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The Form of Synesthesia Where People Literally See Time -- Science of Us

I SEE NUMBERS IN COLOURS // My Synesthesia Story

People with synesthesia experience the world in a way that is hard to describe to non-synesthetes. Words can have color, sounds can have smells, and numbers can have tastes. This study looked at 19 people with synesthesia who have reported experiencing their symptoms during sex. Researchers asked the participants about the colors and smells and tastes they experienced and tried to compare those with the experiences of non-synesthetes describe sex. Descriptions of sex are impossible to verify and difficult to compare, since everybody—synesthetic or not—experiences sex differently. Plus, people have all sorts of creative and colorful ways of describing sex without necessarily being synesthetes.

The inclusion criterion of a sexual form of synaesthesia was simply confirmed by interviewing the participants, as this form of synaesthesia cannot be verified through any standardized tests. This lack of assurance will be discussed in detail below. Due to the insufficient number of men in the synaesthetic group, the male participants were excluded from the KFSP research.

The mean age of the female synaesthetes The data of the control group for the OAVAV Dittrich,; Passie, investigation was obtained in a parallel MHH study investigating gender-specific differences in sexual experience.

The control group was matched pairwise by gender and age.

What Is Sex Like for Someone with Synesthesia?

The mean age of the synaesthetic group The subjects were assured that any private information they gave would be kept confidential.

By carrying out the procedure via mail the participation was kept anonymous.

Synaesthesia isn't just associating colours with words and numbers. The closer a date is to me, the larger it appears, so next week is bigger. Some scientists believe that everyone is born with synesthesia and only some people retain these mental connections. Date: August 21, ; Source: Radboud University; Summary: People In comparison, odor-color synesthesia is more unique, with only 6% of people with .

Each questionnaire was labeled with a code number so that the response rate could be followed. Each participant gave written consent about the participation.

Synesthesia is a phenomenon where experiencing one sense (or cognitive pathway) results in the experience of another. Learn how synesthesia works. Although the Synesthesia Project is no longer active at Boston University, Dr. Veronica Gross is still working to explore . Out of date, but still informative. People with synesthesia experience the world in a way that is hard to describe to non-synesthetes. Words can have color, sounds can have.

Two questionnaires were employed. During the process of validation the APZ was revised and renamed the OAV; later it was completed by two more subscales. Thus, the name of the latest version, OAVAV, is a composition of the capital letters representing the five subscales in German: Oceanic boundlessness, dread of ego dissolution, visionary restructuralization, reduction of vigilance, and auditive alterations Passie, Each one of the subscales contains specific characteristics of ASCs according to Ludwig The items have to be rated on a visual analog scale from 0 up to Subjects were instructed to fill out the questionnaire about 10 min after sexual intercourse.

Independent two-sample t -tests were conducted for statistic comparison of the synaesthetic group and the control groups; the statistic analysis was accomplished via PASW Predictive Analytics Software, version The interviews were supported by guidelines which were adjusted to the sexual response cycle by Masters and Johnsonin order to investigate perception during different phases of sexual experience.

Synesthesia and dating

Instead of beginning with a theory, the basic idea is to develop a superordinate theory by extracting key points from the text and then subsequently create codes, concepts, and categories. The results will be presented exemplarily to complement the quantitative results. The KFSP total score was significantly higher in synaesthetes than in the controls, which reflects better sexual function in general.

Results of the short questionnaire for sexual problems for women KFSP-F : Comparison between two independent samples by t-test in the appending subscales; significance:. Results of the altered states of consciousness questionnaire OAVAV : Comparison between two independent samples by t-test in the appending subscales; significance:. By analyzing the resulting transcriptions two main categories could be extracted: 1 stages of sexual experience and 2 significance of the synaesthetic perceptions.

Concerning the first category, the synaesthetes reported different stages of synaesthetic experiences analogous to the different stages of the sexual response cycle by Masters and Johnson Not all synaesthetes were capable of allocating their synaesthetic perceptions to one of the different stages but variation in the appearance of their perceptions over time was observed in every subject.

Exemplary citations by the synaesthetes questioned about the different phases of the human sexual response cycle. The accompanying emotions during each state of sexual excitement seemed to influence the synaesthetic perceptions.

