Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (source: Wikipedia).
  1. I've met two patients with this.
    One was a successful musician. The other kept it to herself her entire young adult life because she was convinced she was crazy after realizing that others didn't experience the same thing.
  2. I decided to list about it because I think my niece might be a synesthete.
    She has repeatedly said things recently that make me think this might be true. Most recently, she has asked me to "look at the music" and "take a picture" of her "with the music." No music was playing. I'm still trying to figure out if this was a kid-ism, or if she has a gift.
  3. There are two forms of synesthesia: projective and associative.
  4. People with projective synesthesia see colors, forms, or shapes when stimulated.
    For example, they may hear music and see a flurry of different colors or shapes that appear when their auditory sense is stimulated. This particular type is known as chromasthesia (I want this SO badly!).
  5. People with associative synesthesia involuntarily feel a strong connection between the stimulus and the sense that it triggers.
    For example, they may hear a sound and think it *sounds* orange.
  6. Most synesthetes are extra creative and have either specific talents or great memories that are aided by this gift.
    For some, music comes more naturally because it's associated with colors. Others find reading or spelling easier because of the association with something visual.
  7. There is only one known synesthete to have linked ALL FIVE SENSES!
    Pretend you eat a banana, and it tastes like a banana, but causes you to see a blue shape, hear hummingbirds, feel velvet and smell rain. Can you imagine how cool, but possibly overwhelming, this could be? Literally, it is sensory overload.