Brendan Nee

Synesthesia – My Synesthetic Alphabet

September 9th, 2006

I associate colors with letters and numbers. I have done this as early as I can remember but I did not learn that it was a recognized neurological condition until recently. Below you can see the alphabet the way I view it along with various numbers and punctuation. If you are interested in learning more, visit some of the links at the bottom, or follow the synesthesia webring link to other sites.

Synesthetic Alphabet

Synesthesia is estimated to effect up to three percent of the population. People experince it in many different ways, including seeing sounds and smells. I have the most common form, color-letter synesthesia. It is not detrimental, and actually helps me remember things. When I used to work at the airport in catering I could remember what gates and planes that I have visited by the colors I assciated with them.

Synaesthetes tend to confuse left and right, which applies to me. Although I am excellent at navigating and remembering spatial directions, when giving directions to people I confuse left and right all the time.

A correlation between the artists and synaesthetes exists, perhaps indiacting that people with synesthesia are more creative. I am not sure if this applies to me.

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Here are some Synesthetic links:

Synesthesia: Phenomenology And Neuropsychology
A review of current knowledge of synesthesia. – The author mentions that synesthetics are good at remembering the spatial locations of objects including memorizing floor plans and maps. This is a skill that I have. Also, he mentions that they often have right-left confusion (which I often do).

The UK Synaesthesia Association
This page provides a lot of great background info on Synesthesia.

Trends in colored letter synesthesia
The type of synesthesia that I have is colored letter synesthesia. This paper seeks to identify trends among several synthetics and their colored alphabets. My alphabet matches the trends pretty well.