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TYPES OF SYNESTHESIA IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER



Find your type here! 
Links to types, subtypes, manifestations and a few other phenomena.
NOTE: These 300+ entries don't all lead to separate types of syn! They lead to about 100 different pages.   


Acupuncture-colour/shape (tactile-visual) (not always synesthesia)
Flashes on hearing sudden or loud sounds when falling asleep (not considered synesthesia)
Flavour (see taste)
Gender as a synesthetic concurrent (concepts, letters, numbers, etc. are masculine or feminine)
General sounds-colour (and/or shape)
Geometric shapes-colour
High-production synesthesia
Ideasthesia (or ideaesthesia) (not a type of synesthesia but an alternative way of defining it)
Mathematical concepts-vision
Mathematical synesthesias
Mirror kinetics (involuntary movements on seeing other people move)  
Mirror-kinetics   Mirror movement
Musical notes-texture Musical note-texture
Musical synesthesias (all the different types)
Music-colour
Music-emotion (not considered synesthesia)
Music-images, landscapes or “music videos” (not considered synesthesia)
Sight-smell: see smelling images or concept-smell
Sight-taste: see tasting images or concept-taste
Smelling colours (colours trigger smell perceptions)
Smelling images
Smelling music or sound
Smelling numbers
Smells-vision  Smell-visual  Smell-sight
Smell-taste (not considered synesthesia)
Social synesthesia
Songs-colour  Song-colour
Songs-smell 
Songs-taste
Sounds-colour  Sound-colour
Sounds-emotion (not considered synesthesia)  Sound-emotions
Sounds-personification  Sound personification
Sounds-physical sensations
Sounds (sudden or loud) produce visual flashes (not considered synesthesia)
Sounds-shape  Sound-shape
Sounds-involuntary movements  Sound-movement  Sounds-motions
Sounds-kinetics  Sound-kinetics
Taste-memories (not considered synesthesia)
Taste-musical notes  Tastes-musical notes
Taste-shape  Tastes-shapes
Taste-smell (not considered synesthesia)
Taste-sound  Tastes-sounds
Taste-tactile sensations  Tastes-tactile sensations
Taste-vision
Tasting colours (colours trigger taste sensations)
Visual-olfactory synesthesia (vision-smell): see smelling imagesconcept-smell or colour-smell
Visual-gustatory synesthesia (vision-taste): see tasting imagesconcept-taste or colour-taste
Words-odd or even
Words and letters-shape/texture/colour/images  Word-shape
Words-smell  Word-smell
Words-taste  Word-taste
Words-temperature
Years-colour  Year-colour
Years-spatial location



This page last updated: 5 June 2024


52 comments:

  1. What would seeing colours at people's feet when they walk be?

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    1. I like this question!

      People’s gait can be a good indicator of personality, and perceiving colours appearing around people is quite typical of “aura” synesthesia or personality-colour, so I think it could be that. I hadn’t heard of it around their feet before, it’s more common around their face, head, upper body… but if they way they walked was intuitively giving you the information about their personality, then that might be the case. Or if you tend to look down towards foot-level rather than maintaining your gaze on people’s faces when you see them in the street, that could be another reason. Here’s the page:
      https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/02/aura-synesthesia-projective-personality.html

      The other possibility would be that it’s the sound of the person’s feet that produces colours for you, although I think that’s less likely as you would have realised it was the sound causing it. But in the page on General sounds-colour/shape, right at the end of the page, there’s a compilation of all the different colours and shapes a lot of different synesthetes associate with the sound of heels on a pavement, so you might like to read that too:
      https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/03/general-sounds-vision-colourshape.html

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  2. What would you call being able to feel someone’s face as your face when watching them and feeling their expressions as though your face is making them, and feeling their voice in your throat and your mouth making the dialect they use?

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    1. Feeling people’s voices in your mouth and throat as if you were making the sounds yourself would be mirror speech (https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/02/mirror-speech-synesthesia.html) and I think feeling somebody’s facial expressions as your own might be connected with mirror kinetics, if it depended on the movement of the person’s face (https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/03/mirror-kinetics.html).

