Thursday, August 17, 2006

I knew it was weird, but now I have a name for it!

Did anyone see last night's Primetime on ABC? One of the topics was synesthesia. The following was taken from an online source, which you can find here. My own comments will be in blue until the end of the thing, and then I'll be back to a black font. Don't worry, you'll know when.

"Synesthesia (Greek, syn = together + aisthesis = perception) is the involuntary physical experience of a cross-modal association. That is, the stimulation of one sensory modality reliably causes a perception in one or more different senses."

On Primetime, they featured a woman who sees a different color for each note she plays on the piano. There were also three sisters who see a different color for each letter. But the most interesting one was the man who has a different taste in his mouth when he hears certain words. The name 'Derrick' made him cringe, and he said it tasted like earwax!

"The word synesthesia, meaning 'joined sensation', shares a root with anesthesia, meaning 'no sensation.' It denotes the rare capacity to hear colors, taste shapes, or experience other equally startling sensory blendings whose quality seems difficult for most of us to imagine. A synesthete might describe the color, shape, and flavor of someone's voice, or music whose sound looks like 'shards of glass,' a scintillation of jagged, colored triangles moving in the visual field. Or, seeing the color red, a synesthete might detect the 'scent' of red as well."

General Features (I'm just giving the basics here instead of the entire article.)
* No matter what senses are joined in a given synesthete, it is striking how similar the histories of all synesthetes are.
* Synesthesia runs in families in a pattern consistent with either autosomal or x-linked dominant transmission. (Either sex parent can pass the trait to either sex child, affected individuals appear in more than one generation of a pedigree, and multiple affected sibs can occur in the same generation.) I emailed my family today to find out if anyone else has synesthesia.
* Women synesthetes predominate.
* Synesthetes are preponderantly non-right-handed. (I'm a lefty.)
* Synesthetes are normal in the conventional sense. They appear bright, and hail from all walks of life. Notice they said "appear bright"...what are they getting at?
* Not only do most synesthetes contend that their memories are excellent, but cite their parallel sensations as the cause, saying for example, "I know it's 2 because it's white." Conversation, prose passages, movie dialogue, and verbal instructions are typical subjects of detailed recall.
* Within their overall high intelligence, synesthetes have uneven cognitive skills. While a minority are frankly dyscalculic, the majority may have subtle mathematical deficiencies (such as lexical-to-digit transcoding). Right-left confusion (allochiria), and a poor sense of direction for vector rather than network maps are common.
* As a group, synesthetes seem more prone to "unusual experiences" than one might expect.

Me again...anyway, I had seen a special some time ago about synesthesia, but I guess I had forgotten. They did not mention one form of synesthesia, which is something I have, and that is that I assign gender to numbers, but only numbers 1 through 9. Each number's gender has always been very obvious to me, ever since I can remember, and I could never explain it. I tried once, and was laughed at -- by good friends, not anyone who was being mean, so it didn't bother me. I knew it was strange to them, and I would have laughed too.

But one thing they did mention last night that I could relate to completely was something called 'spatial synesthesia', in which a person sees the calendar year, or even the days of the week, in 3-D. I have done this my entire life as well, and I really thought that everyone did this, but apparently not. They showed some examples of 3-D calendars on a computer, so that some women could explain the way they see the months or days, but they never showed it the way I see it, and so I felt compelled to explain my own view to Casey...who still thinks it's a little weird. I tried again to explain the gender/number thing to him, and it makes no sense to him. I can understand that.

So, does anyone else do this? Are there any other synesthetes out there? I want to know!

43 comments:

Joy said...

Tracey, I know we have had this special bond thing since childhood, and I think we even discussed this. YOu are the only other person I have met who also pictures the weeks and months of the year. Mine is in an incomplete circle...almost a u-shape with the summer months at the bottom. My days of the week are in the shape of a D. I have always seen them this way, and think of them constantly in this form. I mean, today being Friday, I'm sure I have pictured it at least a dozen times. Describe yours in more detail. I am so happy someone else sees this.

