Tree News in 2021

This page contains news from 2021. To see news from 2024, click here.

December 2021 (3)

Journey Through The Senses (JTTS) is a new international nonprofit organization whose mission is to support a greater awareness and appreciation for neurodiversity and the senses. It’s a co-sponsor of this upcoming cutting-edge event, a concert created by and featuring brilliant synesthete concert pianist Jenny Q. Chai, to be held on 1 January 2022 in an elegant concert hall in Shanghai. JTTS Producer Daniel Schuster says “We invite you to follow, and if you wish, join us on our journey as we create events throughout the world with the goal of inspiring joy and wonder.”

December 2021 (2)

"Please join us for a guided tasting of sparkling and other bubbly beverages as we celebrate the New Year", say Anna Mantheakis and CC Hart.

This Zoom event is open to both synesthetes and anyone else who'd like to meet some interesting people and share bubbly drinks from all over the world, ask questions and talk about their own experiences - synesthetic or just general. The proceeds go to the Synesthesia Society of Africa.

Link to get your ticket here.

December 2021 (1)

Brilliant article, "Synesthesia" by Jamie Ward, published online this week (29/11/2021), free access.

You can read it here.


November 2021 (3)

Monique Truong, author of a novel with a synesthete character, wins the 2021 Dos Passos prize

Writer Monique Truong, the author of "Bitter in the Mouth", an acclaimed novel with a synesthete as its main  character, has been announced the winner of this year's John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. This prestigious award was launched in 1980 and is given annually by Longwood University to an underappreciated writer whose work offers incisive, original commentary on American themes.

Information on the prize here.
Read Pat Duffy's interview with Monique here.

About the book.

November 2021 (2)

photo: Elledecor/Getty

Another interesting Pat Duffy interview!

The Q&A session this time is with Patricia Albers, author of the biography of the great abstract-expressionist artist Joan Mitchell. Joan was a synesthete painter working in the 1950s, a time when the study of synesthesia had been practically forgotten about, pushed out by the rise of behaviourism in psychology, and in these synesthetic dark ages Joan struggled with her "secret magic", feeling like a "stranger in the world". Find out more on the Journey Through the Senses website

November 2021 (1)

Synesthesia Congress in Southern Spain again next year!


Parallel activities will be the “MuVi6” international competition and an art exhibition: THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.

Organised by the Artecittà International Foundation 

26-29 October 2022 (Live+Digital Conference)

Venues: Fine Arts Faculty, University of Granada and Alcalá la Real (Jaén)

This is great news. I’d like to take the opportunity to say hello to everyone who was there in 2018… and see you again next year!

October 2021 (4)


The Battery Test is back!

Our community was "orphaned" in December 2020 when the Synesthesia Battery Test - David Eagleman's resource for researchers, synesthetes and anyone wanting to find out whether what they're experiencing can reliably be considered synesthesia - was no longer available because of technical problems with its server. After months of work it's up and running again on a new server in Japan... here's wishing it a long life!

This is the new link.

October 2021 (3)

YouTuber Beth Roars is looking for some sound-to-visual synesthete artists for a video. Paid project. Sounds interesting!

Beth says: "Hello! I am looking for some artists with Synesthesia to paint a couple of pieces of music. It's a paid project for a youtube video about synesthesia. If any of you are interested please send examples of your work and fee for a piece of art to"

Beth is a vocal coach and singer, check out her videos about music and the brain ("Music, Science and Joy") here or here.

October 2021 (2)

Octoberfest: an online beer-tasting event on Saturday October 16 organised by the IASAS.
See you there!
Here's the link for tickets.

October 2021 (1)

The author of a novel with a synesthete character is a finalist for the Dos Passos prize
Writer Monique Truong, the author of "Bitter in the Mouth", an acclaimed novel with a main synesthete character, is one of the 5 finalists for this year's John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. The winner will be announced this month and will become the 40th recipient of the prestigious award, launched in 1980 and given annually by Longwood University to an underappreciated writer whose work offers incisive, original commentary on American themes.

More information here.
Read Pat Duffy's interview with Monique here.
About the book.

September 2021 (4)

Online guided wine tasting event on 26 September, run by the IASAS

The International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists will be holding a guided wine tasting (hosted on Zoom) with synesthete winemaker Anna Mantheakis and with the participation of Sean A. Day.

