Ker Than

synesthesiaWhen Ingrid Carey says she feels colors, she does not mean she sees red, or feels blue, or is green with envy. She really does feel them.
She can also taste them, and hear them, and smell them.
The 20-year-old junior at the University of Maine has synesthesia, a rare neurological condition in which two or more of the senses entwine. Numbers and letters, sensations and emotions, days and months are all associated with colors for Carey.
The letter “N” is sienna brown; “J” is light green; the number “8” is orange; and July is bluish-green.

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3 Responses to Ker Than

  1. shinichi says:

    Rare but Real: People Who Feel, Taste and Hear Color

    by Ker Than

  2. shinichi says:



    Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia; from the Ancient Greek σύν syn, “together”, and αἴσθησις aisthēsis, “sensation”) is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report a lifelong history of such experiences are known as synesthetes.

    In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme-color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be “farther away” than 1990), or may appear as a three-dimensional map (clockwise or counterclockwise). Synesthetic associations can occur in any combination and any number of senses or cognitive pathways.

    Little is known about how synesthesia develops. It has been suggested that synesthesia develops during childhood when children are intensively engaged with abstract concepts for the first time. This hypothesis – referred to as semantic vacuum hypothesis – explains why the most common forms of synesthesia are grapheme-color, spatial sequence and number form. These are usually the first abstract concepts that educational systems require children to learn.

    Only a fraction of types of synesthesia have been evaluated by scientific research. Awareness of synesthetic perceptions varies from person to person.

    Difficulties have been recognized in adequately defining synesthesia: Many different phenomena have been included in the term synesthesia (“union of the senses”), and in many cases the terminology seems to be inaccurate. A more accurate term may be ideasthesia.

  3. shinichi says:



    共感覚は、ある刺激に対して通常の感覚だけでなく異なる種類の感覚をも生じさせる一部の人にみられる特殊な知覚現象をいう。 例えば、共感覚を持つ人には文字に色を感じたり、音に色を感じたり、形に味を感じたりする。 英語名 synesthesia は、ギリシア語で共同を意味する接頭辞 syn- と感覚を意味する aesthesis から名づけられた。感性間知覚。

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