Anonymous said...

Ok, You don't know me but i pop in here once in awhile.... had to comment, I totally attribute gender to numbers and I see the calendar in my mind in a huge slightly sguished oval (not 3 D though.) Summer is at the top. Days of the week are in a squished oval the other way, sat, sun are at the top.... Hmmm interesting, I never thought there was a name for it, I just thought that it was somekind of association that I randomly made in my mind. I have asked on 3 occasions if other people make these same associations and on 2 out of the 3 times I asked, there were one or more people in the group who also think this way, so I assumed from that that it's not too uncommon.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made!!
God bless!
Karen
Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracey,

I too caught the Primetime special and just sat there in amazement. I was shocked to find out that what I have experienced as long as I can remember actually has a name! Seems I am not alone.

I decided to do some research on spatial sequence synesthesia today and came across your blog. I see the months of the year in 3D in a circular form. Kind of like a clock, but one whose face is parallel to the ground. December is at the 12 o'clock position, January at the 1 o'clock position and so on. It has always helped me remember when certain life events have occurred and since I am at a crossroads right now, I wonder if knowing more about synesthesia will help me figure out what occupations I would be good at. I don't know.

Very interesting stuff!

Rachel

tracey said...

These responses are exactly what I was hoping for. More, more! Thanks Joy, Karen and Rachel! Wow, it's neat having a comment from someone I don't even know...oh, and I do plan on doing a follow-up post, especially after reading what you three have written.

Sharon said...

I've also been thrilled to find that there are other people who sense things the way I do, in my case it's "seeing" time. before on the rare occasion I tried to describe it, the people I was talking to thought I was crazy. Yet it's hard for me to understand how others don't see it this way.

I've always "seen" time. Whether days, months in a year, or years in history, time has always had a physical "place" around me that I could point to if needed. It's like time is a three dimensional gameboard and I'm standing in the midst of it.

The hours in a day start below me and work their way up, with noon being in front of me about eye level, and they continue on up with midnight being above me.

The days in a week start to my left, with last weekend, Sat and Sun, being to my far left, and next weekend, being to my far right. Saturdays and Sundays are taller than regular weekdays, forming neat divisions of the days into weeks. I can kind of see the edges of the preceding and upcoming weeks, but they are fainter.

Months in a year also start off to the left, with January over there and next December being to my far right. When I'm thinking about my appointments and schedule, this is what I see in my mind, the same with the days and hours above, and it's how I plan and organize my time.

The years, if I am looking back in time, either short term, i.e., over my lifetime, or longterm over the past few centuries, don't go up or down, or left to right, but telescope back away from me, with the oldest years the farthest away. There's a sharp division point at each decade and century. I was a history major in college and I always thought it was normal to have this kind of framework for history in your mind. When I would learn about dates or historic events in my mind I would place them in their "correct" position in my mental picture of time. I still have a hard time believing that everyone doesn't see the years like this. I student taught a semester of high school history when I was in in college and I can see in retrospect that I was expecting my students to be able to make use of the same kind of visual framework for time that I use without thinking. Now I realize that most of them wouldn't have done this.

Whenever time is discussed, I see it as described above, and if I'm looking at a calendar I'm mentally translating it into how I see it. I can't imagine time any other way. If I stop and consciously try to think of days or months being in a different place around me, it isn't "right". I couldn't stop seeing it if I tried.

Sorry my comment is so long!

Joy said...

I just wanted to say that I also see numbers in a way that is somewhat like a zig-zag timeline...and when I think of centuries, decades, etc...they follow this same spatial sequence. Since 2000 though, they don't have a very logical sequence...I just realized that!

Anonymous said...

I have also assigned gender to numbers and letters since I can remember. I remember being different when watching Sesame Street and their character letters were different from the ones in my head. I told my sister and she just ignored me. I never said anything about it again until now. It is good to find a name for this.

Becky said...