“No varietal provokes more awe and mystery than Pinot Noir. Nicknamed the "heartbreak grape" for its fragile skin, Pinot Noir is a versatile fruit used in the production of both red and white wines. Bring your favorite Pinot Noir and join The IASAS for a guided tasting with winemaker and synesthete Anna Mantheakis. In this intimate setting (attendance is limited to 12), you will have the rare opportunity to taste wine with synesthetes and wine lovers from across the USA, to ask questions and share your perceptions, and to make fascinating new discoveries about your senses, all from the comfort of your living room. Proceeds from this event will go to support the SSOA, whose mission is to grow and foster a budding synesthesia community within the continent of Africa.”

Here's the link for more information and tickets

September 2021 (3)

08 September: New interview with the author of a novel with a main word-taste character - a first!

Pat Duffy
, who interviewed the author last week, says: "It was fascinating to do a Q&A with author Monique Truong on her novel Bitter in the Mouth. The novel’s unforgettable character, Linda/Linh-Dao Hammerick, experiences minority status in two realms: as an Asian-American, she is a member of a racial minority in her all-white southern town, and as a neuro-atypical, she has a minority form of perception, which she copes with mostly internally and reveals to only a very few. 
As far as I know this is the first time the above topic has been explored in a novel and the first time a word-taste synesthete is a main character."

Pat's the top authority on the portrayal of synesthesia in literature, having contributed a section on the subject to the "Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia". She's also the author of the classic Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens (see more info and updates on Pat's Cats further down this page in the June News section!)

Here's the link to read her Q&A interview with Monique about the novel.

And here's the link to find out more about the novel itself.

September 2021 (2)

05 September:  The Synesthesia subReddit is 10 years old today

The Sub-Reddit r/Synesthesia celebrates its 10th anniversary today. Created on September 5th, 2011 with the name of Synesthetes Unite!, it now has over 20,000 community members and is a busy and thriving forum for peer-to-peer advice, opinions and conversation on all aspects of our favourite subject. If you don’t already know it, come and take a look at the posts or ask or answer a question.

 Link to Reddit Synesthesia 


September 2021 (1)

05 September:  

The Synesthesia Finder – a new feature for the Synesthesia Tree

The Synesthesia Finder was launched today. As its name suggests, it’s a way of finding types of synesthesia, designed to be quick and easy to use and fully PC- or mobile-compatible.

When you enter the Finder you should get to the page on the type of synesthesia you’re looking for in less than a minute: firstly click on what you believe to be the trigger for your experience (or the inducer of the type you’re looking for) and then click on the answers to the brief questions that come up. You can go back to the Start from any point and look for new types.

I think it will be useful for people who don’t know much about the subject and would like to identify possible types of synesthesia they might have, and also just as a general way of finding out what types of synesthesia there are or as a route to get to the pages on the various types.

Go to the start of the Synesthesia Finder

July 2021 (6)

31 July:  Listen to this! "Blue Cats" author Pat Duffy is interviewed by Heidi Hollis on her podcast programme "Dark becomes Light" on the iheart radio station. The interview is called "Superhumans or Synesthesia?" Here's the linkIf you want to go straight to Pat's synesthesia chat, it starts after the intro, about 15-20 minutes in.

31 July: "Synpod"

The new podcast series “Synpod – The Podcast about Synesthesia” has just started up, releasing their trailer episode

"So how does synesthesia work? How does it impact the way we think, work, and create? Why do some people have synesthesia, while others do not? 

In this podcast, Gracy and Christine unpack synesthesia, sharing both its challenges and its joys. They interview people who have leveraged their synesthesia to build remarkable and successful careers, and consider the various ways synesthesia influences our world. By making these connections, they help foster a community of people who experience the world in creative, unexpected ways."

More info

Here are two links for accessing and subscribing to the series from different platforms:

Spotify        Apple podcasts

26 July The 2nd edition of Sean Day's book (or monograph) Synesthetes is now available, in PDF format. Here's the link to download it. The price is $7.50 US.


22 JulyThe American Psychological Association interviews Professor Julia Simner from the University of Sussex.

You can listen to the audio streaming (and/or read the full transcript) here.

James Wannerton shared the link today on the UK Synesthesia Association facebook site today and said:

“For the past 20+ years Julia and Professor Jamie Ward at Sussex have worked tirelessly to advance awareness and understanding of this truly fascinating trait. I still recall the bad old days when we tended to be labelled as "fantasists" or "attention seekers" but their persistence and commitment to the cause changed all that.

Many thanks.”

Synesthesia, misophonia, aphantasia, cross-modal correspondences, colour, art, dogs, genetics… the interview touches on a lot of interesting subjects!