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  3. Any chance there's a Tactile–Tactile Synesthesia (experiencing tactile sensations from being touched)? It would be the same effects as auditory–tactile synesthesia but evoked from physical touch - I can't find any answers on this, please let me know if you're aware of anything.

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    1. Hi! No, that wouldn’t be a kind of synesthesia. I'm not completely sure what you mean, though. Do you mean like a kind of “referred itch” phenomenon, but only when other people touch you, in a different part of the body from where you were touched? And which wouldn’t be accounted for by emotion (e.g. if someone you have a romantic interest in touches your hand and you get a tingle in your spine?)

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    2. Hi, thanks for your answer! No, it's not tied to a "referred itch" at all, and it's not mainly emotionally-tied. As a person who experiences similarities to (self-diagnosed) Mirror-Touch and Audio-Tactile Synesthesia's, I can describe it as experiencing Audio-Tactile synesthesia. I'd say it's like feeling pulsation/ripple sensations from the point where you're touched that travel throughout your body (it's also like tactile-visual but more involves feeling that energy movement throughout your body instead of seeing it in patterns/colors). I apologize if this is unclear; I haven't found a great way to explain it yet. Thanks for your questions and time!

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    3. Ah, OK! That's very interesting... and I hadn't heard of it before. If you say it isn't really emotionally-tied, what aspect of the touch experience do you think causes it? I can sort of imagine it as I have auditory-tactile too and get those kind of sensations from sound, although it's a bit difficult for me to capture it exactly. Is it always when people touch you or is it also other kinds of touch, like when you brush against something? Is it different depending on which person is doing the touching, I mean if they're someone close to you, a stranger, etc? Does it depend on the kind of touch (caress, grab, hit, accidentally brush, etc.)?

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    4. Thanks, again. It's most consistently stimulated by other people's touch but from brushing against soft or smooth textures too. It can be from anyone (but it's the most intense when it's someone close rather than a stranger) and it's from all kinds of touch, just not to a point of pain. I can't find anything that describes it, I've looked into touch sensitivity and just about every synesthesia platform (but it's technically just one sense - so I understand that it wouldn't be synesthesia applicable). Rippling energy is the best way for me to describe it.

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  4. I will be very grateful if any Synesthete could let me know if she or he sees colours or different shades of the same when certain letters are pronounced aloud.There is an interesting aspect of chanting alphabets I am trying to investigate.Thanks,

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  5. If anyone knows what feeling sight would be(feeling like its distance to yourself like a needle to your eye if its sharp) could you tell me.

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  6. Can you add musical-space synesthesia on there?

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    1. I've answered you over on "Musical synesthesias".

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  7. would imagining being touch in a part of the body and being able to feel it be considered synesthesia?

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    1. No, that wouldn't be considered a type of synesthesia. It would fit in more with hyperphantasia, in this case tactile hyperphantasia, meaning that if this happens to you often or at will, you would have an above average ability to recreate and actually feel tactile sensations just by thinking about them. Some people have this kind of detailed perception on looking at or imagining textures too.

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  8. What would it be if in my Minds Eye, I know what shape someone's singing voice is? I don't see the colour or shape, but I KNOW what the shape and colour of the song is in my head. Sometimes I hate the shape, so I hate the song. Another one: When I'm writing, where my infomation/writing has been hangs off of the paper/my fingers like loose hairs growing everywhere. For example, if I put my writing through an online paraphraser, the mess of... idk what I'll call them, but tendrils becomes more and more chaotic. If I have loads of different excerpts from websites on a PowerPoint, the same thing happens. They only go away when I stop and leave for a good 24 hours, but even when I come back I KNOW they are there, like the strings in Sherlock Holmes' corkboard tying the words allover the world/internet/idk