It's funny I discovered I have spatial synesthesia as a result of the same show. I thought the other people's experiences were so strange until they showed the person arranging the months of the year on a computer screen. I turned to my husband and asked, "doesn't everyone do that?"
I used to assign gender to letters and numbers as a child, but that association isn't as strong now as I recall it being when I was younger. I can still name which are male and female to me. I remember taking spanish class and not thinking it weird that nouns were given male and female articles, el and la. It made total sense to me then!
To describe how I see days of the week and months of the year (even dates of the month), I also see a squashed oval shape that runs parallel to the ground, with the months, days, and dates all running counter-clockwise. January is near the 3:00 position, July near 12, September near 9:00, and november at 6. All 365 days of the year run in that oval, too.
One major difference between the computer rendering on Wikipedia and how I see time is my body is not in the center of the oval, I'm facing the direction the month goes, so when I see July, I visualize myself at 12 facing towards 11. Plus the calendar runs through me--I'm not standing on top of it or under it. Kind of like the "wormholes" from Donnie Darko if you've ever seen that movie.
I also read that synesthetes often have mirror writing ability and good memories. Turns out I can write backwards, and my earliest memory is eating yogurt in my high chair. My mom and I figured this out when I asked her which kitchen was avocado green (showing my age now), was on the back left-hand side of the house, and had a window facing the backyard. We have no pictures of that kitchen or even the house, and I lived there from birth to about 14 months. Chances are good some of the other commenters here can write backwards (and don't know it yet), and have excellent recall ability, too.

Jordan said...

I am so glad to have come across your blog! I just saw a rerun of the primetime show and had a similar reaction to others who've commented here. I Googled "spacial synesthesia" to learn more and am happy to have read about others who have experiences similar to mine. I find it interesting that some of us share more than one of the same ways of experiencing spacial synesthesia. Here are the things I experience:

I picture the months of the year, days of the week, days within each month, hours of the day, digits from 0-1,000 and then increasing by increments of 1,000, years of history. Like another who commented, I place dates, appointments, and historical dates on my mental timeline and recall them easily. My calendar is shaped like a horse shoe with January on one end, December on the other, and the summer months along the bottom curve. Where I visualize it from changes as I go through the year so I'm looking at it from the month I'm currently in. I picture the days of the week like two parallel lines with a top and bottom. Sat. & Sun. both fit at the top and bottom. I ride along the week as it goes on one line and the parallel line is both next week and last week. I'm able to keep it straight when I picture it. My hours of the day are like the hours listed up and down with the morning hours at my feet and the evening hours up above. I think somebody else described it that way too.

I also visualize the order of the alphabet and have always just known the gender of letters, numbers, colors, days of the week, and months of the year. Like another, I remember being discouraged in kindergarten when the gender of the "Letter People" didn't match what I perceived. I've always had more trouble recalling combinations of numbers and letters together (such as A6) because I don't have a visual that combines letters and numbers. No wonder I can't get the Autobauns figured out here in Germany! I probably depend so much on being able to mentally place ordered objects on my own visual that when I can't, I don't have another developed way of remembering numbers and letters. I like order and like for things to be in their places. I am a right-handed female. I also visualize on a flat plane for the www and visualize spots where different websites are located on the www. It's like my navigation is a physical thing rather than what it really is. Is that possibly related or just a quirk? Does anyone else do this?

So now I feel a little weird blabbling on about myself but it's so exciting to put a label on something that's always been part of me and I knew wasn't shared by everyone.

Thanks for posting!

tracey said...

Wow, it's so awesome to get to know so many other synesthetes! I promise I am going to do a follow-up post about this...I know I keep saying it, but I will! =)

nineteen84 said...

I was searching for information on spatial-sequence synesthesia and came across your blog. I only just realized I had it like two days ago when I came across a thread about synesthesia on a message board and looked up the definition. I always thought that the way I viewed months/days/years/hours was normal.

I've been asking pretty much everyone I know how they view it, and none of them ever know what I am talking about. I've also asked my parents if either of them experience any form of synesthesia, but they don't.

