Saturday, February 6, 2010

Synesthesia Super Powers!

Have you ever heard of people who could taste music, hear colours and read in colours?

I haven't.

Till I watched one episode of Heroes Season 4.

It seems like a Hollywood generated ability tailored for the popularity-dying and perplexing-full-of-shit Heroes TV series, but it actually is a real condition experienced by 1 to 200 people, to 1 to 100 000 people.

It is called synesthesia.

And it is AWESOME.

Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight. Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people's names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. The word synesthesia comes from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception). Therefore, synesthesia literally means "joined perception."

So like I've mentioned before, if you have synesthesia, you'd probably taste strawberries in your mouth upon listening to Taylor Swift's Love Story, see the Aurora Borealis during a jamming session or learn to memorize alphabets by remembering the colours associated with them.

It may seem like douchy ability, I mean, don't you wanna have this ability to brag? I would, in a heart beat. I'd probably write a douchy book too.

According to Cytowic, synesthetic perceptions are:

Involuntary: synesthetes do not actively think about their perceptions; they just happen.

Projected: rather than experiencing something in the "mind's eye," as might happen when you are asked to imagine a color, a synesthete often actually sees a color projected outside of the body.

Durable and generic: the perception must be the same every time; for example, if you taste chocolate when you hear Beethoven's Violin Concerto, you must always taste chocolate when you hear it; also, the perception must be generic -- that is, you may see colors or lines or shapes in response to a certain smell, but you would not see something complex such as a room with people and furniture and pictures on the wall.

Memorable: often, the secondary synesthetic perception is remembered better than the primary perception; for example, a synesthete who always associates the color purple with the name "Laura" will often remember that a woman's name is purple rather than actually remembering "Laura."

Emotional: the perceptions may cause emotional reactions such as pleasurable feelings.

These are the few lucky people who have synesthesia:

Ray McAllister sees music: "A bright flash of lavender getting dimmer and dimmer; now we're going over a pink staircase, some lavender violins."

Carol Crane feels music: "I always feel guitars on my ankles and violins on my face."

For Carol Steen, every letter has a color: "Z is the color of beer, a light ale."

And James Wannerton tastes words: "New York is, it's runny eggs. London is mashed potato, but it's extremely lumpy mashed potatoes."

In short, having synesthesia feels like your 5 sensors are all fucked up when you're incredibly high.

Fucked up 5 sensors = SUPER POWERS!



Jessica_Lyne said...

If i have synesthesia, I'll probably stop taking nescafe and hacks top get high! haha

p/s Heroes is fucked up beyond words and I don't know why I'm still watching it. I guess I keep waiting for it to get better :-(

Amanda Christine Wong said...

haha! alcohol not needed too! and yes, the producers are piecing up Heroes like they're putting watery shit together and I am guilty for still wanting to know how it will ridiculously end :/

Santafire said...

I can literally feel/taste music eventhough im actually tone deaf. i never know what synthe-wateva is before too.

Looks cool.

Lizeewong said...

Wow. I wish had synesthesia too. Then I don't have stuff myself with chocolate when I'm feeling crappy. Just listen to ..what was it already..ahh..Beethoven's Violin Concerto (had to hit the back button to see what you've written hehe). :)

Amanda Christine Wong said...

Santafire: Are you serious? That's so freakin' cool. Hands down!

Lizeewong: Hehe. At least you won't worry of the chocolates going straight to the bums her :D. But seriously, I wish have synesthesia too.hehe