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Pain-taste synesthesia

An alternative name could be algesic-gustatory synesthesia


This type of synesthesia appears to be rather more common than pain-smell synesthesia, but it is still a rare type. It consists of different types of pain each triggering a specific taste sensation.

While other types of synesthesia with a taste concurrent (lexical-gustatory, for example) tend to produce very specific tastes connected with foods that were eaten in the synesthete’s childhood, pain-taste synesthesia seems to have more of a tendency to induce generic tastes like sweet, bitter, metallic, sour or salty, and/or combinations of these basic flavours.


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


“Body aches, like back pain, taste sweet and bitter. Cuts taste kinda salty and sour, like pan-seared fish with lemon. I got stung by a bee yesterday and it tasted like strawberries!"

(Source: A response in an AMA (“ask me anything”) on the online debate platform Reddit/AMA. 2020.)


Different types of pain have flavours, like sharp pain tastes like metal, aches taste like charcoal, dull pain tastes like hot water.”

(Source: This post on the online debate platform Reddit/Synesthesia. 2019.)


Pain tastes bitter for the most part, but if it’s a headache it’s a pretty mild flavor.”

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


Related types of synesthesia:

Pain-smell

Pain-sound

Pain-colour/shape

Emotion-taste


This page last updated: 06 July 2021

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