Anyway, for me, the months of the year surround me like a circle. January and February are straight ahead, August and July are behind me, and the other months are on either of the sides. Although right now since it is April, I consider myself in April so diagonally across from me is September (if that makes any sense). Days of the week appear to me on two separate lines. The first line is Mon-Fri and below on the second line is Saturday and Sunday which take up bigger areas. I see the hours in the day as two vertical lines. 12 midnight is at the very top of both, then the left hand side goes down until it reaches 8am, then it goes back up the other side until it reaches midnight.

Someone else said that synesthetes may have mirror writing ability, which I do have, but it's with my left hand, and I am right handed, so it requires thought because I never write with that hand.

Your writing about this, and the comments it has received has been very insightful and helpful. It seems like there is not a lot of information on spatial-sequence compared to some of the other types.

Jenne said...

I have a very similar sort of synaesthesia, and was convinced that I was the only one to view dates and numbers in 3D! It's good to hear that other people do too. I see the days of the week in a line stretching away from me forwards (for a specific distance for each day), and the days of the year each have a specific place around me. Numbers are in a line, from left to right, stretching from my left shoulder out diagonally away from me. That looks really weird when I write it, but it's true! I use the synaesthesia to do maths, I'm not sure how non-synaesthetes do it!

Joshua said...

I've assigned gender to numbers ever since I was a young kid, like age four or five. Like you, the genders for numbers from one to nine are very clear cut. Each number has a slightly different personality, but those are harder to explain. Some, but not all numbers above nine also have consistent personified genders, but they are fewer and farther between as the numbers increase.

I've wondered if synaesthesia relates to the seemingly arbitrary concept of grammatical gender in foreign languages, whereby nouns are assigned genders. Some languages have classes, or more than two genders. I know that synaesthesia is individual, and different people with the trait assign different personalities to things. However, it shows that it's not an odd thing for a culture to relate to, nor is it much of a stretch of plausibility.

Susan said...

What about assigning colors to smells? For example, puppy breath is brown, garlic is yellow, hot asphalt is blue, vanilla is gold and wet cat is beige. Also, in music, middle C is yellow, D is red, E is beige, F is blue G is green, A is black and B is pink. I also upside down and mirror write with both hands. I am right-handed, although I'm much quicker at mirror writing with the left.

Sandy said...

So,just a quick note for now..I wish I had more time to describe in detail how I picture numbers, letters, days, weeks, months, years, historical time, etc. I will say that everything is 3-dimensional in space and my point of view is from the current place in time. I discovered viewing the Primetime episode that what I have always assumed as too normal to even mention to anyone(like breathing or eating) is not shared by everyone. I mean, how do people know what day of the week it is if they don't have a visual? They must have to carry a calendar with them everywhere. I can't imagine being able to organize my life without having some sort of visual concept of time and space. It's the same to me as trying to imagine what it would be like to have been born without sight or hearing. It is as necessary to understanding the concept of time and space as hearing is to experiencing music.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing! I came across spatial sequence synesthesia on wikipedia randomly, like most things on that site. I never realized that people didn't have the same perception - it just made so much sense to me, and I couldn't imagine life without it.
I see the year as a squashed oval running counterclockwise parallel to the ground, with July as the furthest point and January sorta running through me. But I can scroll through it at will to sequence events. Time of day is like a vertical oval with 6 at the bottom. Days of the week are like a sideways D at a 45 degree angle. And years in history are on a straight line with a vanishing point - past years in front of me and the future behind me, and I can scroll through so I'm viewing it parallel...decades and centuries are divided by bold lines and different historical eras have different colors - like before 3000 BC is green and it slowly fades to yellow from 3000 to AD 1. The number line is mostly straight until 20, then the numbers are vertically stacked.
I can also write backwards very well with both hands, even though I'm right handed. And I've got a good memory...first thing I remember is being 1 1/2 and asking my dad what he saw when he closed his eyes - because I saw kaleidescope-like static and wondered if everyone did.
I do the www thing too - it's like a mental map. Not sure why, though. You wouldn't think the two are connected.

cara said...

