Alphabet form synesthesia

Also called letter form synesthesia

A type of spatial sequence synesthesia

Image: Brad Pettengill, in his blog. 2014

Synesthetes with this type of synesthesia perceive the alphabet represented spatially, around them or in front of them. The letters are located consistently and the pattern never changes. Normally, each letter also has its own colour (when this is the case, alphabet-form coexists with grapheme-colour synesthesia) and they sometimes have a particular texture. There do not appear to be any studies clarifying what percentage of synesthetes have this particular subtype of spatial sequence synesthesia, but it seems to be fairly rare. It is much more common to have the kinds where the elements visualised are time units (days, months, years, etc.) or numbers. Alphabet-form can coexist with one or more of these other types, or it may be the only spatial sequence type the synesthete has.

Image: Brad Pettengill, in his blog. 2014

Here are some descriptions written by people with this type of synesthesia:

"For me [the letters] are in a sort of sporadic lineup starting from around level with my left eye to awkwardly far past my right ear. They’re not in line with each other, nor are they the same size or colour. They do tend to get smaller and less significant the further into the alphabet you go.

I don’t actually physically see them in front of me though. Just in my minds eye."

(Source: This comment on Reddit/Synesthesia. 2020.)

“I have spatial sequence, number form, alphabet form etc, all rolled into one; and they're all colour-coded and laid out on the same 3D plane. The calendar's on the left and I can zoom in and out of different layers, the numbers go ahead to the right of it and the alphabet goes from the middle and off right."

(Source: This comment on Reddit/Synesthesia. 2020.)

Image: "How I picture the alphabet" by Finn F. (Star-kwafie) on DeviantArt. 2016.

Go to the page on spatial sequence synesthesia in general

Go to the page on number form synesthesia

This page last updated: 27 December 2021

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