“There was no road existed in the world at the beginning, but because there were many people walking on it, it turned into a road…” This was a famous quote by Chinese scholar Lu Xun.
Human knowledge in Synaesthesia is like building a road. It started with virtually nothing, then more and more people started noticing and got interested in this field, and more and more knowledge was built. Synaesthesia, through this knowledge building journey, was turned from a description like Disorder or Disease, to Condition, to Phenomenon, and even Gift.
This positive change in how synaesthesia is perceived makes synaesthetes more comfortable to share their stories with others.
My son Skye describes Synaesthesia as a scientific language which can only be understood by few people in the world, and he was lucky to be one of them.
Through reading many of those shared stories, researching synaesthesia related publications, analyzing a list of famous synaesthetes, and adding my own synaesthete family members’ and friends’ experiences, I have compiled a Synaesthesia A to Z list to provide 1) common characteristics of synaesthetic perception; 2) common characteristics of synaesthetes. The two categories are separated by a “||”.
If you are a synaesthete reading this blog, you may relate to many of those characteristics though not all.
A: Associated, Automatic || Artistic, Aesthetical
C: Colourful, Cognitive, Conceptual, Consistent (over time), Connected || Creative
D: Dimensional, Distractive || Disorganized, Disorientated, Depressive
E: Enjoyable || Enhanced Memory, Emotional, Empathic, Eloquent, Encyclopedical
G: || Gifted
H: Humanized (Objects)
I: Individualized, Involuntary, Imagery, Inherent || Intuitive, Intensive, Imaginative, Innovative, Inventive, Idealistic
L: Locational || Linguistic
M: Memorable, Metaphorical, Motional || Musical
N: Neurological, Number Spaced, Native
O: Olfactory, Overwhelming, Overloaded, Oblivious (to the person who experiences synaesthesia) || Original, Open Minded, Obsessive
P: Perceptive, Personified, Projected, Phenomenal || Passionate, Progressive, Perfectly Pitched
Q: || Quirky
R: Rare || Righteous
S: Spatial, Shaped, Sensational, Semantic || Spiritual, Sensitive, Synthetical
T: Tactile, Textural, Time Spaced
U: || Unpredictable, Unconventional
V: Visual || Visual Thinking
W: || Witty, Wide-Reaching
Z: || Zestful