Hi. I also believe that I have spatial-sequence synesthesia. I can see the calendar year played out in my mind in the most organized way (I am, coincidentally, a leftie).

I find it very interesting because until last night, when i randomly came across the term synesthesia, I thought that this was something everyone else experienced. However, my family told me that none of them experience this at all.

I feel cool now.

=]

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting all of this information! I am a spatial-sequence synesthete as well. One quick question- does anyone else have a specific location for different colors? For example, can you point to the color orange like you can point to January? I find this all very interesting.

Anonymous said...

i feel so much better reading this. in college as a math major i was doing terrible. i was scraping by spending all my time studying and not getting anywhere. (highschool math had not been nearly so hard for me. in college all of a sudden i was better at music and worse at math.) the learning center told me i was dyscalculic, but didn't have any information beyond that. they didn't offer tutoring execept for dyslexic individuals. i also am hopeless with maps and games where you need to read maps or know directions.

i'm not a lefty, but i was very into music growing up. in college i was told i had a gift and not to waste it. unfortunately, an accident left me with some brain damage including permanent retroactive amnesia a few years ago. before that my memory was great.

looking back in my journals i find that i would write about feeling as if i were seeing colors when i tasted certain foods--and possibly smelled them. its hard for me to be sure about the smell because its so closely linked to taste. there would be times i'd be eating some yummy dishes and actually describe the flavors in colors to my friends or family and get looks like my hair was on fire.

this article makes me feel less alienated. also, though its been a few years since i played music. when the orchestra or someone would be tuning, i'd think gender in terms of being flat or sharp. it was very male to be sharp and female to be flat. the same with notes to some extent. it proved for some interesting arguments. that has all faded because i gave up my music when my memory was damaged.

i'm 34 and female. no one in my family knew about this condition, and there seems to be no history. my sister thinks she has felt some mild symptoms--she is a creative writer as a hobby and also studied music until graduating. she and i often joke that we are adopted because my parents are both tone deaf, and we were very musical growing up.

thank you for writing this and encouraging others to share.

i must admit, i found it interesting that the fellow from "Primetime" knew what earwax tasted like. *smiles*

tracey said...

Wow, this is an incredible story! Thanks so much for sharing. As one who is on the very mild end of synesthesia, I find all of this endlessly fascinating. Have you thought about writing a book or publishing your journals on your experiences? I'm sure there are plenty of doctors who would be interested in the changes that happened after your injury. I'm so sorry that you suffered through that, and it sounds like it will be something that always affects you, but it also seems like you have a positive outlook on things.

Thank you again so much for sharing, and I'm glad I could help in a very small way. =)

Misty said...

ok, so i just found out that I too have spacial sequence synesthsia. I started thinking about it and i was wondering if there were other attributes to it:
I tend to gravitate towards art that incorporates shapes(squares circles rectangles, etc.)
Also on my IQ test i tested highest in the areas that had to do with spacial knowlege,i.e.: folding the box, puzzles, number sequences etc.)
What do you think and do you know where I could find more research, specific to my case?
jainiemac@yahoo.com

Gaby said...

Sharon, I "see" days of the week the exact same way! I just always thought everyone thought like that.. and I can't imagine it any other way no matter how hard I try. I also have a "number line", but it's very simple and just to the left of me. Zero is just a tad lower than eye level, positive numbers go up and negative numbers go down. I don't have anything special with colors or letters though. It feels nice that I'm not the only one who understands it! When I try to explain it to someone who doesn't, I feel sort of silly :-P

Anonymous said...

I see the year in a circular shape. Where January is at the northern end and July is at the south, and the rest of the year just goes down this circle clockwise. I view it from July with july being in front of me and january being far off ahead of me. But not only that, i perceive each of the months with a particular colour as well! Like January is a frosty blue, and March is a mossy green and April is pink, and so on...! I never imagined there was actually a name for this!

jeanne said...

