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Synesthesia, some people perceive individual symbols, characters, numbers

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rhody
#235
Jun20-10, 07:26 PM
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Quote Quote by rhody View Post
I haven't tried this yet, but it looks worthwhile as well: Google translate: inputs: text, webpage, URL, or upload document.

I haven't found a document on synesthesia in say French and then tried to translate it, but it is nice to know it is there.

Rhody...
I think I just did a first on PF, I translated a technical paper from Turkish to English, have a look at the samples: thumbnails below: some things appear to be lost in the translation, important if you are trying to understand a technical paper like the one I choose. The english is on the left and original turkish is on the right, maybe someone who speaks turkish can show us where translate broke down, lol. If you read through it, it sort of sounds like pigeon english, maybe some linguists (if there are any) who are following this thread can give a more precise definition.

Funny when you try to copy the google generated html it is back in turkish, and if you save it as html it doesn't open in Word correctly. May be something I am not doing right.

I thought it was worth trying and to give you the results so you can decide for yourself if it is worth bothering with. For something like a simple News story it may squeak by, but not for getting facts misinterpreted in a scientific paper. It was worth the time to explore it though, IMHO.

Rhody...
Attached Thumbnails
turkish.jpg   original turkish.jpg  
ViewsofMars
#236
Jun21-10, 10:07 AM
P: 463
Here is the latest research on synesthesia.

Neuroimage. 2010 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Magnetoencephalography reveals early activation of V4 in grapheme-color synesthesia.
Brang D, Hubbard EM, Coulson S, Huang M, Ramachandran VS.

University of CA, San Diego.

Abstract
Grapheme-color synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which letters and numbers (graphemes) consistently evoke particular colors (e.g. A may be experienced as red). The cross-activation theory proposes that synesthesia arises as a result of cross-activation between posterior temporal grapheme areas (PTGA) and color processing area V4, while the disinhibited feedback theory proposes that synesthesia arises from disinhibition of pre-existing feedback connections. Here we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to test whether V4 and PTGA activate nearly simultaneously, as predicted by the cross-activation theory, or whether V4 activation occurs only after the initial stages of grapheme processing, as predicted by the disinhibited feedback theory. Using our high-resolution MEG source imaging technique (VESTAL), PTGA and V4 regions of interest (ROIs) were separately defined, and activity in response to the presentation of achromatic graphemes was measured. Activation levels in PTGA did not significantly differ between synesthetes and controls (suggesting similar grapheme-processing mechanisms), whereas activation in V4 was significantly greater in synesthetes. In synesthetes, PTGA activation exceeded baseline levels beginning 105-109ms, and V4 activation did so 5ms later, suggesting nearly simultaneous activation of these areas. Results are discussed in the context of an updated version of the cross-activation model, the cascaded cross-tuning model of grapheme-color synesthesia. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID: 20547226 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...ubmed_RVDocSum
The link (url) provided above is from the U.S. National Library
of Medicine- National Institutes of Health. You can review from
that website to the right of the page related citations pertaining
to the topic: synesthesia.
waht
#237
Jun21-10, 04:38 PM
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Quote Quote by rhody View Post
Zooby,

You beat me to it. After the story with how waht's selective sound/color synesthesia, certain frequencies played a certain way triggering it, I agree with you. This is worth investigating. This thread will serve as a semi-permanent record of those who have incomplete forms of it. It is compelling evidence. Thanks, waht, through questions and answers were able to pin down the exact characteristics of your form of synesthesia. When my friend finishes Cytowic's book she agreed to answer questions. It ought to be interesting because she is an engineer and takes a scientific approach to things, plus she likes the subject to boot.

Rhody...
By talking about synesthesia I've been able to learn more about myself in terms of synesthesia. And there is no better crowd for this than you guys... In retrospect, I used to be submersed in its subjective experience for most of my life, and now there is a whole new dimension to it which brings a pleasant feeling of closure.

So yes, this thread is superb, and can be certainly enriched by more stories of people that come out of the closet.
waht
#238
Jun21-10, 04:46 PM
P: 1,636
Quote Quote by fuzzyfelt View Post
This also sounds rather like the other experiences mentioned, like Helene Grimaud's, waht's, etc.-

"In his early years, Kandinsky discovered his synesthesia while attending a performance of Wagner's opera Lohengrin in Moscow:

'The violins, the deep tones of the basses, and especially the wind instruments at that time embodied for me all the power of that pre-nocturnal hour. I saw all my colors in my mind; they stood before my eyes. Wild, almost crazy lines were sketched in front of me' (Kandinsky, 1913/1982, p. 364). "
Very nice find. It seems that Kandinsky had a more advanced case of sound synesthesia as he was able to respond to more ranges of sounds.
ViewsofMars
#239
Jun21-10, 07:00 PM
P: 463
Quote Quote by rhody View Post
First. an observation, I was just thinking, did my last technical post drive everyone away ?! lol I hope not. There are more brain mysteries to be probed and discussed, at an even deeper level. I am working that now, to be posted in a new thread. This subject blew me away almost as much as synesthesia did a few months back, and from what I know so far is even newer than serious research being done in synesthesia. This time I will take my time before I post and provide as much background/research as I can.

