MAR 13, 2018 9:22 AM PDT

What personality is four? The colorful world of synesthesia


Synesthesia, which literally means "joined sensation," 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." Synesthetes, people who have synesthesia, can experience many vast combinations of joined senses, from seeings sounds to tasting words or linking certain numbers with colors or personalities. If you have one type of synesthesia, such as colored hearing, it doesn't necessarily mean you feel smells or any other type of joined sensation, though it does give you a 50% chance more of having a second, third, or fourth type of synesthesia.

Synesthesia is a trait - just like having brown eyes or freckles - and in many cases, this trait is a very helpful one. Synesthetes often have superior memory abilities - the way they pair certain aspects together gives them a leg up on remembering what your boss's brother's name is, or how that symphony's harmony goes. Do you experience synesthesia, or does someone you know? Watch the video to learn more and share your own experiences in the comments section below!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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