Sunday, December 6, 2009

Synesthesia Part 2

There are very distinct smells that go along with other childhood memories. Three favorite brand name smells are Crayola™ Crayons, grape Koolaid/ grape flavored candy, Hershey's chocolate.

A couple non-brand name  smells are Kindergarten class construction paper and tempera paint. At Six Flags, where I worked as a teenager, the smell of creosol  near the train tracks was somehow always a happy least on a cool day.

Last year I blogged about favorite smells and flavors at Christmas time. I remember we would stick our heads in our Christmas stockings and take a big whiff of all the mixed up smells. The olfactory combination contained oranges, peppermints, Hershey kisses (yeah...I LOVE chocolate), walnuts, Klondike bars, Junior Mints, small wrapped packages (cellophane tape?) and finally, the smell of the bright red flannel stocking itself.

Grapheme Synesthesia

For the longest time I can remember I have associated single digit numbers with colors. I don't know why this happened, but the colors for the numbers 0 through 9 have never changed since my childhood.

Imagine my surprise when a friend told me there was a name for it. Synesthesia, he said. Wow. There's a word for everything, even things that seem to be nonsense-nobody-else-experiences these things but me stuff.

So for the world to see...or at least a handful of followers, I've attached the image that I created following my personal synesthetic number-color arrangement.

0= White
1= Black
2= Red
3= Orange
4= Green
5= Yellow
6= Red -or- sometimes Maroon
7= Cobalt Blue -to- Violet
8= Caramel Brown (don't ask me why, but it is a certain hue of brown I see)
9= Maroon (the same as 6 which makes sense to me)

I also included certain colors which appear in my mind to alternate from time to time.
The most solid or consistent associations are 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, 8
My remaining wishy-washy color numbers are  6, 7, 9

Who else does this? Jiggins?

Wiki quote: definition for this type of synesthesia follows. See full link here:

Grapheme → color synesthesia

In one of the most common forms of synesthesia, grapheme → color synesthesia, individual letters of the alphabet and numbers (collectively referred to as graphemes), are "shaded" or "tinged" with a color. While different individuals usually do not report the same colors for all letters and numbers, studies with large numbers of synesthetes find some commonalities across letters (e.g., A is likely to be red).[19][21]
As a child, Pat Duffy told her Dad, "I realized that to make an R all I had to do was first write a P and draw a line down from its loop. And I was so surprised that I could turn a yellow letter into an orange letter just by adding a line." Another grapheme synesthete says, "When I read, about five words around the exact one I'm reading are in color. It's also the only way I can spell. In elementary school I remember knowing how to spell the word 'priority' [with an "i" rather than an "e"] because ... an 'e' was out of place in that word because e's were yellow and didn't fit."[26]