This is a funny story, since I have spent considerable time and effort with this subject and enjoy engaging others with it, I sent a link to this thread to a co-worker whom I have known almost 20 years, knowing she likes to study how the brain works. She read parts of it and I stopped by to ask what she thought.

It turns out that when she eats certain foods she feels a cubic sensation (with slightly rounded edges), a fairly rare form of synesthesia, second, when she looks at small square floor tiles (one color), she sees pastel pink, blue and yellow colors in patterns between the tile margins. She said she always remembers having it. Then I asked her if she had them more frequently when calm and not distracted by other sensory input, she said yes, they come and go. Being an engineer with a keen interest in how the brain works, she borrowed my copy of Cytowic's, "The Man who tasted Shapes", said she would read it and then discuss. Pretty cool. As she was relating her stories about mixed senses, a couple of other folks who were in hearing distance, asked about it, so I sent them the link to this thread.

One more thing, I said this back in post #93

My co-worker and friend who I have known for twenty years definitely has great detail memory. I have seen it time and again over the years.

Without keeping statistics on people who claim to have it, I would guess that about 1 to 2 in 10 I have given the link to either have some form of it or know someone who does. I wouldn't be surprised if some may want to join this little party at some point to contribute an experience not already covered.

Rhody...
Hi Rhody. I don't have synesthesia, but have enjoyed contributing to this topic. It's always fun to explore and learn. I reviewed your link to "post #93" and you did mention, " 3. More women than men have it, or at least are reported to admit having it."

I am a woman but that is irrelevant. Your statement isn't a scientific statement so therefore isn't quite correct. But I must say I really do love your enthusiam and zest for life. You seem to want to help people, which is to me a very important quality of being human.

I'd like to add a little more information to this topic and will only submit the abstract.
The American Journal for Human Genetics 2009 February 13; 84(2): 279–285.
doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.01.012. PMCID: PMC2668015

Copyright © 2009 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All right reserved..

A Whole-Genome Scan and Fine-Mapping Linkage Study of Auditory-Visual Synesthesia Reveals Evidence of Linkage to Chromosomes 2q24, 5q33, 6p12, and 12p12
Julian E. Asher,1,2 Janine A. Lamb,3 Denise Brocklebank,1 Jean-Baptiste Cazier,1 Elena Maestrini,4 Laura Addis,1 Mallika Sen,1 Simon Baron-Cohen,2 and Anthony P. Monaco1

1Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK
2Department of Psychiatry, Section of Developmental Psychiatry, Douglas House, 18B Trumpington Road, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 8AH, UK
3Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research, University of Manchester, Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK
4Department of Biology, University of Bologna, Via Selmi 3, Bologna, Italy
Julian E. Asher: j.asher@imperial.ac.uk
Corresponding author ; Email: j.asher@imperial.ac.ukReceived October 6, 2008; Revised December 6, 2008; Accepted January 16, 2009.
This document may be redistributed and reused, subject to certain conditions.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Abstract
Synesthesia, a neurological condition affecting between 0.05%–1% of the population, is characterized by anomalous sensory perception and associated alterations in cognitive function due to interference from synesthetic percepts. A stimulus in one sensory modality triggers an automatic, consistent response in either another modality or a different aspect of the same modality. Familiality studies show evidence of a strong genetic predisposition; whereas initial pedigree analyses supported a single-gene X-linked dominant mode of inheritance with a skewed F:M ratio and a notable absence of male-to-male transmission, subsequent analyses in larger samples indicated that the mode of inheritance was likely to be more complex. Here, we report the results of a whole-genome linkage scan for auditory-visual synesthesia with 410 microsatellite markers at 9.05 cM density in 43 multiplex families (n = 196) with potential candidate regions fine-mapped at 5 cM density. Using NPL and HLOD analysis, we identified four candidate regions. Significant linkage at the genome-wide level was detected to chromosome 2q24 (HLOD = 3.025, empirical genome-wide p = 0.047). Suggestive linkage was found to chromosomes 5q33, 6p12, and 12p12. No support was found for linkage to the X chromosome; furthermore, we have identified two confirmed cases of male-to-male transmission of synesthesia. Our results demonstrate that auditory-visual synesthesia is likely to be an oligogenic disorder subject to multiple modes of inheritance and locus heterogeneity. This study comprises a significant step toward identifying the genetic substrates underlying synesthesia, with important implications for our understanding of the role of genes in human cognition and perception.
###
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...eport=abstract
rhody
#240
Jun21-10, 08:42 PM
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Hi Rhody. I don't have synesthesia, but have enjoyed contributing to this topic. It's always fun to explore and learn. I reviewed your link to "post #93" and you did mention, " 3. More women than men have it, or at least are reported to admit having it."

