What is synesthesia and how does it relate to the human brain

(ORDO NEWS) — Have you heard about people who, while listening to music, see its color? Or who can tell what a particular word smells like? This feature is called synesthesia.

Synesthesia occurs in about 4 percent of people. This is a phenomenon in which a person, when contemplating an object, activates several senses at once: for example, sight and hearing, smell and hearing.

People can then see the colors of the music or smell the words. In total, there are more than 70 varieties of synesthesia.

They are all similar in that associations in a person arise involuntarily, are present from an early age and remain throughout life.

Scientists believe that synesthesia occurs due to the fact that in the brain between the sensory areas in such people there is an additional connection.

What senses can be affected by synesthesia? In general, in this case, as it were, two sensations are combined.

The most common types of synesthesia are grapheme-color (when a person sees the colors of letters or numbers), chromesthesia (when a person sees colors when listening to music), lexical-gustatory (when a person feels the taste of words).

Moreover, all these associations are different for each person: one person can say that the letter “t” is red, another – that it is blue, etc.

What is synesthesia and how does it relate to the human brain 2

Does this feature give any advantages to people? Synesthetes get more pleasure from creative activity, since at the same time several senses work for them at once.

Musicians like Pharrell Williams, Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga have synesthesia (they all see the colors of music), as well as the physicist Richard Feynman (he sees the colors of letters and numbers).

There are other benefits of synesthesia as well. For example, with grapheme-color, a person’s memory improves, he processes different information faster.

Such children have a large vocabulary and are generally more literate. Scientific studies also show that in synesthetes, cognitive abilities remain normal throughout life.


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