The degree of emotional influence on the synaesthetic perceptions can be illustrated by the example of one female synaesthete who describes her desire stage as orange while claiming that she experiences orange itself as quite aversive. On further enquiry, the subject admitted that her aversive perception during the desire stage is based upon a more general aversion to sexuality which she describes as low interest in sexual activity.

Sexuality never played an important role in her life and this previously used to concern her when she compared herself with others.

It is noteworthy that the synaesthetes reported almost consistently that they consider the synaesthetic experiences as enriching for themselves, but that at the same time it makes them feel isolated from their environment during sexual intercourse. By studying synaesthesia we can learn a lot about consciousness in general e. ASCs—such as synaesthesia—are a part of human consciousness and as such, they need to be studied in order to understand its nature Sagiv and Frith, Based on the various indications that synaesthesia and sexual trance seem to share certain phenomenological characteristics, we hypothesized an increased degree of sexual trance and sexual satisfaction in synaesthetes.

Here's What It's Like To Have Time-Space Synaesthesia

However, contrary to our hypotheses, synaesthetes were less satisfied with their sexuality, possibly due to a lack of partner involvement regarding synaesthetic perceptions. Regarding the possible neurobiological mechanisms of synaesthetic perceptions during sexual intercourse, an imbalance between prefrontal and limbic brain function may be an important factor. Some ASCs can be accompanied by transient frontal hypoactivity as made evident by Dietrich This overlaps with a former theory by Cytowicwho proposed a limbic basis for synaesthesia due to insufficient inhibition of subcortical activity by cortical processes, which was supported by tentative neurophysiological data from Schiltz et al.

In a more recent study by Cohen-Kadosh et al. Passie et al. This possible neurobiological link between synaesthetic proneness and intensification of sexual trance may be an explanation for the higher values for synaesthetes in the ASCs questionnaire although the present study certainly remains hypothetical on this topic due to the lack of actual neurophysiological data.

Apparently the female synaesthetes were less satisfied despite increased sexual appetence and a possibly heightened sexual trance. One possible explanation for these, at first sight, contradictory results can be found in the theory by Mosher who postulates sexual trance as one of the three dimensions essential to maximum extent of depth of sexual involvement.

The model proposes that equilibrium between the three dimensions is mandatory for sexual satisfaction, whereas over-emphasis of one dimension develops an assimilating effect and averts satisfaction. The person becomes more introverted and separated from the environment which may impair partner involvement. Thus, the high degree of sexual trance in synaesthetes may provoke an increased focus on sensual experiences on the inside, instead of partner-related aspects.

This explanation is supported by the results of the personal interviews in which the synaesthetes reported an isolating effect of their synaesthetic experiences, while at the same time they experienced their perceptions as enriching and pleasant for themselves. We would like to emphasize that the results are restricted by some methodological limitations.

Therefore, the results presented should be treated with care. This lack of evidence is due to the fact that sexual synaesthesia obviously cannot be tested in laboratory conditions by using the original inducers. However, it is still outstanding if there is a possibility of testing this form of synaesthesia without the original inducer which would imply a more semantic nature of the stimuli i.

And Taylor isn't the only popular artist who tangles up emotion and color in song. While you may actually experience emotion-color synesthesia, artists find the metaphor to be an incredible lyrical device. Whole songs and albums can hinge on the relationship between color and emotion. Many famous painters and musician are synesthetes, for instance, Mary J Blige and Pharrell Williams are both synesthetes.

Synesthetes are most often found in the arts. Another common form is chromesthesia or colored hearing — sounds, music or voices that are heard and also trigger the eyes to see colors. However, someone may see the color red whenever they hear the word "dog", whereas others might see the color orange. Synesthetic perceptions are specific to each person. Well, to each his or her own!

The Curious World of Synaesthesia - Jamie Ward - TEDxCambridgeUniversity

But more common than emotion-color synesthesia and chromesthesia is grapheme-color synesthesia. In this form, symbols like numbers and letters are each associated with their own color. The colors assigned to each letter are different for everyone, but what's really weird is that many people with this form of synesthesia agree that A is red!