I am a woman but that is irrelevant. Your statement isn't a scientific statement so therefore isn't quite correct. But I must say I really do love your enthusiasm and zest for life. You seem to want to help people, which is to me a very important quality of being human.

I'd like to add a little more information to this topic and will only submit the abstract.
ViewsofMars,

Thanks for the constructive criticism, how would you rephrase the statement to be more scientific ?

Second, thanks for the complement, to be honest, if it weren't for zooby I wouldn't be writing this at all, thanks for Dr Cytowic's book that started this little adventure, "The Man Who Tasted Shapes", and thanks for your insight and contributions.

I found a free pdf copy of: Magnetoencephalography reveals early activation of V4 in grapheme-color synesthesia and plan to give it a look when I get a chance. Right now I have a bit of a dilemma, the new topic I am researching is cool but taking a lot of time, but I still want to keep up with new findings in this post. What is even better is that in researching it, there are other concepts that I didn't even know existed until I began with it. I never try to "drill down" more than three levels at one time because I have to grasp the main concept(s) before branching. I don't know if any of you do this, but I open a draft e-mail and include links and short phrases by category while doing research. I have google g-mail where ever I go and can easily add to the draft with the links and notes. It makes things so much easier to organize and then post. The hardest thing for me is to select those key points that tie things together, then, make if flow.

Rhody...

Edit: 6/23
a very important quality of being human
That's funny, for a long time I thought I was part alien/extraterrestrial, lol...
fuzzyfelt
#241
Jun22-10, 09:25 AM
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Included in the explanation of my last post here would be evidence of typical early cortical interactions and other cross-modal interactions with feed-forward/feed-back possibilities, not restricted by requirements of sensory deprivation. Included here are more recent papers-

"These findings demonstrate that audiovisual integration and spatial attention jointly interact to influence activity in an extensive network of brain areas, including associative regions, early sensory-specific visual cortex and subcortical structures that together contribute to the perception of a fused audiovisual percept."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19302160 (Oxford Journals Cerebral Cortex)

"Both the topography and timing of these interactions are consistent with multisensory integration early in the cortical processing hierarchy, in brain regions traditionally held to be unisensory.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10978694"

"our study demonstrates that even short-term crossmodal training of novel AV associations results in integration-related cortical plasticity and training-induced congruency effects for artificial AV stimuli in cortical regions especially of the frontal and (to a lesser degree) the temporal lobes, adding novel aspects to the understanding of object-related AV integration in the human brain."
http://ukpmc.ac.uk/classic/articlere...=1765134#bib11

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...0b7eeb73cb7a00

This may add clarity to the assessment of findings here and to an assessment of speculations concerning different pathways, to explain “higher” and “lower” synaesthete variations which Ramachandran has written of (although there are changes with the new paper that VoM has linked to) generally applied to "associator" and "projector" types.-

“In lower synesthetes, we suggest that crossactivation may occur between adjacent regions of the fusiform gyrus involved in letter recognition and color processing, whereas higher synesthesia may arise from crossactivation in the parietal cortex, particularly in the region of the angular gyrus, the ventral intraparietal area, and the lateral intraparietal area (Hubbard et al., 2005b).
http://www.unicog.org/publications/H...onReview05.pdf
(Posted in Post #87, and referred to subsequently.)




Quote Quote by ViewsofMars View Post
Here is the latest research on synesthesia.



The link (url) provided above is from the U.S. National Library
of Medicine- National Institutes of Health. You can review from
that website to the right of the page related citations pertaining
to the topic: synesthesia.
This is very interesting, thanks VoM!

Interestingly it only tests the "projectors" (of grapheme-colour) which had been generally termed "lower" synaesthetes. Also interesting that the cross-activation results have been interpreted, following Dehaene, to incorporate hierarchical feature ananlysis processes, and that this is mentioned as occurring at the grapheme level and other levels with excitatory and inhibitory connections, both bottom-up and top-down, and allows for other processes beyond the early cross-activation implicated in the study. The paper states the critical next move is further research of “associator synesthetes” . Also further investigation of “the extent to which the cascaded cross-tuning model of synesthesia applies to other variants of the condition or instances of acquired synesthesia” is required. Interesting that the terms “projector” and “associator” are used here.


