The University of Edinburgh
What is synaesthesia?
Synaesthesia (American spelling:
synesthesia) comes from the Greek 'syn' (together) + 'aesthesis'
(perception), and describes a joining together of sensations that are
normally experienced separately. Synaesthetes might experience colours
or tastes when they read words or hear sounds, while others may
experience any combination of tastes, smells, shapes, colours or
touches. People are generally born with synaesthesia and it runs in
families. The sensations are automatic and cannot be turned off,
but synaesthesia is not considered to be harmful. Most synaesthetes
enjoy their sensations and could not imagine life any other way!
Synaesthesia is not the same as simple metaphor, which all people do
(e.g., saying that anger is red) and is more than simply the artistic
sensitivity to colours.
About our website
Our research at the University of Edinburgh, in the UK, aims to
understand the inheritance, prevalence and underling psychological
mechanisms of synaesthesia. Studying synaesthesia may help us to
understand how the brain combines different types of information. Our
website is designed to help you discover more about synaesthesia, and to
invite you to take part in our research. We hope you will find it
useful. If you would like to tell us about your synaesthesia, you can
click here to
take part in our research.