As you can imagine, this makes for a complex world of information. For example, they may see an "F" in red and a "P" in yellow when they read. But it can also be of great benefit, helping synesthetes to learn things through associative connections. Some people with synesthesia also have the experience of seeing, hearing, smelling or tasting feelings like pain or love. Others can taste shapes or perceive written letters and words in different colors. A little bit X-men isn't it?!

Synesthesia is generally thought of as a perceptual condition that enhances the experiences of day to day life. For the most part this is true, and. Synesthesia can be broadly understood as a jumbling-up of the senses — seeing a certain color when you hear a certain sound (called. Introduction: Synaesthesia is a phenomenon in which a certain stimulus induces a concurrent sensory perception; it has an estimated.

While a lot of people might imagine that the experiences reported by synesthetics are simply overactive imaginations or hallucinations brought on in some way or another, there are important differences between synesthesia and hallucinations. It can sound strange for people to be talking about the colors they see in letters or the way that shapes taste.

It's a little confusing, especially since even amongst synesthetes, no one has exactly the same set of associations. This means that all too often when people talk about their synesthesia, others assume they are hallucinating or that they have taken illegal substances. What distinguishes true synesthesia experiences from hallucinations is that with synesthesia, the associations are both repeatable and predictable, not fanciful and random.

For example, if you taste strawberries when you hear a certain song, then one must always trigger the other sensation in a predictable fashion to be considered synesthesia.

I feel like I'm learning new things about my high sensitivity every day. When I was younger, how different life would have been — for the better.

But your associations between different things don't have to work both ways in synesthesia. In general, synesthetes are either of normal or above average intelligence. As we know, synesthesia is a sort of cross-wiring of the nerves and brain synapses related to the five senses. Researchers think that synesthesia may be caused by either an unusual cross-wiring in the brain or simply the presence of more neural connections than other people without the condition.

Since no two people with synesthesia have exactly the same experience, this suggests that no two synesthetes have the exact same "wiring scheme" either. There have been a few cases where synesthesia can be very helpful for long-term memorization and mathematical calculation, but this form of the condition appears to be quite rare.

This kind of synesthesia involves the perception of abstract concepts, such as abstract shapes, units of time or mathematical equations floating in space outside their bodies just think of the moment when Neo perceives the Matrix for the first time!

This form of the condition is called "conceptual synesthesia. Still another misperception of synesthesia is that experiences of synesthesia are seeing things because they are suffering from certain eye diseases or conditions. Eye trauma, glaucoma pressure in the eyecataracts, retinal or vitreous detachment, corneal edema, macular degeneration, and optic nerve dysfunction are all eye conditions that can produce visual phenomena and color distortion.

If you are experiencing visual phenomena, especially if it's new to you, it's a good idea to see an eye doctor, optometrist who will determine whether how acute your vision is or even consult an ophthalmologist eye disease specialist. The vast majority of people with synesthesia do not suffer from any physical ailments of their eyes. So if you have normal vision and you still experience visual sensations with regularity, it is highly likely that you have projector synesthesia, which is a rare but still totally real condition, so don't worry, it's not that you're going crazy!

Studies show that if you are a woman, you are more likely to have synesthesia than if you are a man. Much has been made of the differences between the mental wiring of men and women, and this is one of those studies that seems to corroborate the biological differences that distinguish the genders when it comes to the way we think. Often, women are characterized as making more connections in their thinking, and this would seem to predispose them for experiencing synesthesia, compared with the workings of the male mind.

By the end of this article, you will probably think you have synesthesia in some form.

At the very least, you will probably hope you do. Synesthesia is a phenomenon where experiencing one sense or cognitive pathway results in the experience of another one. So you might "see" the letter B typically uppercase and lowercase as red or hear a word that makes you taste a certain flavor [source: Ramachandran and Hubbard ].

Musictoo, might be perceived as colorful, where a C note is maroon and F sharp is yellow -- it might change by octaves, too. Or maybe you see dates spatially -- Tuesday is always a yard or two to your right, a fixed position in space.

So have you found yourself already racking your brain, trying to decide if 8 is purple or the letter Q tastes like bananas?

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