Regarding posts about new synaesthetic responses, it is also interesting to note that the paper also mentions that during the component stage of this processing would be the provision of a “putative mechanism for the acquisition of new synesthetic percepts”.
rhody
#242
Jun22-10, 11:30 AM
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Fuzzy,
The paper states the critical next move is further research of “associator synesthetes” . Also further investigation of “the extent to which the cascaded cross-tuning model of synesthesia applies to other variants of the condition or instances of acquired synesthesia” is required. Interesting that the terms “projector” and “associator” are used here.
and
Included in the explanation of my last post here would be evidence of typical early cortical interactions and other cross-modal interactions with feed-forward/feed-back possibilities,
This is very cool stuff, a further parsing, identification, localization, association and labeling of the synesthesia experience. So far, we recognize, upper, lower, projector, associator, implicit (not experienced but showing activation on scans), explicit (experienced and reported), bi-directional, bottom up (perceptual), involvement of early pre-attentive processes, involvement in later attentive processes, possible cross-activation, possible simultaneous activation, possible cross tuning model.

Crap, I gave myself a headache trying to condense it. I am sure I missed some descriptions !!! lol. It must be the computer science nerd in me trying to reduce all of it into data structures. You can see what I am trying to do here, take a step back, condense, consolidate.

I have been trying to find accurate graphics and or videos where the "normal" five senses (in a non-senesthetic individual) are thought to be processed for perspective. So far haven't come up with a good set of graphs and/or videos to address this. It would be nice to have for discussion and reference. I will keep looking.

Rhody...
ViewsofMars
#243
Jun22-10, 03:47 PM
P: 463
I'll make it fast since I have a project to finish up. I think my last two postings from the previous page provided valuable information, especially "A Whole-Genome Scan and Fine-Mapping Linkage Study of Auditory-Visual Synesthesia Reveals Evidence of Linkage to Chromosomes 2q24, 5q33, 6p12, and 12p12."

Let's look at this scenerio: A child grows up with a parent that has synesthesia. Don't you think the parent has a major influence on how the child perceives his/her environment? I do.

Here are two items for thought which you can explore. I have provided a snippet from each. They are from The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders -"The National Institutes of Health—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases." Here are two snippets:

1. "Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl is the William P. and Ruth Gerberding Professor at the University of Washington and the Co-Director of the UW Center for Mind, Brain, and Learning.

"Her research has focused on the study of language and the processing of language by the brain. The work has played a major role in demonstrating how early exposure to language alters the mechanisms of perception. The work has broad implications for critical periods in development, for bilingual education and reading readiness, for early brain development, and for research on computer understanding of spoken language.

"In 1997, Dr. Kuhl was awarded the Silver Medal of the Acoustical Society of America. In 1998, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. And in 1999, she became President of the Acoustical Society of America, and received the University of Washington's Faculty Lectureship Award.

"Dr. Kuhl was one of six scientists invited to the White House in 1997 to make a presentation at President and Mrs. Clinton's Conference on "Early Learning and the Brain." In 2001, she was one of three scientists invited to make a presentation at President and Mrs. Bush's White House Summit on "Early Cognitive Development: Ready to Read, Ready to Learn." Her work has been widely covered by the press. In 1999, she co-authored The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn (Morrow Press)."
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/meetin...guage/kuhl.asp

2. “Smounds” Delicious! Smell and Sound Converge in a Little-Known Part of the Brain
"Recent NIDCD-sponsored research shows that cells in a part of the brain called the olfactory tubercle not only discriminate odors -- they also respond to sound. Scientists found that 65 percent of tubercle cells were activated by at least one of five odors. In the same area, about 20 percent of cells were activated by an audio tone. Further, 29 percent of the cells had either an enhanced or suppressed response to different mixes of odors and tones, depending on whether or not the tone was present with the odor. This discovery may provide the first neural evidence for a sensory crossover in the brain where smell and sound converge. It could also help explain clinical reports of sound-smell synesthesia (in which someone “smells” sounds), as well as the ability to relate auditory pitch with specific odors. It also brings to light a relatively unexplored area of the brain that could play a key role in conditions which are accompanied by disorders of sensory processing, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease."
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/releases/10/04_19_10.htm

Also, I would like to mention if someone is experiencing symptoms of synesthesia then he/she should consult a doctor.

I realize that I have another topic on another forum. Hope to return to that tomorrow. I have to admit I like it hanging up there.
rhody
#244
Jun22-10, 07:03 PM
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Quote Quote by ViewsofMars View Post

2. “Smounds” Delicious! Smell and Sound Converge in a Little-Known Part of the Brain
"Recent NIDCD-sponsored research shows that cells in a part of the brain called the olfactory tubercle not only discriminate odors -- they also respond to sound. Scientists found that 65 percent of tubercle cells were activated by at least one of five odors. In the same area, about 20 percent of cells were activated by an audio tone. Further, 29 percent of the cells had either an enhanced or suppressed response to different mixes of odors and tones, depending on whether or not the tone was present with the odor. This discovery may provide the first neural evidence for a sensory crossover in the brain where smell and sound converge. It could also help explain clinical reports of sound-smell synesthesia (in which someone “smells” sounds), as well as the ability to relate auditory pitch with specific odors. It also brings to light a relatively unexplored area of the brain that could play a key role in conditions which are accompanied by disorders of sensory processing, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease."
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/releases/10/04_19_10.htm

Also, I would like to mention if someone is experiencing symptoms of synesthesia then he/she should consult a doctor.