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  9. The singing voices one would be voice-colour/shape, and it's just as valid if it's associative (=you don't see it, you just know or perceive it in your mind's eye) and not projective.
    https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/03/voice-colour-and-voice-shape.html
    The second one, this sounds like it would belong to the concept-shape type, in fact on the page on this there are several examples of synesthetes having perceptions of shape and movement specifically when they are writing or doing things connected with texts, even if they don't usually notice these perceptions for other areas of activity or thought, so that might be your case too:
    https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/02/concept-shape-synesthesia.html

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  10. I was wondering if there is a category for visual-tactile (or motion-tactile) synaesthesia, other than mirror touch. When I see objects I have a sense of their textures kind of within me or on me, almost as if I'm feeling it just by looking at it. I also feel the motion of objects kind of like sensations on my body, especially when people are gesturing at me. Their hands sometimes feel like vague slashing movements across my skin. I think of it sort of like having an invisible extension of my body that feels the world without actually touching it. What are your thoughts on this?

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    1. Hi, those are interesting comments! The looking-at-objects-and-feeling-their-texture-physically I think is more connected with hyperphantasia (hyperphantasia tactile), even perhaps if it's automatic. I've heard several people mention this, but I don't think it has a specific name and I don't think it's ever been considered synesthesia by any scientists. Feeling sensations on your body from gestures of other people I really don't know, in a way it sounds kind of related to mirror-touch, somewhere between mirror-touch and mirror-kinetics but... different! In a category of its own perhaps. Then again, if it's not strictly either of those then it wouldn't be considered syn. As far as I know this kind of sensitivity doesn't even have a specific name (yet)... although I must say I haven't studied the subject enough to be able to say much else. If I come across anything of interest about this I will try and post it here in response to your comment. Sorry I can't be of much help!

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  11. What if you had mirror pain that controls you. What if big rooms feel like marshmallows pushing on you and the air is thick to breath. Where does one seek help if their synesthesia is more neg than positive?

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  12. Hi! I am a Middle school student and recently I discovered synesthesia. I heard about it through a 'book talk' that one of my classmates did on a book called "A mango shaped space". I decided to read the book myself, and I was confused when the characters in the book responded to the main character talking about the things she saw. They acted like it was unusual and weird. As long as I remember I have seen letters and numbers in my head as colors. I went to a Montessori school when I was younger and we had many hands-on lessons and songs about things like days of the week, months in a year, and the alphabet and numbers. The alphabet is the main thing that I could relate to in "a mango shaped space" and ever since I had learned it, I have seen it as a wiggle line of colorful letters. The number line also formed in my head with color. as I learned about things like negative numbers, it grew or became more detailed, but the colors of each letter or number never changed. C has always been yellow, and 6 has always been cool white, etc. In grade school we used bead bars, colored beads on wires, to represent numbers. It annoyed me the way certain numbers were colored. 3 was a pink bead bar, when it was "supposed" to be red, and 2 was green when I saw it as yellow. 4 was a very cool yellow bead bar, which almost perfectly matched mine. The most annoying bead bars, however, were 7 and 8. The bead bar 7 was white, when it should have been brown, and the bead bar 8 was brown, when it should have been white. Math wasn't as hard as many people with colored numbers describe it as, but one of the best parts was that 6 plus 3 equaled 9. Red and white makes pink!
    We used to sing songs about the days and months in order, and in the month song, we had cards. The cards said the month name and had color all around it. I don't remember particularly being annoyed at the color choices, but the way we put them in a circle made me cringe. The weekdays are a loop in my head. Monday is purple and rounded and near the top left corner of the loop, Tuesday is brown, diagonally below it to the right, Wednesday is teal-ish blue and flat, closest to me (the color makes it my favorite) and so on. My family doesn't see any of this except maybe my younger brother, but he keeps telling me that it isn't synesthesia and everyone has colored stuff and sees time as a loop. I don't actually see my colors in the physical world. Another thing I wanted to mention was that I "see" certain songs. I can only remember seeing a few. One example I have, though, is the song "a thousand years" because I heard it somewhere when I was younger and always saw a pinkish orange background and darker pink around the words of the chorus. I recently heard the song again and the colors are so familiar. They never changed. I see color and stuff for other sounds and even sensations. When I get too active and I can feel my heart beating in me, it's Grey with lighter Grey in the middle, oval shaped, and pulsing with my heart. When people cough it's brown and gritty, and breathing it usually shades of grey in stringy, painted looking brushstrokes.
    Left is yellow and right is red. Left is proper and high class. Also L is yellow and R is red, so that might add to the reason behind those colors. Shapes have color too. Some classmates did an experiment for their science fair project where they tested people on naming the shape versus the word over the shape, (if that makes sense) and I did the best out of them because I ignored that the letters were words and focused on the colors of the shapes instead, and vice versa. Circle the word is yellow, while circle the shape is blue. Triangle is brown and red, but triangles are orangish yellow. Is any of this synesthesia? I have not been diagnosed at all, and I haven't even brought up the subject to my parents other than that restaurant time. Ty!

