Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


The condition in which a sensory experience normally associated with one sensory system occurs when another sensory system is stimulated.



a phenomenon of perception, in which the impression corresponding to a given stimulus and specific to a given sensory organ is accompanied by an additional sensation or image, often one characteristic of another sensory mode. Typical examples of synesthesia are “color hearing” and aural experiences upon perceiving color. Synesthesia in no way indicates a perception disorder; the experience occurs in one form or other and to some degree in almost everybody. The types of synesthesia are differentiated primarily by the nature of the additional sensations that arise: visual (photisms), aural (phon-isms), gustatory, tactile, and so on. Synesthesia may be selective, affecting only individual impressions, or it may affect all sensations in some area.

A characteristic example of synesthesia is the perception of music by certain composers. It was such synesthetic perceptions that led Scriabin to the concept of “synthetic art,” in which musical tonalities would correspond to certain colors, for example, in the symphonic poem Prometheus: the Poem of Fire (1910). Synesthetic experiences are not identical for all people; for example, various color representations may be linked with a single tonality. The phenomenon of synesthesia is found in the “colored” experience of numbers, days of the week, and so on. There is no satisfactory theory of synesthesia.


Titchener, E. B. Uchebnik psikhologii, part 1. Moscow, 1914. Pages 162–65.
Kravkov, S. V. Vzaimodeistvie organov chuvstv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Luriia, A. R. Malen’kaia knizhka o bol’shoi pamiati. Moscow, 1968. Pages 15–19.
Velichkovskii, B. M., V. P. Zinchenko, and A. R. Luriia. Psikhologiia vospriiatiia. Moscow, 1973. Pages 54–58.


References in periodicals archive ?
When the researchers zapped Padgett's parietal cortex, they found that the magnetic pulse made his synesthesia disappear.
Brain-imaging studies have found evidence of particular patterns of brain connectivityin both synesthesia and autism.
While most synesthetes have been so since childhood, it is possible to develop synesthesia later in life, and some who have suffered trauma or have had a near-death experience have found themselves experiencing this conjoining of sensations as a result.
The history and symptoms must cover other sensory processing and the optometrist must be aware of synesthesia and timing problems.
A number of cases involve synesthesia, a neurological cross-wiring phenomenon in which stimulation of one sense results in an association or experience with another sensory path, for example seeing colors when hearing certain sounds or tones.
Astonishing Splashes of Colour is a warm and witty story about Kitty and her odd family, her struggles and attempts at living an ordinary life, despite suffering from synesthesia, seeing in colours.
He gives her the address of a Web site so that she can contact others with synesthesia and invites her to a conference where she meets others with the same condition, including a boy who gives Mia her first kiss.
An abbreviated version of this essay was presented at the international workshop "Multi-disciplinary view of Synesthesia," 22-23 March 2006, at the Porter Institute, Tel Aviv University.
But it is immaterial to any comprehension of these Chromachords whether or not Hayward has created them out of his own synesthesia or even in order to trigger the viewer's.
The reality of synesthesia, for example seeing sounds or tasting shapes, has now been verified with imaging that shows parts of the brain at work corresponding to the synesthete's reports rather than the stimulus.