I realize that I have another topic on another forum. Hope to return to that tomorrow. I have to admit I like it hanging up there.
VOM,

Sound, smell convergence, I understand what you are saying 65% of cells respond to one of 5 odors, and about 1/3rd of those same cells respond to audio, and that 29% had enhanced/suppressed to a mix of smell and sound, which explains the "crossover effect". I fully get that. I have a few questions, first the short finding in the link provided was done by: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and I believe on a population of test subjects which which may include non-synesthetes and synesthetes alike. How do we know if they were synesthetes or not unless they were tested independently for smell/sound synesthesia before taking the test with results presented here ?

I will answer your question by asking another, you said, " I would like to mention if someone is experiencing symptoms of synesthesia then he/she should consult a doctor." to which I respond, why don't you ask waht or chi meson who are following this thread if they feel they need to see a doctor about their form of synesthesia, and if it in any way inhibits their normal daily lives ?

Lastly, you said, "It also brings to light a relatively unexplored area of the brain that could play a key role in conditions which are accompanied by disorders of sensory processing, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease." I don't know how having sound/smell synesthesia correlates to having schizophrenia or alzheimer's disease. I would like to see hard evidence, in the absence of which I would tend to doubt it.

I am not a research scientist but do not believe that the most common forms of synesthesia are "disorders". See quote from zooby in post #153 above:
Since synesthesia is not considered to be a pathological condition requiring treatment, I suspect there's probably no urgency about consensus on criteria. Also, it's only been seriously researched for a pretty short time so I'd suppose all the researchers want to keep things open ended until more is known.
Rhody...
Rasalhague
#245
Jun22-10, 10:15 PM
P: 1,402
Hey, cool, a synaesthesia thread!

I have fixed colour associations for letters, numbers, days, months, compass directions and the concepts of left and right. I associate triangles, squares etc. with the colour corresponding to the number of their sides. Like Waht, my A is yellow. My B is a very dark maroon. But we differ on C. Mine is light green.

When I look at a page of writing and Iím not particularly thinking about the individual letters, I donít see bright and distinct colours superimposed on each letter. But as soon as I let my attention drift from the meaning to the shapes of the letters, I canít help becoming aware of their ďnaturalĒ colours: not projected over the real colours in a way that blots out the real colours with imagined ones, but somehow ďpresent together withĒ the real colours in my mindís eye, sometimes more strongly present than at other times.

Iím probably not explaining it very well, but I hope my clumsiness of expression doesnít make it sound too exotic or ineffably mysterious! Itís similar to the way I can picture a scene from memory or imagine something while looking at a real scene without getting the two mixed up, except that the real letters localise the colours somehow, and these colour associations are regular, automatic and spontaneous, compared to the freeform nature of other kinds of associations. If I think of a letter without looking at one, it tends to have its own synaesthetic colour by default, especially if I only think of a fairly abstract idea of the letter without imagining an example of it written down, in which case I can picture it how I choose, although Iíll probably still have a lingering impression of its synaesthetic colour.
For me, yellow is an aspect or attribute of A, part of its nature, and a blue A is an A in disguise! An A in drag?! When I think of the idea now, I have to make a conscious effort to banish the impression of yellow, otherwise saying ďa blue AĒ creates a similar visual impression to ďa blue yellowĒ--I see both colours.

If I need two Greek letters to represent angles, I prefer not to use the traditional theta and phi, as these are both a smoky blue colour, albeit theta a little lighter than the pigeon-blue phi. Alpha and beta, which--like most of the Greek alphabet--have the same colours as their Roman counterparts make a much better contrast. (I should say my first language is English.) A while ago I watched a video--The Mechanical Universe?--that showed electrons as blue and protons as red, the opposite of the colours I associate with the letters E and P. I found this mildly distracting; it meant I had to concentrate slightly harder. It just felt like they were the ďwrongĒ colours. Other than that sort of thing, itís no trouble.
These colour associations can be handy for recalling numbers or letters, although occasionally if Iím trying to remember a name, say, I might guess it begins with a K when really it begins with T, which are slightly different shades of dark green. ďOh, T,Ē I think when I find out, ďwell, I knew it was something green...Ē

*

My first memory of these associations is from when I was about six and writing on the cover of a school project, being careful to use the right coloured crayon, or the best match, for each letter. I didnít think there was anything exceptional about this. I didnít think much about it, and it wasnít till I was 16 that it occurred to me to ask whether other people had a similar experience. My siblings do. My parents donít. My siblings have different associations for letters, numbers etc. to me. I first heard the word synaesthesia when I was 19. I never knew there was a word for it till then.

