Tasting Colors, Seeing Sounds: What You Need to Know About Synesthesia

What is synesthesia

If you ever needed proof that the human body is an amazing machine, look no further than synesthesia – a condition which combines two or more senses. While still not completely researched, it is one of the more interesting conditions that can affect the human brain.

So, what is synesthesia exactly and how does it feel?

What Is Synesthesia?

Like we mentioned above, synesthesia is a condition that combines two or more senses. That means that, for example, a person with synesthesia may taste chocolate every time they hear “Let it be” by the Beatles, or they may see the color green every time they hear the name “Mark”. Genetics seem to play an important part in synesthesia.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Although there isn’t a test to diagnose synesthesia, there are some factors that can help with its diagnosis. Synesthetic perceptions are:

  • Involuntary – people with synesthesia don’t think about these perceptions they’re having.
  • Projected – when we say that a synesthete “sees” a color when they hear a word, they literally see it projected outside an object, as opposed to just seeing things in your “mind’s eye.”
  • Durable – the perception happens every time. So, you will taste chocolate every time you hear “Let it be,” not just once.
  • Memorable – a synesthete will often remember the secondary perception better than the primary one. So, a synesthete is more likely to remember the color green than the name “Mark”.
  • Emotional – these perceptions can evoke different feelings.

Final Word

If you were asking yourself “what is synesthesia” we hope this article answers your question. Although it currently affects between two and four percent of the population, it is a condition that gets a lot of attention because of its interesting symptoms.