Oh jumpin' numbers and letters! I have discovered for the first time today (via internet information) that I possess the qualites and traits of spatial sequence synesthesia.
My mind automatically goes to the 'maps' in my mind. I thought everyone did this. I have looked at enough information to conclude this is how my brain functions.

I have always been told I could "see beyond". Now there is a real reason, relatively.
I am somewhat frightened, also elated to know I am not alone.

I don't want to ask everyone I know "do you see maps for months?" because they could look at my with a quirk...

Discovering my excellent skill in writing by newly returning to school helps explain my inner view of life. I write poetry and nonfiction essays.

I didn't even look at the other comments yet, on this site. I was so encouraged to see so many of them! I'll read them after I write this.
What do I do with this new awareness?

jeanne said...

I have read all the comments submitted. I don't know the dates; so I'm a little uncertain of who may read this and when.
I'm writing August (that's the long stretched out month coming up real close and hot on my "mind map", 9th, 2009.

I don't know whether to be happy or less than that after reading so many comments. None of the descriptions seem weird or unbelievable. I "see" what others describe. Mine are similiar.
If you want them detailed I can.

My son (now adult) spent most of his elementary school years in tutoring for Learning Disabilities. I'll never forget the first day home (3rd grade) from school he brought an entire paper written in mirror image. We were stunned!! His teachers said it was a disability. I was never convinced.
My son also "smells" anger. As a boy, he was bullied by a schoolmate and got very angry. He would talk about how he could taste how mad he felt about the bully. He has never waivered from this experience, and still has both of them. No one ever made any other reference to the mirror image writing, in all his education.
Is it any wonder both my son and myself suffered enormously in mathematics classes? Would it not affect abstract thought, logic and mathematical reasoning?
Help me out here. And Thank You.

tracey said...

Jeanne ~ First, thanks for visiting my blog and second, WOW! I had not heard the 'mind maps' before, but I'm interested to hear more about it. And I hadn't heard the type of synesthesia where a person smells emotions, that one is fascinating to me. Obviously you and your son share a lot of these synesthetic traits -- I can't say for sure because I'm very limited in my knowledge of this, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of this is connected to the mathematical stuff. I don't know how many others will get to see your post, but I might have to do a follow-up post to my follow-up post! I did one a while back after so many people left comments.

Thanks again for visiting and feel free to share more! :)

Random Reader said...

Tracey–

Sorry for barging into your blog; I know this is well after the event, but as it happens I've been looking for references to synaesthesia in blogs and popular articles. (Mostly, very sensational.)

I've also been looking at the actual research. In fact, it's quite inconclusive overall. So far, the condition is not proven to cause any cognitive problems or special abilities, apart from enhanced memory in some cases. (There no question of it impairing logic or abstract reasoning at all, by the way.) Also, some studies contradict that finding on the greater number of women and left-handed people.

In other words– nobody really knows. It's a new field.

Getting on to my personal experience: I associate sounds, words and numbers with colour, and do a few other things as well. I'm fairly good at maths and feel that my synaesthesia helps in this area, by making it easier to visualise. Like Misty, I have very high spatial intelligence– freakish, in fact, but learn unusually fast in all areas. Whether that has anything to do with synaesthesia I don't know; maybe that's just me.

I do, however, have a photographic memory and mirror-writing ability– some research indicates the latter may be linked to synaesthesia, but again, no one knows.

tracey said...

Random Reader ~ Thanks for stopping by and for sharing! This is my most-commented post, three years after the fact...it's amazing! I love how everyone is so different. Thanks again!

Random Reader said...

Tracey,

Thanks... the main thing is for people with this to know they're not crazy and there's nothing wrong with them. All researchers concur on that point.

Annoyingly, though, many journalists still write about us as "sufferers" from a "brain disease". Apart from being insulting, it shows they are– shockingly– too lazy to do any homework at all– even to the extent of checking Wikipedia!

Makes you wonder about the accuracy of everything else you hear in the news, doesn't it?

tracey said...

