Colour-tactile (colour-touch) synesthesia

It is possible, but very uncommon, for some synesthetes to feel tactile sensations triggered by seeing different colours. For these to be considered synesthesia they would have to be involuntary and also basically consistent, i.e. the same colour would always evoke the same sensation. Such a type of synesthesia would probably only occur in people with a high “synesthetic disposition”, i.e. with numerous types and strong concurrents, and it would be likely to occur at times when they were specifically focusing on the colour in question, rather than being perceived at all times. As far as I know no studies have ever been conducted on this type of synesthesia.

Here are some descriptions by people who report having had this type of sensations at some time:

“Color > Touch? Happened just now. I started looking around myself, at every single object, and focus on that color. It instantly gives me a sensation on a specific part of my body. Examples: Light yellow: nose Dark blue: between chest and neck White: sides of the neck Red: right foot Black: around the mouth.”

(Source: This post on the online debate platform Reddit/Synesthesia. 2020.)

“As a kid, I had color-tactile synesthesia: I felt colors inside my mouth, not as flavors but as tactile experiences such as cold, hot, coarse, soft, bumpy, etc.”

(Source: CC Hart, a synesthetic artist and medical professional, interviewed in the online magazine Psychology Today. 2016.)

This is a slightly different topic, but some people claim to have the ability to correctly determine the colour of objects when blindfolded, by touching the object in question, sometimes attributing it to their “synesthesia”. Without broaching the subject of the possible methods they might use to do this, it should be clarified that it has nothing to do with synesthesia, as in order for a synesthete to be aware of their concurrent – a sensation in part of their body, in the case of colour-tactile synesthesia, or a sensation of taste, smell or sound for other types, all of them rare although they do exist – they have to actually perceive the colour, i.e. see it, before feeling the concurrent.

Go to the page on colour-to-smell synesthesia

Go to the page on colour-to-taste synesthesia

Go to the page on colour-to-sound synesthesia

Go to the page on tactile-visual synesthesia (seeing colour or images in response to tactile sensations)

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