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Research Shows Synesthesia Affects on 1 in 2000 People

Photo Courtesy of mnn.com

Photo Courtesy of mnn.com

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For most people, when they see the number four  they think four, but for some people with synesthesia, four connects an involuntary response with red or another color  mnn.com

Synesthesia is an incredibly rare condition which only 1 out of every 2,000 people. Experts say that 300 people may have a variation of the condition, according apa.org.  Some people are more likely to get the condition than others. Three times more women than men have synesthesia. It is more likely for people who are left handed to have synesthesia than people who are right handed, stated by britannica.comhesia.

To date over 80 forms of synesthesia have been identified according to synesthesia.com . Not all forms of synesthesia are as common as others. The most common is relating numbers or letters with colors. This type of synesthesia is called grapheme-color synesthesia. Lexical- gustatory is another more rare type of synesthesia. People with this type of synthesia associate tastes when certain phenomenons occur according to synesthesiatest.org.

Most synesthetes who have colored grapheme see the letters of the alphabet in the following ways.

 Photo Courtesy of businessinsider.com

“Wherever I see the color ‘4,’ it glows orange in my mind’s eye,” stated Erin Brodwin, a synesthetes with color grapheme, who wrote “Here’s the test you can take to find out if you have synesthesia” published on May 12, 2015, “I still see it as black on a white page but I know, somewhere deep down, that it’s really orange. It’s the same way I know that 7 is dark purple or 8 is royal blue.”

Synesthesia is not considered to be a medical disease, it is instead a variation of normal human senses. The phenomenon occurred by synesthetes is more than likely triggered by neural pathways in the brain according to zocdoc.com.

Of those individuals who have self identified as to having some variation of synesthesia, have also identified to working in a creative field according mentalfloss.com

Some famous people who worked in these occupations had or have synesthesia. For example, musician Pharrell Williams has a form of synesthesia known as chromesthesia. Chromesthesia is a form of synesthesia in which sounds cause an experience of color according to medicinenet.com. Famous artist Vincent van Gogh is thought to also have chromesthesia though it has not been specified whether this is true or not, according to mentalfloss.com.

The first case of synesthesia was documented in 1812 by George Sachs a man who documented his own synesthetic perceptions according to synesthesia.com  The word synesthesia originates from a Greek phrase for “To perceive together”, according to livescience.com.

Although synesthesia affect a small percentage of the general population, everyone has some form of synesthesia inside their brains. Synesthetes make involuntary responses to images, sounds, and smells. We do this in our everyday life without even knowing it according to scientificamerican.com. For example, if you see an image of somebody famous your brain connects that image to the name of the person, even though those word are not written anywhere. This is very similar to how synesthetes make connections between numbers and color according to mnn.com.

If you believe you may take this synesthesia test, businessinsider.com. If you would like to learn more about synesthesia visit the following links; synesthesiatest.org, psychologytoday.com, or washington.edu.

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Research Shows Synesthesia Affects on 1 in 2000 People