Wow, I didn't realize it was viewed -- or maybe should I say skewed -- in that way! Thanks for adding your thoughts to all of this. I posted this just because I was interested, but it's been wonderful seeing so many comments like, "I'm glad I'm not alone in this" and that kind of thing.

Random Reader said...

Tracey, I don't mean that's the only view– you'll also see it described as a "gift"... but yeah, a lot of people seem to get the wrong idea and just assume we're in a constant state of crippling sensory overload, or something like that.

As I said: lazy.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered tonight that I have this. I thought it was totally normal that I see my months in a clock and my years in a timeline going away from me. Actually, I didn't even think about it. Now I know there's actually a name for it!

jeanne said...

It's good to see people are continuing to post on here. It has only been a couple of months since I read about spatial sequence synthesia. Boy, I thought everyone thought like this.
I definitely have the time line, hours,days aspect. I don't think I see music in colors, etc.

I am making an appointment with the disabilities coordinator at my college, to look at the consideration that Math, which is holding me back is impossible due to how I see the numbers. It's one big Disneyworld in my mind's eye when the mathematics come in from a structured, abstract of a class!
I cannot seperate these views.
Maybe she can share my perspective, or think I am crazy, though there is so much backup in current news and developments to substantiate this condition. I do hope things will be "seen" my way.

To all who 'see' as I do, may your days be sweet ones, and give you an at easeness with how you take the world in.

jeanne

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Anonymous said...

i have synesthesia also. I have this 3D map for everything. Songs, musical notes, tv shows, numbers, years, weeks, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, schedules, alphabet (even the 'now you know your abc's' part,) spanish alphabet, spanish numbers, weight, the internet, my dreams, colors, age, height.... everything it seems like.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I never knew this had a name before I saw this! I have synesthesia just like the comment before me! Everything has a special spaced out way in my mind. Does everyone else have this too? Or is it just for days and years? Thank you to the person who made this because it is very interesting! In my year, I go along with the months. August is by far the biggest month. I would explain it further but I can't find the words to descibe my year. It is easier for me to show my year, like point it out. Thank you again to the person who made this! I will be looking foreward to reading more comments!

tracey said...

Thanks for the comments! I honestly can't believe I'm still getting responses from this, and it's been more than three years since I posted it. Glad I could help in any way, and of course I'm no expert just have some spatial synesthesia myself and am interested in it. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

just out of curiosity, does everyone else have a thing for everything or just months and years and weeks and days (aka time haha) cause i have it for songs too and levels like gold silver elite etc. i'd love to hear back!

Anonymous said...

i was just reading about savants and a guy named daniel tammet and a condition called synesthesia. in the article it happened to mention spacial sequence synesthesia. for as long as i can remember i have pictured numbers, days of the week, months, in lines. now for examples

(and sometimes it changes in size)if i think of the eighties its beside me and kind of moves downward in a sort of swoop behind me. the 90s are fairly straight like stairs and end up about my eye level just in front of me from somewhere by my hip and the 00's are stacked upward . now they allways keep there shape (straight swooped stacked)when i think about them as decades but the shape, distance and relativity change when i think about individual years like lets say im looking back through the 90's it has a different path than if i were to say look at 96 up to 99.but i have paths and directions for whenever i think of a year or timeline.

numbers are the same they follow a path that just moves in odd ways relative to where i am. sometimes it feels like im level with numbers sometimes there above me sometimes below me (and when im talking about above and below "level" is at eye level) sometimes further away sometimes closer and i find myself (mentally) following the path when im doing math problem or recalling anything.ill give another example.

