Five Senses And It

Whoof, Bloggers! Lot of work sitting at the computer today, and I have no idea what I’m still doing up.

However, since I am…

Rather than write something big and long and wrongheadedly “lyrical”, I thought I’d share with you a little article I came across, about a type of synaesthesia I hadn’t (strictly speaking) known existed. Regular readers of this blog — such as they may be — will know that I have a great disdain for articles about synaesthesia…

(Oh what the hell, here’s a link…)

…And let me assure you, this article inspired nothing unusual in that respect. Stupid synaesthesia researchers, stop trying to make me feel like a weirdo…!

But I had never encountered the “sound for sight” thing before, so I was curious about it. My synaesthesia is the boring kind, “grapheme-colour” synaesthesia mostly (I think they call it), with only the lightest dusting of temperature and textural cross-sensations…pretty vanilla, really. Like, maybe butterscotch ripple at best

So I was curious about the real strong-flavoured synaesthesia that sound-for-sight represents to me. That I always knew was a possibility, but always thought of as an outlier one.

And…

Imagine my surprise!

Because I can hear that goddamn thing, wow! I laughed out loud when I did, too: suddenly it seemed so obvious.

So chime in, folks: can you hear it too?

And if you can…did you laugh?

(Uh…it takes a while to load, though…)

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5 responses to “Five Senses And It

  1. Also, just so you know, I am currently mulling the idea that angles and certain combinations of angles could acquire synaesthetic colour. I’m a little dubious about that possibility just at the moment — but it sounds so supportive of the feature theory of pattern recognition (rather than the template theory) that I think it merits a little puzzlin’ even so.

    Okay, I guess no one but Clone is probably interested in that…

  2. Seems to me that when they’re ***********, the dots make a sort of whomping sound, and it’s more like a wheeee when they ******. I don’t actually physically hear them, though, it’s just an impression of sound in my mind.

    (Incidentally I recently found out that when my daughter hears a noise unexpectedly, she physically sees a blob of colour. Weird)

  3. Similar to my own experience. But, I had no idea I could hear a “virtual” sound!

    I’m just going to edit your comment slightly, Clone, to preserve (what I took to be) the surprise.

  4. I’ve been thinking more and more about the actual visual “seeing” of colour (“red fives” and the like), and how that might work — at least, work well enough so that people actually report “seeing”.

    I mean, it isn’t that I can’t imagine this “seeing” taking place.

    But one presumes that for the true “seers”, the synaesthetic experience must enter into the pattern-recognition task somewhat earlier on than it does for you and me, Clone. If five is always red, than for it to be red it has to be five, first, at least in some way…however I don’t think that has to mean that angles and lines themselves can’t carry some kind of sensory weight before they get fed into the recognition of a grapheme — I just think perhaps that the sensory weight of angle and line doesn’t necessarily add up to “red” all on its own…without the additional shaping factor of understanding what it is you’re supposed to be recognizing, i.e. a grapheme instead of a couple random lines.

    One can imagine someone doing some actual research on this, eh?

    But I don’t think I’d be a volunteer for it. I mean, it might make it go away!

  5. On the other hand…

    One of the things about synaesthesia I found out a few years ago, a useful bit of information buried in the guff, is that synaesthetics often have problems with reading analog clocks (not sure if this is also linked to greater difficulty learning to tell right from left, or to dyslexia or anything like that — don’t remember if anybody said anything about that, although it’s certainly a well-known topic in synaesthesia research)…

    Which would tend to speak against the sensory weighting of blank angle and line, one presumes. Because if angles decomposed easily into sensations, wouldn’t that make analog clocks easier to read? “Feels like three-fifteen”. This is how I remember phone numbers, actually. But on analog clock-faces, it doesn’t work.

    And that’s just me — I mean, I don’t mix up Thursdays with eights either, even though they’re the same colour, but many people do experience these confusions. So maybe the “seers” are all great at reading analog clocks, I don’t know. But if they happened to be as poor at that as I am, I would call that cause to doubt the sensory weighting of “blank” angles and lines.

    But I’m still thinking about it, anyway. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything.

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