed her a bit
when we went from 1999 to 2000, because the year went from white-red to
green-clear.  She was so used to white-red years, it took her a while to
convert over to years being green-clear.

Other forms of synesthesia are hearing tones while eating (celery tastes
like piccolos, steak like bassoons), seeing shapes while eating (someone
in the book Synesthesia by Richard Cytowic mentioned that he needed to
adjust the seasonings of the chicken dish he was making because it was too
pointy), that sort of thing.  Someone was going to put the 2nd edition of
Synesthesia on Bookshare but never did, if I recall correctly.  Sure wish
they would so I could refer people to it.


--- siss52 <siss52@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> I wonder if these sensations are connected with things we remember.  For
> example, I was raised on a farm and my sighted siblings and I would get
> watermelons from my dad's patch.  We had to be careful of snakes, and
> one of
> my brothers would get one on a stick and show it to me.  Harmless little
> garden snakes.  Now, when I smell that watermelon scent from Bath and
> Body
> Works it reminds me of snakes.  Interestingly, however, eating a
> watermelon
> does not remind me of snakes.  I think that is because we didn't eat
> them in
> the garden but hurried away so as not to get caught.  Is that the idea?
> Sue S.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Cindy" <popularplace@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 1:02 AM
> Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: O_T Synesthesia: The Man Who Tastes Shapes
> -Fascinating. I wish I had color synesthesia, if
> that's the right expression -- that what I heard I
> cold also see in color.
> Cindy
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