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    1. All of it's synesthesia! And from what you say, it sounds like your younger brother is a synesthete too. It often happens that synesthetes think their perceptions are just something ordinary that everyone else must have too. Let me know if you need help in identifying any of your types in particular, although I think you can probably find all of them here without too much difficulty. About being diagnosed or not, a doctor's diagnosis isn't necessary for this as it isn't a medical condition, so you wouldn't need that.

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  13. Edit- I changed stuff and didn't add the restaraunt thing in there in the end, but forgot to remove it at the end of the comment. restaraunt time means the time I mentioned it to them and they said they did not see the colors, besides my brother. Sorry if that caused confusion.

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  14. É sinestesia se as cores não tem relação com personalidade ou sons? Elas só estão lá em volta de tudo e todos. Geralmente a mesma cor no mesmo ambiente. Mas muda às vezes ou aparecem cores diferentes no mesmo ambiente. Geralmente é a mesma cor em volta de tudo. Tipo só branco transparente. Ou só amarelo transparente etc. Porém elas se projetam e seguem o movimento do meu olhar fazendo com que o formato da pessoa ou objeto salte no ar aonde estou olhando. Também segue o movimento das pessoas e objetos. Porém às vezes acontece formas de linhas, quadrados, ou pessoas aparecerem no ar sem ter o objeto ou a pessoa lá. E no caso das linhas e objetos já apareceram uns 5 juntos cada um uma cor no mesmo ambiente. Existe algo semelhante a enxergar as coisas se movimentando ou derretendo lentamente quando estão paradas? Tipo uma ilusão de ótica. E eu sinto muitas sensações estranhas tipo de sentir o sangue circular na cabeça. Pontos do músculo pulsando, partes da pele queimando, pinicando ou coçando. Seria algo como sinestesia ou outra coisa?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Olá, Salertse.
      Os fenómenos que descreve não parecem relacionados com a sinestesia, não.
      Infelizmente não tenho conhecimentos suficientes para saber o que podem ser, mas não são consistentes com a “sinestesia de auras”, que se apresenta duma forma diferente, nem com as sinestesias táteis, que são invocadas por indutores específicos (conceitos, sabores, tipos de música etc. etc.: há muitos), que costumam a ser facilmente identificáveis pela pessoa que as experimenta. Talvez estas experiências tenham uma origem neurológica, e um médico seria a pessoa mais adequada para as esclarecer neste caso. (Mas como já disse, não tenho conhecimentos disto e pode ser qualquer outra coisa!) Espero que consiga encontrar a resposta e esclarecer as dúvidas.

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  15. Hi I have an interesting experience and I was wondering if it’s synesthesia. When ever I think of past, present or future I see a color around my area. For example whenever I think of the past I see gold in my vision so is this synesthesia?