I havenít followed up on many of the links yet, but I was particularly intrigued by the abstract of Simner et al. (2008) ĎNon-random associations of graphemes to colours in synaesthetic and non-synaesthetic populationsí, Cognitive Neuropsychology 22:8 [ http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...43290500200122
]. One of the first things I did when I got to thinking about these associations, was to collect lists from people of their colour associations, and the few I got seemed pretty random on casual inspection. I donít think I really realised, at the time, that not everyone has a special fixed set of associations. I just assumed at first that everyone had it, more or less--which undermined the exercise a bit.

*

I have strong individual colour associations for each of the single digits, and ten is a clear amber colour, eleven is white like 1, and 12 is a paler, more muted blue than two. Beyond that, the colour of the number depends on those of the digits itís made of. I was intrigued by the mention from Rhodyís anonymous correspondent in #175 of ďletter/number-color-genderĒ as I also think of numbers as having gender. Some are more sharply distinguished in this way than others. By default, I think of odd numbers as female, but there are some exceptions that are male, and some that could be either. (Iím male myself.) When I was 7 or 8, I used to draw comics in which all the characters were numbers and had their own personalities.

Sadly Iím not aware of any convenient encoding of sophisticated mathematical relationships in my colours for numbers, such as Daniel Tammet describes. I donít have any special connection such as Waht mentioned between numbers and their squares. When I read StarkRGís comments on the first page of this thread about adding colours, I was all ready to say it didnít work like that for me, but weirdly, when I got to thinking about it, I noticed the following correspondences:

3+4=7
RED+YELLOW=ORANGE

2+4=6
BLUE+YELLOW=GREY-GREEN

2+3=5
BLUE+RED=VERY DARK BLUE/BLACK/PURPLE

Oh, and arguably, 3+3+3=9 (RED+RED+RED=DARK RED), if you think of three as a translucent liquid like wine getting darker as more of it is poured into a glass. Which is nice... but in general, the sum of my colours is not the colour of my sums!

When it comes to whole words, with me too, as with Waht, the colour of the initial letter usually predominates. My first, quickest, strongest, readiest association for colour words such as RED, GREEN, BLUE depends on the meaning. Thatís the association I have when I just glance at the word or think of it as a whole without paying much attention. But as I look now at the letters Iíve just typed, paying more attention to them, I canít help but ďseeĒ the colours of individual letters emerging.

R, yellow
E, reddish orange
D, black

G, dark, greyish brown
R, yellow
E, reddish orange
E, reddish orange
N, dark red

B, dark maroon
L, white
U, dark grey
E, reddish orange

I suppose itís a bit like looking at a wire-frame drawing of a cube and seeing one corner as alternately concave or convex, I can switch perspectives by either focusing on the word as a whole, or considering its letters. That said, writing them all out vertically like this does bring out the colours of the individual letters more and make it harder to see picture the colour of the word as a whole without the colours of the letters intruding.

*

Sometimes when Iím on the verge of falling asleep, Iíll either experience a small muscle twitch or hear some small real noise, such as a creak or a click, which triggers a very short flash of visual experience, most often like a burst of TV snow.

I often have coloured reveries while listening to music, but in a freeform and voluntary way. I donít know anything technical about music, and I donít have colour associations with particular notes, apart from their letter names, but I do have a looser tendency to think of high notes as light, bright, small, sharp and cold/hot, while low notes are dark and big and warm. (But I donít think thatís uncommon.) Some music gives me tingles [ http://www.cogsci.msu.edu/DSS/2008-2...ronFrisson.pdf ].

I like to speculate: if this smell, sound etc. was a colour or texture... But again, that's a voluntary and playful thing for fun and curiosity, and not like the automatic associations I have between colours and things like letters. Not that they arenít fun and curious too!
ViewsofMars
#246
Jun23-10, 09:01 AM
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Quote Quote by rhody View Post
VOM,

Sound, smell convergence, I understand what you are saying 65% of cells respond to one of 5 odors, and about 1/3rd of those same cells respond to audio, and that 29% had enhanced/suppressed to a mix of smell and sound, which explains the "crossover effect". I fully get that. I have a few questions, first the short finding in the link provided was done by: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and I believe on a population of test subjects which which may include non-synesthetes and synesthetes alike. How do we know if they were synesthetes or not unless they were tested independently for smell/sound synesthesia before taking the test with results presented here ?
"

Rhody, you can call me Mars. It's a nickname given to me by a very famous scientist. The handle I use "ViewsofMars" means Observations (Views=Observations so I used it since it was a shorter word) of Mars. And, I don't think you do understand. I NEVER said, "65%...."