1-10 are stacked liked stairs if i think about individual numbers like 1 to 3 there spaced farther apart and have a white space between them as apposed to thinking of them 1-10. 11 to 13 have a similar shape as the 80's (WHAT???HAHA)15 and 16 are really close together almost like stacked candy (pez lifesavers rockets rolos winegums)and there dainty.then there is a little space between 16 and 17 and 18 and 19 have a bigger gap still. if i think of the numbers as a line like 30-100 they ascend but they change there orientation when i think of them individually or in increments of ten but 100 and numbers in that area, im always level with them.

this has blown my mind. its baffling. this is the most thought i have ever put into trying to describe it. its just the way ive always thought. i could go on more about months of the years and colors and shadows and days of the week i also have feeling attached to words and when i think about time its either above me or an infinitely long box that i can sort of picture being in front of me and disappearing behind me but i feel ive talked enough about my odd perceptions. i always thought it was different but not enough to have been named. i found this place on my hunt to learn more. REALLY COOL!

Anonymous said...

i was just reading about savants and a guy named daniel tammet and a condition called synesthesia. in the article it happened to mention spacial sequence synesthesia. for as long as i can remember i have pictured numbers, days of the week, months, in lines. now for examples

(and sometimes it changes in size)if i think of the eighties its beside me and kind of moves downward in a sort of swoop behind me. the 90s are fairly straight like stairs and end up about my eye level just in front of me from somewhere by my hip and the 00's are stacked upward . now they allways keep there shape (straight swooped stacked)when i think about them as decades but the shape, distance and relativity change when i think about individual years like lets say im looking back through the 90's it has a different path than if i were to say look at 96 up to 99.but i have paths and directions for whenever i think of a year or timeline.

numbers are the same they follow a path that just moves in odd ways relative to where i am. sometimes it feels like im level with numbers sometimes there above me sometimes below me (and when im talking about above and below "level" is at eye level) sometimes further away sometimes closer and i find myself (mentally) following the path when im doing math problem or recalling anything.ill give another example.

1-10 are stacked liked stairs if i think about individual numbers like 1 to 3 there spaced farther apart and have a white space between them as apposed to thinking of them 1-10. 11 to 13 have a similar shape as the 80's (WHAT???HAHA)15 and 16 are really close together almost like stacked candy (pez lifesavers rockets rolos winegums)and there dainty.then there is a little space between 16 and 17 and 18 and 19 have a bigger gap still. if i think of the numbers as a line like 30-100 they ascend but they change there orientation when i think of them individually or in increments of ten but 100 and numbers in that area, im always level with them.

this has blown my mind. its baffling. this is the most thought i have ever put into trying to describe it. its just the way ive always thought. i could go on more about months of the years and colors and shadows and days of the week i also have feeling attached to words and when i think about time its either above me or an infinitely long box that i can sort of picture being in front of me and disappearing behind me but i feel ive talked enough about my odd perceptions. i always thought it was different but not enough to have been named. i found this place on my hunt to learn more. REALLY COOL!

MIkek said...

Count me in. I discovered a few years ago that I was spatial-sequence synesthetic... or, rather, that everyone else wasn't. I could draw you a map of how to get from the right now to any given year, time of day, month, etc. It's 6:41 now, which means we're heading to the left for the next 19 minutes, at which point we start moving forwards until the hard right turn at midnight takes us back towards dawn, all the way over near the right. It's always been that way, since I was a little kid. The map has never changed.

I have slight color values for ranges of numeric values too, but it's not something that corresponds to neatly to visual colors, more like shading. 10-20 are dark, darker towards 20. 17, say, is much darker than anything between 1000-10,000, although 10,000-20,000 are similar to 10-20 in some ways. 15 is "crisp" or "warm", almost like the color of a dead leaf, except it's not really a color. Pretty weird, huh? Also, 8pm to 9pm is much darker than 7pm to 8pm, although 11pm to midnight is a pretty light or pale whitish, much lighter than 10pm-11pm. The 19th century is much darker than either the 18th century or the 20th. None of this is as vivid as the spatial positions of numbers, times and dates, though, which are "carved in stone" and unmistakable.

Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tracey said...

Mlkek ~ I wouldn't call it weird at all, I was fascinated reading this! Thanks for stopping by...I'm still amazed that after more than four years people are still finding and commenting on this post. Thanks for sharing!

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