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    1. That certainly sounds like synesthesia, yes! Some synesthetes have a colour perception for periods of their own lives, others for more specific periods of time in general like years or months or times of day. So past, present and future can definitely be a series of time concepts that evoke synesthetic colours (as long as they make you perceive the same colours each time and not different ones). This would be a type of time units-to-colour synesthesia, or coloured sequences. Actually I'll add a mention of this subtype on the pages on these types:
      https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/02/coloured-sequence-synesthesia.html
      https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/02/time-units-colour.html

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  16. Not to gross anybody out, but when I was a toddler, I think I had my first sin, aesthetic experience that involved soiled diapers. I a recall the sound that seemed to have been generated by the warmth of the feces against my buttocks. Imagine the lowest A-note a child or a woman can hum. Now imagine someone saying ‘gurrrrrrrr’ in that single a-note pitch. That was the sound I heard, and the ‘rrrr’ part of it continued endlessly until someone removed my diaper, at which point it ended abruptly. Is this a form of synesthesia? I am wondering if it would be considered temperature/Audio synesthesia. It was because of this that I referred to my feces as ‘gur’ when I was around two years of age, though my mother did not have a clue as to why I did so. She knew nothing about my synesthesia, and I knew nothing about synesthesia either. I just assumed that everybody had it being that I felt those sensations. I have other synesthetic experiences, and they are associated with sound generating flashes of light, music chords generating sense of either touch or smell, etc.

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    1. Hi! If it was just a one-off thing that happened to you it couldn't really be considered synesthesia, but if you've noted that you have consistent sound perceptions on a more regular basis, or used to have them on a more regular basis as a child, with different temperature sensations, then I think you could consider it a type.

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    2. Being that I am bowel incontinent and therefore must wear diapers, yes, I still experience this sound. If I am holding somebody’s hand or feel body heat on other areas, I hear the same hum though, but without the constant ‘gurrrrrrr’ in the a-note. Instead, it’s just an a Oatey hum and soft sound.

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    3. Darn this phone! I meant note not Oatey. I don’t know how that happened. It is supposed to read a-note, not a Oatey. Pardon my screwup once again. iPhones are stupid!

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    4. Yes, if the tones you hear are consistent with the different types of temperature experiences, then it could certainly be considered temperature-to-sound synesthesia!

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  17. I am blind, and I use the dictate function on my cell phone. I just now caught a typo. What I meant to say was I believe I had my first synesthetic experience as a toddler.

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    1. Understood! I like the idea of synesthesia being an aesthetic sin, though, so I liked the typo!

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  18. I didn’t know this interesting fact about synesthesia until I interviewed Dr. Cytowic last month, but a lot of blind people are synesthetes.I wonder if my synesthesia, however, is why I have very vivid memories of my childhood. These memories are pleasant, but they are so rich in detail. There was a set of oak stairs in our house, on which I used to play. There were many times, back when I was about a year of age, when I would hold onto the legs of the banister and walk up the outside of the stairs. I will hold onto the edge of the stairs with my tippy toes and walk clear up to the top. I can still feel the smoothness of the oak, nice and polished, which had an anesthetic sound to it. it was soft white noise mixed with merging musical notes that were ululating tones that I just can’t begin to describe, but every time I feel polished oak or any other polished wood that even resembles that staircase, I hear that sound in my head. Looking through the long list of synesthesia, I have identified myself as having numerous different types of synesthesia. I have alphabet and spatial sequence synesthesia. Another type is temperature to sound. Certain names are synesthetic. The name Doreen taste like a peeled orange. The boys name Warren has a repulsive edge to it like an onion that had been cut into. The name, Eric taste and feels like a piece of cake whereas the name Alice is a ripe apple. The name Ruth smells like a Thanksgiving dining room. It even has that feel. I don’t know why, but the name Ruth is a spacious dining room with a table loaded with Thanksgiving food and a carpeted floor. The name Matthew feels like soft flannel. Whenever I hear the state Tennessee being mentioned, I feel on my hand, a metal sprocket chain like that of a bicycle. The sound of a piccolo smells of tarnished, copper or brass. The sound of a warbling piccolo generates a wavery light in my head. It is as if a mirror is being held in front of my eyes and rock back-and-forth. I have light and shadow perception. It is as if somebody is rocking a mirror back-and-forth rapidly when I hear a warbling piccolo. I am curious to find out about some of the words and phrases we use and whether or not they were invented by somebody with synesthesia. The two words that come to mind are white noise. I wonder if the man or woman who invented that word had synesthesia. Certainly for me, white noise. Looks like it sounds. It is white. Can see perhaps packages of toilet paper on the bathroom shelf and I could feel the softness of the packages whenever I hear that. This is the white noise you hear coming out of an analog television set or radio. not to confuse anyone with the description of the oak stairway I described earlier, but the white noise I am talking about is just white noise alone and not a mixed bunch of musical notes involved with it. The sound of the distorted screaming guitar used in the Heights song, How Do You Talk to an Angel, feels to me like a baby of about nine months old. It is as if I’m holding the baby in my arms. Whenever I hear that sound, I feel a baby. I don’t know why, but I do. Though I appreciate the song for all it is now, I must state that the threshold track of Steve Miller’s jet airliner used to scare the hell out of me as a child. It felt like searing heat, almost painful, focused like a beam on my skin. I still feel that heat when I hear the threshold track, but I appreciate it. It makes it all that much more interesting. It doesn’t scare me anymore like it used to, and I know that it is just my synesthesia. I cherish and embrace every single experience I have. Even the painful ones I find interesting. Synesthesia is a very fascinating thing, a journey of the senses.

