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 etc.

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 to describe.

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 synaesthesia 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.

Time units


The synaesthesia category in the ODP catalogue. Lots of links!

A great page about synaesthesia

Links and resources about synaesthesia


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©2002 Christian Liljeberg, Retroglobe //
This page was last edited 2004-09-07 18:29