The concept of synesthesia is a condition in which the senses of a person are integrated, and when one sense is being used, another reacts to it. For example: a person with synesthesia may hear a name and think of a color, or see a color and taste it. There are multiple different types of synesthesia- 19 found thus far- and it is possibly prevalent in 1 in 2500 people across its various types. One of these variants is known as "grapheme-color synesthesia" where a certain number may appear red whereas a different number may appear green. The following is an example of this:
This example shows what the picture on the left looks like to people with grapheme-color synesthesia. Another variant of synesthesia is lexical-taste synesthesia in which words have associated tastes. For example, when hearing or seeing the word "sky" one might taste apples or something of the sort.
I found that the fact that many people who have synesthesia do not even realize it because they perceive the sensations from it to be normal and everyday occurrences to be very interesting. Yet another example is a person that identifies a color with a name, say a girl named Olivia makes the person think of purple, therefore when they see or hear "Olivia" they think "purple" and not her name.
Ultimately, my research has led me to want to know more about what it is like to have synesthesia and its multiple variants. One of things that seemed crazy to me was the example above, I do not understand how the brain of someone with synesthesia is able to decipher the fives from the twos so easily and identify them as different colors whereas when I look at the picture on left, I have to search for the twos because everything looks the same! In the end, synesthesia still somewhat confuses me, but my research gave me some insight on what it would be like to have it and how it could change the way you see, smell, feel, hear and even taste things!
• Psychology, From Inquiry to Understanding