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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 ?
Researchers say women are twice as likely to have synesthesia, and that synesthetes often have artistic talents.
The University of Granada researchers remark that "not all healers are synesthetes, but there is a higher prevalence of this phenomenon among them.
The use of fMRI scans have launched numerous scientific studies worldwide, and the Internet has permitted synesthetes, for the first time in history, to learn more about their abilities and to be in touch with one another.
When synesthetes were compared with matched controls, this was only significantly different for smell related imagery, although the difference approached significance for the extent to which one felt as though they were re- or pre-experiencing life events.
In basic neurological terms, synesthesia is thought to be due to cross-wiring in the brain of some people (synesthetes); in other words, synesthetes present more synaptic connections than "normal" people.
The future of synesthesia research still has a long way to go in discovering the causes of the condition, but the revelations of Fisher's team about the genetic material in synesthetes sure gives a better perspective of a once-obscure area in neuroscience.
Dr Goodhew said synesthetes have stronger connections between different brain areas, particularly between what we think of as the language part of the brain and the color part of the brain.
Visual artists are possibly the most practiced synesthetes.
This volume brings together a distinguished group of investigators from diverse backgrounds--among them neuroscientists, novelists, and synesthetes themselves--who provide fascinating answers to these questions.
Dr Rothen adds: "It should be emphasized that we are not claiming to have trained non-synesthetes to become genuine synesthetes.
Research suggests that all adults contain the connections between senses seen in synesthetes in a muted form (Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001).
When she asked if it made a sound, one of the synesthetes responded, "How could it not?