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Quote Quote by rhody View Post
I will answer your question by asking another, you said, " I would like to mention if someone is experiencing symptoms of synesthesia then he/she should consult a doctor." to which I respond, why don't you ask waht or chi meson who are following this thread if they feel they need to see a doctor about their form of synesthesia, and if it in any way inhibits their normal daily lives ?
"

I don't need to ask waht or chi meson. I'm following house rules here on Physics Forums - Forum: Medical Sciences due to the fact that synesthesia is considered to be a medical - communication disorder. You can review all that scientific research I have presented. If anyone has symptoms and are wondering what is happening then obviously they should consult his/her doctor for evaluation.

"
Quote Quote by rhody View Post
Lastly, you said, "It also brings to light a relatively unexplored area of the brain that could play a key role in conditions which are accompanied by disorders of sensory processing, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease." I don't know how having sound/smell synesthesia correlates to having schizophrenia or alzheimer's disease. I would like to see hard evidence, in the absence of which I would tend to doubt it.
"

Again I must repeat to you, Rhody, I did not say, "It also brings...."

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Quote Quote by rhody View Post
I am not a research scientist but do not believe that the most common forms of synesthesia are "disorders". See quote from zooby in post #153 above: [review post #244]


Rhody...
"

Yes, I realize you aren't a research scientist. Member zooby talks a lot. I support the The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders -"The National Institutes of Health—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases."

I'll move onto another topic. I've provided enough information between this page and the previous one.

P.S. Welcome Rasalhague. Thanks for sharing.
fuzzyfelt
#247
Jun23-10, 11:13 AM
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Quote Quote by rhody View Post
Fuzzy,

and

This is very cool stuff, a further parsing, identification, localization, association and labeling of the synesthesia experience. So far, we recognize, upper, lower, projector, associator, implicit (not experienced but showing activation on scans), explicit (experienced and reported), bi-directional, bottom up (perceptual), involvement of early pre-attentive processes, involvement in later attentive processes, possible cross-activation, possible simultaneous activation, possible cross tuning model.

Crap, I gave myself a headache trying to condense it. I am sure I missed some descriptions !!! lol. It must be the computer science nerd in me trying to reduce all of it into data structures. You can see what I am trying to do here, take a step back, condense, consolidate.



Rhody...
Thanks Rhody, you mentioned some things that really interest me.

There do seem many variations, and I really appreciate the condensation and will try to add to that myself, (of course, these are not necessarily all exclusive)- rare/not rare (e.g. number/spatial forms), congenital/acquired (e.g. cortical plasticity), sensory/conceptual or innate/ emotional (personification etc.), individual/universal (e.g. Dehaene’s SNARC, kiki-Bouba, Day’s take on Berlin and Kay’s colour theory- http://web.mit.edu/synesthesia/www/trends.html
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...43290500200122), probably more, and also, terms- “To date, a plethora of terms have been used in the context of crossmodal research (‘heteromodal’, ‘multimodal’, ‘intersensory’, ‘polysensory’, ‘multisensory’, ‘amodal’, ‘supramodal’, ‘modality-specific’, ‘unimodal’, etc.).-2001
http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/cgi...ull/11/12/1110


By the way, I didn’t manage to sign myself into the site to read your link ( Multiple dimensions in bi-directional synesthesia )
about bi-directional dimensions, and found another from 2007-
http://www.apn.psy.unibe.ch/unibe/ph...n_2007_ger.pdf
It states that a unidirectional colour experience occurred at a subjective level, but a bimodal concurrence existed at a performance level. Only associator synaesthetes were tested. Is that similar?
fuzzyfelt
#248
Jun23-10, 11:31 AM
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Quote Quote by rhody View Post

I have been trying to find accurate graphics and or videos where the "normal" five senses (in a non-senesthetic individual) are thought to be processed for perspective. So far haven't come up with a good set of graphs and/or videos to address this. It would be nice to have for discussion and reference. I will keep looking.

Rhody...
I don't believe there is total agreement about these "normal" five senses, and more,
given this thread, you may need to be even more precise about what is the “ normal” senses you are looking for :).

To elaborate, my selection may be biased because this is what I’ve been looking at, but this more typical mingling of senses has been called ubiquitous, with an explosion of research away from the traditional view of isolated modes, or-

“Indeed, the multisensory nature of most, possibly all, of the neocortex forces us to abandon the notion that the senses ever operate independently during real-world
cognition.”

( http://webscript.princeton.edu/~asif...der%202006.pdf
http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/cgi...ull/11/12/1110
http://ukpmc.ac.uk/classic/articlere...cid=PMC2427054 )
fuzzyfelt
#249
Jun23-10, 11:38 AM
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I'll make it fast since I have a project to finish up. I think my last two postings from the previous page provided valuable information, especially "A Whole-Genome Scan and Fine-Mapping Linkage Study of Auditory-Visual Synesthesia Reveals Evidence of Linkage to Chromosomes 2q24, 5q33, 6p12, and 12p12."