16 July: Interesting opportunity for a female taste-colour synesthete in the UK!

"We are casting an online advert for a well-known confectionery brand, and looking for women with synesthesia - specifically synesthetes who can interpret taste as colour. The person cast in the ad will be asked to try new chocolate flavours and describe what they see to an artist who will try to capture it.

The project will be filmed in London on 11th of August (or during that week - date TBC). All travel will be paid for etc, plus everything will be filmed according to strict CV-19 procedures. The woman cast in the film will be paid £2,000. We've made a quick casting questionnaire for anyone that is interested - Click here for questionnaire

11 July: call for artists to submit work for an exhibition in San Marcos, Texas, U.S.  Of interest to chromesthetes! (Update to dates mentioned: date for physical submissions is 17 July and deadline for digital submissions is 24 July).

Linda Beth Kelsey-Jones, the Gallery Director, says:

"Hello all, 

We are inviting any artists (or poets) among you to participate in our upcoming exhibit, "Visualizing Music." The Walkers' Gallery is located in the corridors of a public building in San Marcos, TX. We are celebrating our 24th Anniversary this month!

Please feel free to contact me directly if you are interested --our non-profit gallery frequently has presentations on various topics of interest as well as presenting relevant artwork. We can provide reasonable shipping both ways, can print out digital work and provide exhibition framing for works on paper. 

Excited to see and share how you see music."

There will be a website for digital entries. Specifications:

"Please email up to 5 photos of your artwork or original digital images in JPG or PNG format at 72dpi with a minimum size of 1200 pixels (wide) or 900 pixels (high). The total file size of each image should not exceed 10MB. Please do not include frames in the photos unless integral to the artwork. If your work is a video, please upload in MP4 format (max 10MB) or include a link to VIMEO or YouTube. Please save each file with your full name, followed by an underscore, the number of the work, underscore, and the title of the work so it can be matched to the entry form."

"If works are for sale, please include the price (plus our non profit commission of 20%.) Buyers will be connected directly to artists to arrange for purchase and shipping."

(The email adress for more information and an entry form if you’re interested in participating is in the poster)

June 2021 (2)

24 June: Release of Pat Duffy's Blue Cats audio book.

Many of you have read or know about the book Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens. How Synesthetes Colour their Worlds. On its 20th anniversary it's now available in fully updated audio version:

"Blue Cats audio contains new features: research updates at the end of each chapter; musical excerpts by contemporary synesthete-composers: sound-to-color synesthetes Tim Layden& Gaby Cardoso, taste-to-sound synesthete Portrait X O, and music-color synesthete Jenny Q. Chai. Plus an "Afterword" with the author's reflections on some important experiments and happenings in the sciences and the arts of synesthesia"

By Patricia Lynne Duffy, narrated by Appelusa. Audio cover illustration by Emily Hopkins. Available from Audible (only in the U.S. at present)

26 June: Synesthesia in Africa: Discovery, Awareness, Research, and Outreach

The first virtual Pan-African Synesthesia Symposium was held last Saturday, hosted by the Synesthesia Society of Africa (SSOA) in collaboration with the International Association of Synesthetes, Artists and Scientists (IASAS). Great organisation by CC Hart, Sean Day and Gaby Cardoso from the IASAS. Here’s the programme with all the interesting top-level talks we were able to watch and interact with:

Do you know of any synesthesia-related news? New studies published, findings, talks, books, exhibitions... Send us a description or link and we'll check it out!


  1. So exciting to attend the first meeting of the SSOA!
    Great initiative by Abiola Ogunsanwo, Sheila Butungi.
    Excellent presentations!
    CC Hart was a terrific MC!

    1. Yes it was an interesting day for the syn community, wasn't it? And great organisation. Ah, I'm going to add that the talks are on YouTube :)

  2. I’m thrilled to learn that Patricia Duffy’s brilliant book on synesthesia has been updated with the most recent information on the subject and is now available as an audiobook. I read Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens when it first came out and have referred back to it many times. The author moves fluidly from science to the arts, as well as to her personal story, making for a richly layered and fascinating reading that those who have long been intrigued by synesthesia, as well as those who scarcely know what it is will appreciate.

    1. That's a great description of it. I liked that about it too, I thought it was especially interesting because in part it's like a personal account and it's about people, and it has that nice mix of science + a story of a personal journey of discovery, starting out in childhood. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I found the science to be both intelligently presented and accessible; it blended in well with the biographical and arts-oriented sections.