Tasting colours? (synesthesia)

Nah Bruno, making cross-sense associations isn’t synaesthesia, it’s just a handy way to classify and describe things. Synaesthesia really is when you can hear a sound or taste a feeling. Some synaesthetes can’t drive with music in the car because their field of vision doubles as a visual equalizer! It’s like fireworks going off in front of them, and they can’t turn it off; it’s much more than just thinking that “An American In Paris” feels very yellow.

I have never been so fortunate as to experience synaesthesia - it would be absolutely amazing to attempt it in a dream, though.

I have some kind of that when I listen to music.

Well, the guy with an equalizer doesn’t have synæsthesia to begin with, because synæsthesia is nonlinguistical—you have it since you were born, you don’t develop it, it doesn’t look like equalizers or anything that depends on human abstraction.

That said, I’m not saying a synæsthete is a person to whom phrased thoughts like “this is very yellow” are common. There’s something about the said thing that is blatantly yellow, and it will be yellow no matter how many times you look at it after looking away, or even if you spend years without seeing it, and then find it again and don’t remember anymore having seen it before. It will still be yellow.

I said up there that synæsthesia is nonlinguistical. Well, I confess I lied. :razz: It’s mostly not. And, anyways, human abstraction is still out of it. There’s no such a thing as a “bad colour,” or rather, the “bad colour” might be just the same as the “good colour” and the “grass colour” and the “oogy boogy colour” because there is no logical sense in the colours—grass for one, is such a green thing and such an orange word. But there are some kinds of synæsthesia to which a little bit of logics can be drawn. Like mine.

To me, colours can change based on emotions or memories (I’m not sure what’s the process for changing like—and nothing has ever felt different, even when the colours change—if you’re vynil–feeling, you’ll always be vynil–feeling, get over it). Like Daniel, my best friend. The name Daniel, right now, renders blue. It used to render red. Why did it change, I don’t know. Once I was mad at him and it rendered grey. A couple of times I wasn’t mad at him, and it also rendered grey, and I tried to figure out why and couldn’t. And I swear it was spelled right! I rewrote it to make sure I wasn’t missing anything at all!

But that’s for (few) people, and few other things that I suspect are categorized as similar to people in my head. Or something like that. Sometimes my computer changes too… I don’t know how it works, really. But words in general tend to render always the same. Which is great for spellchecking. I mean it! “This pneumoultramicroscopicsilicovulcanoconiosis looks wrong… Oh, look, it’s missing a c!”

Also, whenever someone says a member name in chat, the colour I see has to do with their avatar: Atheist used to be red, Moogle and Siw were pink—Q, on the other hand, was yellow. And so was Wolf, whose avatar was black and white. (And no, black and white isn’t a yellow expression, it’s blue. And T’s avatar also didn’t have any yellow word or image. It was just yellow, period. Still to date, T is yellow.)

That not to mention when I look at the Moon and feel silk, or velvet, against my skin, but also the normal clothes. As if I had two skins, or the skin was in two places at the same time. Anyways, the fact is: although synæthesia develops as you build sensorial memory, it is not logical. And it shouldn’t be emotional or anything like either, so mine, although pretty stable, and otherwise “normal,” should be called something else other than synæsthesia by a lot of doctors. But no–one can say for sure, because it looks like synæsthesia works differently for each person, it doesn’t have a set of characteristics that can be seen in every single synæsthete and in theory, any kind of mixture is possible depending only on how your mind was set up.

But please, read any article on synæsthesia and you’ll also see the driving guy doesn’t have it—of course the things we see are spacially placed. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to echo (don’t ask). That just doesn’t mean we see colours and shapes floating around in our vision field. Try to visualize how’s that. Looking at a thing, and knowing it is blue, even though you don’t see the blue colour on it. Then looking away, and while the thing is still in your vision field (remember: you don’t have to recognize an object for it to be associated with another sense, because it’s not a logical thing), it’s still blue.

You’re green, by the way. Somewhat like this. Robin is also green, but more like this, which, not surprisingly, is also the colour of his avatar. Also, your name feels vynil, Robin’s feels canvas. And these are the strongest connections I make—colour and touch. Now you judge me and decide if I have synæsthesia or a bad mind formation. :tongue: To me, it’s the same thing. :lol: I have it anyways, so why not as well give it a name people (should) recognize?

I found a couple of places ont he net to take a test for it:

nicolamorgan.co.uk/colour.php
mindbluff.com/syntest.htm

and a resource:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaesthesia

That didn’t make any sense. When I say graphical equalizer, I mean the sort of thing you get when you play a MP3 in Windows Media Player - cascading torrents of color to accompany your music. Which is, you’re right, not linguistic at all, but I’m not sure where you got that idea to begin with.

What I’m saying is that the senses themselves are intertwined: it’s not just that you think Thursday is rather yellow-green, or even that you consider it to be inherently yellow-green, but that when you see or think of Thursday, there is yellow-green in your field of vision! Or if it is the written word you see, it is as good as tinted yellow-green for the synaesthete.

To me, A is red. Always has been. But that’s still an abstract association because I do not see the red overlaid on the letter. I think making cross-sense associations is a universal human habit, ranging from just being able to do it when one concentrates on the task to having two different abstract sensory properties permanently tied together in one’s mind (like the color purple and a Pink Floyd album), always. But that’s not synaesthesia, not unless your senses themselves are really physically cross-wired so that pink floyd albums are, literally and not just abstractly, purple when you see them.

