The Basics of the Blue Splotches Jun 26, 2009 11:55:41 GMT -5
Post by Melody Redgaze on Jun 26, 2009 11:55:41 GMT -5
Alrighty, so there's something very unique that I allowed Melody to aquire, and that is Synesthesia. I'm writing this to give you all a little information on Melody's very interesting disorder. Because some of you memberly people have no idea what-so-ever what synesthesia truely is.
What Is Synesthesia?
Synesthesia is a condition of the brain in which the perception/sensorial conducts on the brain are "connected" to each other. This means that when one sense "activates" another or others (depending on the synesthete) of their senses activates as well. This means that, for example, listening to music can "activate" your eyesight. Meaning a mental, but almost physical image of a color and/or shape can appear for a synesthete.
Or maybe when tasting something you can "listen" to a certain note or sound, or when touching something you get a strong flavor of strawberries. The possibilities are endless and they vary from person to person. Another common thing I´ve found is that some synesthetes can experience some kind of extra-sensorial habilities. Also, the most common form of synesthesia is colorgraphem, or assigning colors to letters. Giving "personality" to letters is also faily common ^^
How Do You Get Synesthesia?
It's hereditary for the most part. For the people that don't know what hereditary is, it means that it's genetic, somebody in your family might have had synesthesia. It's not contagious, I promise.
The Different Forms
Grapheme - Color Synesthesia
In one of the most common forms of synesthesia, grapheme ¡ú 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).
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."
Sound - Color Synesthesia
Cytowic calls sound ¡ú color synesthesia "something like fireworks": voice, music, and assorted environmental sounds such as clattering dishes or dog barks trigger color and simple shapes that arise, move around, and then fade when the sound stimulus ends. For some, the stimulus type is limited (e.g., music only, or even just a specific musical key); for others, a wide variety of sounds triggers synesthesia.
Sound often changes the perceived hue, brightness, scintillation, and directional movement. Some individuals see music on a "screen" in front of their face. Deni Simon, for whom music produces waving lines "like oscilloscope configurations¡ªlines moving in color, often metallic with height, width and, most importantly, depth. My favorite music has lines that extend horizontally beyond the 'screen' area."
Though individuals hardly ever agree on what color a given sound is (composers Liszt and Rimsky-Korsakov famously disagreed on the colors of music keys), synesthetes show the same trends as non-synesthetes do. For example, both groups say that louder tones are brighter than soft tones, higher ones are smaller and brighter than low ones, and low tones are both larger and darker than high ones.
Number Form Synesthesia
A number form is a mental map of numbers, which automatically and involuntarily appears whenever someone who experiences number-forms thinks of numbers. Number forms were first documented and named by Francis Galton in "The Visions of Sane Persons". Later research has identified them as a type of synesthesthesia. In particular, it has been suggested that number-forms are a result of "cross-activation" between regions of the parietal lobe that are involved in numerical cognition and spatial cognition. In addition to its interest as a form of synesthesia, researchers in numerical cognition have begun to explore this form of synesthesia for the insights that it may provide into the neural mechanisms of numerical-spatial associations present unconsciously in everyone.
Ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP, or personification for short) is a form of synesthesia in which ordered sequences, such as ordinal numbers, days, months and letters are associated with personalities. Although this form of synesthesia was documented as early as the 1890s modern research has, until recently, paid little attention to this form.
For example, one synesthete says, "T¡¯s are generally crabbed, ungenerous creatures. U is a soulless sort of thing. 4 is honest, but¡ 3 I cannot trust¡ 9 is dark, a gentleman, tall and graceful, but politic under his suavity." Likewise, Cytowic's subject MT says, "I is a bit of a worrier at times, although easy-going; J is male; appearing jocular, but with strength of character; K is female; quiet, responsible...."
For some people in addition to numbers and other ordinal sequences, objects are sometimes imbued with a sense of personality. Recent research has begun to show that alphanumeric personification co-varies with other forms of synesthesia, and is consistent and automatic, as required to be considered a form of synesthesia.
