Synaesthesia Discovery

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Sound Synaesthesia Series: 5. Hearing Emotions and Pains


Everyone has a way of experiencing emotions. For a person who has emotion related synaesthesia, it adds a few more dimensions to an emotional experience. Many synaesthetes feel a strong need of expressing themselves through creating things. A large percentage of them choose a career in music, arts, writing and science through which their emotions can be expressed, and their nature of creativities can be indulged.

Thomas remembers each birthday of his. The main reason is that on every birthday, he develops a new synaesthesia. I suspect it has a lot to do with his emotion on the day.

On Thomas’ 5th birthday, he woke up feeling very happy. He jumped out of the bed and heard beetles crawling along the house. That is the sound of happiness in his mind. Until today, he still hears the same sound when he feels happy.

Surprisingly, Skye hears almost the identical beetle crawling sound when he feels happy. The happier he feels, the louder the noise. The sound of happiness associated with forgiveness is different. The smooth de de de de sound is what he hears when he has been forgiven.

Feeling frustrated makes Skye hear a light thunder noise whereas Thomas can hear someone screaming in his ear when he feels sad.

Another synaesthesia type, which is related to Emotion to Sound Synaesthesia, probably is Pain to Sound Synaesthesia. In this synaesthesia type, feeling pain can induce sounds. I think these two types can be closely linked. If Skye is hit by a ball, he hears a metal plasma noise.

Today was the last school day of the term. Children were slow to get ready for school in the morning. When I finally got them out of the house, Skye rushed back to change his socks as he remembered it was the odd socks day. I asked Skye if he could hear anything when he drove his mother mad. “Yep. I can hear a guy exhaling.” I sighed.

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