There’s a man described on the wikipedia article who experiences a different taste for every word he says, thinks, or reads. I associate the word “Leather” with a coarse, bitter taste, and can even pretend to emulate the taste if I imagine hard enough, but I am not in actuality tasting the word as he does. For him it’s as real as biting down on a strawberry (or whatever it tastes like to him).

Ultimately it’s a game of semantics and arbitrary boundaries, I suppose, as well as the inherent difficulty in conveying abstract concepts like this through language. But I think there’s an important difference between thinking very strongly of a color and seeing that color itself.

[edit]

BTW Bruno, you look rather brown-blue to me. I’d say my name is not so much a dark green as dark blue, with maybe a yellow highlight. To each his own.

Spamtek, I look at your name and I see it green. What I want you to understand is that I actually see it black. I know it’s black. And there’s no green overlaying it, highlighting it, floating around it or anything. Now, if I look at the quote button beside your post, your name will still be green. In fact, I can’t make it not be green after I saw it. Sometimes it becomes green before I pay attention to it, sometimes only after I look at it, the fact is—it stays green. And not because I think it’s a rather green name. It’s because your name IS the green thing in my visual field—only it’s not green, it’s black letters!

(If you didn’t get it, I’m dropping this discussion, I just don’t see words to phrase how I see the green about your name. I’m just telling you I do.)

It’s probably too vague a distinction to expect anyone to be able to put it into words, you and me alike. I imagine it’s like Einstein’s frustration trying to describe the shape, color, and essential form of a swan to his blind friend.

I think I get what you’re saying, but it’s the same thing I think I thought I got at the end of your last post which you insist is wrong, so… discussion dropped, I’m thinking. Hope I wasn’t being too terribly anagonistic or anything.

:lol: You weren’t, and it wasn’t a frustrating discussion, no, but we weren’t getting anywhere either, were we? :tongue:

Does associating school subjects with colors mean i have synæsthesia?
Math=blue
Science=green
history=brown
reading=purple
english=red

Hmm, interesting; I do that too. The colors are also always the same for me, but different than what you posted. Here is my list:

Math - Red
Science - Green
History - Blue
Reading/English - Yellow

I also like the color that I associate with my name, which seemed to come out of nowhere:

Sonia

It’s something like that, but not exactly. The name Sonia is just that shade of yellow-orange to me. I’ve also associated letters and numbers with colors, but I don’t think that makes me a synæsthete.

have to shove in my arbitrary values:

English - green
Social Studies - …also green. Sometimes red, though.
Mathematics - Gray
Sciences - Dark Blue
German - Orange/Brown

Math = Blue
English = Yellow
German = White
Biology = Green
Physics = Purple

By the way, the colours are not for the words, they’re for the subjects.

Wow, that about the man tasting his words sounds really weird. I´d be talking to myself constantly :wink: . Anyways, I think synaesthesia is a really interesting topic. And btw, what colours is my name?

Martin

Tapir has always been an antique white–ish colour for me. And Martin is very orange. But that’s just me. :smile:

Now I’d like to know what I am. In exchange for that knowledge, I shall tell you what color my mind associates with Bruno.

He’s something like an indigo for me.

Of course, I don’t have synaesthesia, but I can still associate colors with names if I think about them. Like I said already, the name Sonia is something like this, while my username is a completely different color.

BlissfulBlues is kind of an interesting one for me, since I can associate two different colors with the name. When I think of the name in my head, my inner monologue, it is more of a lavender type of color that matches with my avatar.

However, as soon as I typed my username out, it was completely different for me, seeing it written is more of a blue when I see it. No, it’s two blues when I see it! As a whole, in my mind, it is a lavender. When I see it written, I split it up into the Blissful and the Blues.

I’d like to know what Bruno thinks, since he is the synaesthete. :wink:

Oh, and as a sidenote, the name Bruno has always made me think of spaghetti. :tongue: It has nothing to do with the Bruno that we all know, it’s just what I associate with that name for no apparent reason. :tongue:

Blissful is pink and Blues is definately black. (Blue is blue. Blues is black. Most colours are what they are or similar to what they are. But there are a few exceptions, like crimson, lavander and all those weird names…)

Sonia is a grey colour.

/me wonders what’s the point of wanting to know how your name is seen by a weird person :tongue:

After all, anyone can give opinions on that, only my opinions are irrational and most people’s have some underlying reason. Which would make BlissfulBlues a tough name not to label blue…

There are several German pasta commercials where the German tennis star Steffi Graf promotes her Italian Spaghetti cook Bruno.

Guess it´s some horoscope like thing, you get a piece of information that might or might not have a background and try to fit it into the picture you got from yourself. You can always interpret it the way that seems nice. Orange and white? That means I am a warm and friendly yet also intelligent person :wink:
To ask someone who isn´t a synaesthet isn´t as much fun, cause he isn´t so sure about what he says and also cause we understand how he does it, nothing mysterious about it.

But a bit more serious, I also like to check wether different persons think of the same colours. Btw, my girlfriend (hi :smile: ) , who says that she isn´t really a synaesthet but also often associates senses with other senses, thinks that martin is brown and red/orange.

Math - fuschia
Science - blue
History - yellow
Reading - dark blue
English - red

Martin is a light blue. Tapir is a sort of light-yellowish ochre.

You’re synæsthete and lefty? :shock: If you tell me you were taught to write with the right hand, I’ll be scared out of my body! :scared: