Coloured sequence synesthesia

An alternative name would be concept-colour


This type of synesthesia, very common among the synesthete population, consists of perceiving a colour concurrent for each item in a series or sequence of concepts. The best known examples are time unit-colour, where the days, months, etc. each have their own colour, and grapheme-colour, for letters, numbers and words.

However, many more series or sequences of concepts trigger this type of synesthesia. These sequences can be found in all areas of life such as geography (cities, countries…), sport (swimming styles…), music (notes, keys, genres, artists, songs...), anatomy (parts of the body) and many more areas. The colour associations arise at some time during the period when the sequences are being learnt and they rarely vary throughout the synesthete’s lifetime, remaining stable once formed. They are idiosyncratic, so for one synesthete a particular concept might be cherry red, for example, while for another the same concept could be yellow or black. Sometimes the colours are perceived as having a specific texture, a shape and/or a particular rhythm or movement, and for some synesthetes each item in the sequence can also have a fixed spatial position, which is a manifestation of spatial sequence synesthesia (see the page on spatial sequence synesthesia and the page on spatial sequences of concepts).

There are also types of synesthesia triggered by series or sequences of concepts where the concurrent is not colour or a visual perception but gustatory or olfactory: each concept has a taste or smell. These types are very uncommon. Series of concepts having sounds has also occasionally been reported. (Go to the pages on concept-taste and concept-smell and concept-sound synesthesia.)

Here is a list of series or sequences of concepts other than the better-known ones of letters, numbers and time units. All these have been reported as triggering a synesthetic concurrent for some synesthetes, habitually colour.

Example by Corinna, on the website Sensequence

Geometric shapes (circle, square, triangle, etc.)

Concept of left/right



Hand motions (thumbs up, high five, etc.)

Parts of the body


Example by Croli, on the website Sensequence



States, provinces, counties or prefectures



Cardinal points

Concept of clockwise/anti-clockwise


Grammatical categories

Mathematical concepts, theorems or operations

Coins (denominations)

Example by account_tnuocca, in this post in Reddit/Syn

School subjects

Rooms in the house

Shower cubicles in different bathrooms/houses  

Swimming styles

Dance steps

Martial arts movements

Gymnastics movements

Body postures

Meals (breakfast, lunch etc.)

Radio stations

Football clubs

Examples in this post in Reddit/Synesthesia

Video games

Film (movie) genres 

Seasons of TV series

Periods of life (early childhood, university years, etc.)

The concepts of past, present and future





Songs, or musical genres

Sharps and flats in music

Christmas carols

Religious denominations

Zodiac signs

Mbti functions (Myers-Briggs personality types)

Chess pieces

Chess moves

Coin tosses (heads/tails)

These are the inducers I’ve come across real examples of, although there are many more of course, and I'm gradually adding them to this list as I find them.

This page last updated on 22 June 2024
This page is about colored sequence synesthesia
This page is about coloured sequence synaesthesia

1 comment:

  1. Wow, these are cool. I didn't know they exist. I only have colored graphemes, but these seem totally possible. Also I just plain like them because I love categories.