What is Synaesthesia, and do you have it?
I am quite sure a lot of you have heard about the phenomenon of synaesthesia, but if not, let me give you a brief introduction.
Synaesthesia is the name of a neurological phenomenon that occurs in the brains of individuals, that causes them to see, hear, feel or experience associations with certain stimuli that is unusual in the normal population. One of the most famous examples of synaesthesia is the experience of colours in response to seeing letters and numbers, as can be seen in the image above (known as Grapheme-colour synaesthesia). But it can also be that you taste specific things when you hear certain words (Lexical-Gustatory Synaesthesia), or experience colours when you listen to music (Chromestesia).
Synaesthesia can be any unusual crossovers between normally-separate experiences within the brain in response to specific stimuli. It could therefore be entirely possible that you are a synesthete without even knowing it! For example, I myself am a synesthete but only recently discovered that I am one, even though long before I discovered this I already knew about the phenomenon of synaesthesia.
Therefore, in this post I will be highlighting different (obscure) synaesthesia subgroups and will discuss the neurological background of synaesthesia. Since as many as about 1 in 23 people might have a form of synaesthesia, it is not unimaginable that you might discover you have a form of synaesthesia as well!