Lexical - Gustuary Synesthesia
In the rare lexical ¡ú gustatory synesthesia, individual words and the phonemes of spoken language evoke taste sensations in the mouth. According to James Wannerton, "Whenever I hear, read, or articulate (inner speech) words or word sounds, I experience an immediate and involuntary taste sensation on my tongue. These very specific taste associations never change and have remained the same for as long as I can remember."
Jamie Ward and Julia Simner have extensively studied this form of synesthesia, and have found that the synesthetic associations are constrained by early food experiences. For example, James Wannerton has no synesthetic experiences of coffee or curry, even though he consumes them regularly as an adult. Conversely, he tastes certain breakfast cereals and candies that are no longer sold.
Additionally, these early food experiences are often paired with tastes based on the phonemes in the name of the word (e.g., /I/, /n/ and /s/ trigger James Wannerton¡¯s taste of mince) although others have less obvious roots (e.g., /f/ triggers sherbet). To show that phonemes, rather than graphemes are the critical triggers of tastes, Ward and Simner showed that, for James Wannerton, the taste of egg is associated to the phoneme /k/, whether spelled with a "c" (e.g., accept), "k" (e.g., York), "ck" (e.g., chuck) or "x" (e.g., fax). Another source of tastes comes from semantic influences, so that food names tend to taste of the food they match, and the word "blue" tastes "inky.
Synesthetes often report that they were unaware their experiences were unusual until they realized other people did not have them, while others report feeling as if they had been keeping a secret their entire lives, as has been documented in interviews with synesthetes on how they discovered synesthesia in their childhood. The automatic and ineffable nature of a synesthetic experience means that the pairing may not seem out of the ordinary. This involuntary and consistent nature helps define synesthesia as a real experience. Most synesthetes report that their experiences are pleasant or neutral, although, in rare cases, synesthetes report that their experiences can lead to a degree of sensory overload.
Though often stereotyped in the popular media as a medical condition or neurological aberration, synesthetes themselves do not experience their synesthetic perceptions as a handicap. To the contrary, most report it as a gift—an additional "hidden" sense—something they would not want to miss. Most synesthetes have become aware of their "hidden" and different way of perceiving in their childhood. Some have learned how to apply this gift in daily life and work. Synesthetes have used their gift in memorizing names and telephone numbers, mental arithmetic, but also in more complex creative activities like producing visual art, music, and theater.
Despite the commonalities which permit definition of the broad phenomenon of synesthesia, individual experiences vary in numerous ways. This variability was first noticed early on in synesthesia research but has only recently come to be re-appreciated by modern researchers. Some grapheme - color synesthetes report that the colors seem to be "projected" out into the world (called "projectors"), while most report that the colors are experienced in their "mind's eye" (called "associators"). It is estimated that approximately one or two per hundred grapheme-color synesthetes are projectors; the rest are associators.
Additionally, some grapheme - color synesthetes report that they experience their colors strongly, and show perceptual enhancement on the perceptual tasks described below, while others (perhaps the majority) do not, perhaps due to differences in the stage at which colors are evoked. Some synesthetes report that vowels are more strongly colored, while for others consonants are more strongly colored. In summary, self reports, autobiographical notes by synesthetes and interviews show a large variety in types of synesthesia, intensity of the synesthetic perceptions, awareness of the difference in perceiving the physical world from other people, the way they creatively use their synesthesia in work and daily life. The descriptions below give some examples of synesthetes' experiences, which have been experimentally tested, but do not exhaust their rich variety.
Inspiration for Mel
I got the idea for Mel's disorder from reading a book, A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. It's an intriguing (sp) read. If any of you are seriously interested in Synesthesia, I suggest you check out this book. And to those of you that have read this book, it's awesome right? I've read it about five times probably. x3 And the albino part of her was just a little extra, people of all colors can have synesthesia.any questions reply to this thread