The human body and mind are amazing things, and sometimes, their unique functioning can truly surprise us. The human consciousness for example, is not fully understood despite the advancements in the medical field right now, and one of the most prominent conditions relating to human perception and consciousness is synesthesia. This condition is when there is essentially a cross wiring of the senses in the brain, which leads to certain experiences that seem almost impossible. If someone told you that they could taste a certain word, would you believe them? Until recently, even scientists were in disbelief of this phenomenon, and thought that people were making up these experiences. However, there has been more study done on the topic, and it is clear that it is very real, and very interesting. Synesthesia isn’t very static, and the cross wiring of the senses can be expressed in many ways. When theoretically estimated, scientists believe that there could be anywhere from 50 to 150 types of synesthesia, but some are more common than others. Below are some of the most commonly seen types
This one is the most common type of synesthesia, and a person who experiences this might associate or see individual letters or numbers with a specific color. Not everyone who has this type sees the same color for the same letter, but each person’s individual experience remains uniform. So, if someone sees the letter “D” as pink, this will be the same thing reported throughout. There have been some similarities among different people, though, such as the letter “A” being reported as red.
This type of synesthesia might manifest in a couple of different ways: it could mean that something as simple as a noise like a car horn or a bell takes on a color or a shape in the mind’s eye when it is heard. Some people might experience sounds as a
This form of synesthesia is when a person can physically feel what the other person is experiencing. For example, if you touch your chin, a mirror-touch synesthete feels the same touch on their chin. This type of synesthesia is also quite prevalent, with about 1.6% of the population experiencing it. A milder form of this type is also common in people who don’t have outright synesthesia, where people feel pain when they look at others’ pain. This is thought to be a heightened and
4. Number Form
In this type, people see numbers as a very distinct map. The numbers don’t necessarily have to be linear, and the map could also curve in, or move out. For example, small numbers might be bunched up together without much space, or the numbers could form a clock-like shape. The way the numbers are expressed are unique to each synesthete. This type could come about because the part of the brain that processes numbers and the part for spatial representation are close together.
This type is also called ordinal linguistic personification, and is when a person gives distinct personality traits to individual items in ordinal lists. Therefore, things like the days of the week, or the letter of the alphabet might have their own personalities, such as “X” being a lazy man, or
6. Lexical Gustatory
This is one of the rarest forms of synesthesia, and is when a person tastes certain flavors or even whole meals based on a visual picture, word or sound. They may even feel conversations as a flow of taste across their tongues, and it doesn’t always have to be just a taste but could also be accompanies by a certain temperature, a texture or even a location on the tongue where it is felt. It is experienced by less than 0.2 percent of the population.