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    1. I noticed another typo. I meant undulating tones, not ululating, lol.

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    2. Thank you for telling us about your synesthetic experiences. They're very interesting.
      To me, white noise is grey :D

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  19. Correction: synesthetic, not anesthetic. Sorry once again.

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  20. My sincere apologies to all of you for the text that I didn’t speak, but was inserted. Hopefully, this problem was resolved because I went into my settings and turned off the auto correct function. Now, we can talk about synesthesia with a more clearer means of communication, or so I hope.

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  21. I have identified myself as having several types of synesthesia listed here. I have letter-tactile with the letters a, b, f, i, k, o, q, s, w, and y. C, g, j, and u are associated with spacial location and light. Letters d, e, h, l, m, n, r, t, v, x, and z aren’t synesthetic.

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  22. Could I have mirror pain synesthesia? The reason why I am asking is because my mother would have me rub her feet. If I came across a sore on her foot, I felt a painful feeling deep inside me like in my belly - the upper right and lower left quadrant - and in both sides of my back, down in my kidney area. It hurt, and I would wince. I got that same feeling when I felt my cousins dogs claw after she had broken it off badly and it was dangling deep down by her toe. Could this be a form of empathetic pain synesthesia?

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    1. I think you are referring to the phenomenon described on this page of the Tree: https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/03/pain-empathy.html
      Not usually considered synesthesia as doesn't fit in with all the criteria and it's experienced by a larger part of the population and not just synesthetes, although some researchers do consider that it is.

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  23. I hear and crest rhythms out of the world around me. When people talk I hear the rhythm of their voice. I get rhythms stuck in my head. Sometimes I think in iambic pentameter for days on end. Is this a type of synesthesia?

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    1. No, it doesn't sound like a type of synesthesia. Sorry can't tell you what it might be called. Hope you find out!

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  24. i see a single colour when reading a book (ex: the perks of being a wallflower is a burnt orange, dead poet's society is a greyish-blue, the seven husbands of evelyn hugo is a chartreuse), what would this be?

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  25. Hi! This would be coloured sequence synesthesia. Books are one of the less common variants, but it can exist for many different series or sequences of concepts.
    https://www.thesynesthesiatree.com/2021/02/coloured-sequence-synesthesia.html

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  26. I always see different letters and numbers as different colors, but I don't see it like, if I look at letters in the real world, I just know what colors they are. I'm unsure if that's synesthesia or not. And then like, sounds have shapes, but again, I don't see it in the real world, I can see it in my brain, so I don't know if it's synesthesia

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    1. Yes, just "knowing" that letters or sounds are a certain colour or just seeing them in your mind's eye is also synesthesia, and in fact this is how the majority of synesthetes experience it!

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  27. what is the most prevalent synesthesia for each of these categories (inducers): sight, smell, sound, physical/touch, taste, time, concepts, things, sequences, and emotions.

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    1. Colour, for all of them. You could add spatial location for time, as that's also very common.

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