from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun neurology, psychology A neurological or psychological phenomenon whereby a particular sensory stimulus triggers a second kind of sensation.
  • noun The association of one sensory perception with, or description of it in terms of, another, unlike, perception that is not experienced at the same time.
  • noun A literary or artistic device whereby one kind of sensation is described in the terms of another.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a sensation that normally occurs in one sense modality occurs when another modality is stimulated


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek σύν (sun, "with") + αἴσθησις (aisthēsis, "sensation"), modeled after anaesthesia.



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  • Like Mr. S, Nabokov, Daniel Tammet, or Franz Liszt, I see colors when listening to music, forming ideas, or playing with numbers.

    October 6, 2007

  • You do, Orbital? This whole concept fascinates me.

    October 6, 2007

  • Yeah for instance I see blue when I hear middle C and other colors for pitch. Pitch and color are related in the way the brain interprets them as signals. Sometimes my synesthesia will even overlap on my visual plane and not just be restricted to the minds eye. Today in my Latin course we were learning about a new declension and a green polygon and a red circle kept surfacing in front of me.

    October 6, 2007

  • Amazing that colors appear not just as shades, but as defined shapes. Fascinating.

    October 8, 2007

  • See also synesthesia.

    I'm convinced I have some warped version of this in which inanimate objects, even concepts like "the number 5," have distinctly defined personality traits.

    There was an article about synesthesia a few years ago in Smithsonian magazine (I think...).

    October 8, 2007

  • He saw red, but he thought five / He was pleased to find his road trip was enhanced by number-color synesthesia: / 'My trusty Rosinante bounds along the road very well, leaving the friendly aroma of donuts and chicken tenders hanging in the desert air.'

    --The Books, "An Animated Description of Mr. Maps"

    February 10, 2008

  • Other composers who were or were possibly synæsthesic: Olivier Messiaen, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (Mr Flight-of-the-Bumble-Bee), Alexander Scriabin (who included a "colour organ" in one of his pieces), György Ligeti, Jean Sibelius

    April 19, 2008

  • C_b, I think I have a similar thing. I always assumed it was normal...

    The mention of this word irritates me, purely because it reminds me of year 11 English and Girl with a Pearl Earring. Baaaad memories.

    April 19, 2008

  • Plethora: Yes, I never knew it was odd until I read an article about it being some kind of phenomenon with some people... and of course for my version (if it is such a thing), there isn't even a word.

    April 20, 2008

  • I think I remember reading a term, or at the very least a corroboration of your experience, c_b. I can attempt to look it up if you so fancy.

    I've a comparison table of composers' colour–note/key relations too, somewhere. Everyone's synæsthesias are, delightfully, different.

    April 20, 2008