What is Synaesthesia?

I didn’t mention Synaesthesia in the About page because I don’t consider it to be a problem. I love my Synaesthesia. The beautiful colours make life much more exciting.

Synaesthesia is a joining of the senses caused by extra neuron connections in the brain. Any combination of all five senses is possible, although to have all five crossed is unusual. A few people smell sounds or taste names! Some people say that synaesthesia is very rare, while others reckon that probably 1 in every 20 people (5% of the population) have some kind of synaesthesia.

I prefer the idea that Synaesthesia is quite common. Why else would we have “hot” and “cold” colours and “high” and “low” sounds?

It would be interesting to see how many people with learning differences also have Synaesthesia.


There are two types of Synaesthetes (people with Synaesthesia): Associators and Projectors.

Associators experience Synaesthesia in their mind’s eye, while Projectors experience Synaesthesia in their field of vision.



My synaesthesia

A lot of my synaesthesia seems to be to do with sound. The Johansen IAS therapist who corrected my hearing suggested that my brain developed this way to compensate for my hearing disadvantage. Sounds have colours, shapes, textures, tactile sensations, densities and movement. To me, music is like a living thing.

Letters and numbers have colours. A few of them have other associations such as a personality and gender. Number 5 is fire-engine red with the personality of an outgoing five-year-old boy.

Sometimes smells have a little colour too, and I “hear” sounds when things move silently (for example: someone waving) and when I focus my vision on objects.

All of this Synaesthesia is Associating. I see and hear it in my mind’s eye.

I also have some Projecting Synaesthesia, but in a mild form.

Some days I have a stronger experience of Synaesthesia than others. Like the quality of my Auditory Processing, it varies depending on my mood, health and energy.

What’s for certain is that my brain must be wired like Spaghetti Junction.


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