It is not only educational learning English, but also very interesting. Today one of our lessons at NELS was about synaesthesia (spelt with no ‘a’ in American English).
‘Synaesthesia is when the brain automatically associates some sensation (such as colour) with something that is traditionally not associated with that sensation.’ (bohahohu’ answers.yahoo.com)
This person has the most common form of synaesthesia which is associating letters and numbers with colours. He says ‘this does not mean I literally see the colors, but I simply get the sensation of them when I see letters and numbers. For example, when I see a stop sign, I can clearly see that the letters are white on a red background, but my brain conjours the sensation of a green s, brown t, black o, and a purple p.’
Another synesthete (someone who has synaesthesia) says, ‘I see 3 as the black font it is typed in, but in my mind I also see it as completely yellow. S is green in my mind, while O is white.
One time I had a sharp pain that ran from my knee to my ankle that looked like a bright yellow bolt of lightning.’
It sounds bizarre, right? And difficult for non-synesthetes to comprehend. This site (http://web.mit.edu/synesthesia/www/) attempts to give us the experience of what it would be like to have the condition. Try it.
Some famous artists and singers have been known to have this neurological condition including Marilyn Monroe, Billy Joel, Mary J. Blige and Stevie Wonder.
A good short video to watch on this can be found here.
What do you think? Do you know any synesthetes?