On March 2, 2001 I finally found out the name for something
I have experienced for as long as I can remember!
It was synaesthesia! Synaesthesia is when the brain connects two or more
sensory reactions. For me it shows as numbers, letters, words and time
units having colors. For example, when I think of 7 it's yellow in my
head. 4 is also yellow while 2 is red and 8 is dark blue and so on.
There are many different types of synaesthesia.
Some people sees colors when they hear music or get a certain taste in
their mouth when they listen to music or speech. There can be all kinds
of connections betweens the different senses. The word synaesthesia comes
from Greek (syn-) union, and (aísthesis) sensation.
I don not plan to go deeper into what
causes this or what types of synaesthesia there are but if you think this
sounds interesting or you have synaesthesia yourself please and check the links and the bottom of this page
for more information!
These are the colors I have for numbers and letters
As you can see, 1 and 0 are white with an outline,
and that's about how I see it. 9 is a red-brown mix that is quite hard
4 and 7 are yellow and this often cause problems when I remember a number
as beeing yellow, but i can't remember the actual number. So, for example,
1774 can be troublesome to remember correctly for me. Tests have shown
that synaesthetes often remember the secondary perception better than
the primary. In my case is that I remember the color better than the number.
But my colored numbers can of course be helpful too, since my brain record
not only the value of the number but also what color it has. My last home
number was brown-brown-blue-red-brown-blue.
It has always been a combination of colors and numbers.
Note that when the letters form a word the word often
gets a color other than what it would have had if it just got its color
straight from each letter. (For example: Synaesthesia doesn't look like
but more like synaesthesia.
I'm a bit unclear about the end of the word, it has some white and some
black but it is hard to really describe the colors.
Names get colors too, my girlfriend Emma
has a very blue name.
The synaesthesia category in the ODP
catalogue. Lots of links!
A great page about synaesthesia
Links and resources about synaesthesia