This has been linked to before in this thread, in post #169, and discussed a bit, for example, in post #173, if interested.
fuzzyfelt
#250
Jun23-10, 11:43 AM
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Quote Quote by Rasalhague View Post
Hey, cool, a synaesthesia thread!!.....
Thanks for the fantastic post!



And thanks for the fantastic links!
waht
#251
Jun23-10, 12:27 PM
P: 1,636
Rasalhague, welcome to the elite club

Your post is a fascinating insight into a synesthesia perspective.

Quote Quote by Rasalhague View Post
I have fixed colour associations for letters, numbers, days, months, compass directions and the concepts of left and right. I associate triangles, squares etc. with the colour corresponding to the number of their sides. Like Waht, my A is yellow. My B is a very dark maroon. But we differ on C. Mine is light green.
Nice. I counted the occurrence of most common colors of letters that I perceive in the alphabet. And the distribution is: there is seven shades of yellow, five shades of white, and four shades of red, and three of brown all spread throughout the alphabet. The remaining few letters take on more cooler colors: green, blue, purple, and black.

If I think of a letter without looking at one, it tends to have its own synaesthetic colour by default, especially if I only think of a fairly abstract idea of the letter without imagining an example of it written down, in which case I can picture it how I choose, although I’ll probably still have a lingering impression of its synaesthetic colour.
For me, yellow is an aspect or attribute of A, part of its nature, and a blue A is an A in disguise! An A in drag?! When I think of the idea now, I have to make a conscious effort to banish the impression of yellow, otherwise saying “a blue A” creates a similar visual impression to “a blue yellow”--I see both colours.
Yes, same thing happens. I realized though that a thought of a letter triggers the color experience. If I close my eyes, and think about a letter, a color jolt occurs.

When I look a blue A, this is I think a what happens. The visual part of the brain immediately registers a blue color faster than the time it takes for another part of the brain to covert the visual symbol of the letter into an abstract thought which in turn triggers the synesthesia color experience. So in a sense a resonance effect occurs, which is flipping back and forth between the color perceptions that are separated by a small time delay.

As Zooby suggested to check out the effects of grapheme synesthesia on different colors of font, and background. I found that the time delay gets noticeably longer with more flamboyant font color, and darker background.


If I need two Greek letters to represent angles, I prefer not to use the traditional theta and phi, as these are both a smoky blue colour, albeit theta a little lighter than the pigeon-blue phi. Alpha and beta, which--like most of the Greek alphabet--have the same colours as their Roman counterparts make a much better contrast. (I should say my first language is English.)
Yup, most of the Greek alphabet is isomorphic synesthesially speaking to the Roman alphabet, with an exception of few letters. Gamma is still same as 'c' , delta is same is 'd' or phi is same as 'p' - which is why I think that the visual processing of the geometry of symbols like lines, curves gets translated into a thought first, and then a color experience occurs from the thought.

So I look at a triangle letter, and think to myself "aha, that's a delta." And immediately a 'd' follows from the first word "delta" and hence I get a color experience of 'd'.

Weird one is gamma. I should get a color experience for 'g' but instead I get a color for 'c' a third letter of the alphabet as is gamma.

3+4=7
RED+YELLOW=ORANGE

2+4=6
BLUE+YELLOW=GREY-GREEN

2+3=5
BLUE+RED=VERY DARK BLUE/BLACK/PURPLE
That's a correct addition of color. For me it's yellow + red = white.

When it comes to whole words, with me too, as with Waht, the colour of the initial letter usually predominates. My first, quickest, strongest, readiest association for colour words such as RED, GREEN, BLUE depends on the meaning. That’s the association I have when I just glance at the word or think of it as a whole without paying much attention. But as I look now at the letters I’ve just typed, paying more attention to them, I can’t help but “see” the colours of individual letters emerging.
Yes indeed. The first letter sets the color of the rest of a word. But there are few exceptions in days, months, shapes, or directions that don't follow this pattern. There is a unique color for most of those.

Monday is same color as 'm' but Wednesday is different color than a 'w'.
zoobyshoe
#252
Jun23-10, 04:48 PM
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Quote Quote by ViewsofMars View Post
I don't need to ask waht or chi meson. I'm following house rules here on Physics Forums - Forum: Medical Sciences due to the fact that synesthesia is considered to be a medical - communication disorder. You can review all that scientific research I have presented. If anyone has symptoms and are wondering what is happening then obviously they should consult his/her doctor for evaluation.
Quote for us exactly where it's defined as a "medical-communication disorder".


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