Spatial sequence synesthesia

Often abbreviated to SSS

Other, less-used, names for it are Sequence-spatial, Sequence-space and Visuo-spatial synesthesia

Spatial sequence synesthesia consists of visualising certain sequences in physical space. There are different types, and a particular synesthete may have just one type or several at the same time. The types are:


1. Calendar synesthesia (time-space synesthesia)


2. Number form synesthesia


3. Letter form (or alphabet form) synesthesia


4. Spatial visualisation of other sequences (school subjects, books of the Bible and signs of the zodiac are a few examples).


The first type (calendar synesthesia) is more common than the others, while type no. 4 appears to be the least common. In the study What is the relationship between synaesthesia and visuo-spatial number forms? (2005), Noam Sagiv and other major researchers estimate that 29% of synesthetes have one or more of the first three types, making spatial sequence synesthesia one of the most common types of synesthesia that exist.

The synesthete perceives the months, dates, numbers, letters or other elements in a sequence in the physical space around them or in front of them. Apart from spatial position, these elements may also have their own colour, texture and shape. Projector synesthetes (a minority) see their sequences literally outside their own body space, while associator synesthetes see them in the mind’s eye but not physically. Although the exact spatial arrangement is different for each synesthete, it is consistent and tends to remain the same throughout their lifetime. The visual configuration of the sequences can be relatively simple, highly complex or anything in between: the elements might be on a horizontal, vertical or diagonal plane, in a ring or spiralling out of sight, progressing from left to right or vice versa and sometimes with many sudden or gradual changes of direction. Typically, the subject’s viewpoint can vary and the perspective can shift when necessary, so the synesthete feels that they are standing in front of the current month of the year, for example, with the rest of the months positioned accordingly and some of them even behind them and out of sight.


(the title links go to a description of each type, with examples)

Image: Chavdar Jordanovin the Gallery of the website Sensequence

Image: Francis Galton, 1881

Image: Herey, in her blog Rhymes with Fairy

Image: Finn F, in his blog Synaptic Synnie and on DeviantArt

This page last updated: 27 December 2021

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