One of the most intriguing features of synaesthesia is a synaesthete’s ability of projecting their synaesthetic responses to an external space. Synaesthetes who possess this extreme form of synaesthesia are called Synaesthete Projectors. They differ greatly from Synaesthete Associators who experience their synaesthesia through their mind’s eyes.
Quite a few articles that I have read refer projections as image or colour projections only. However, if I think carefully, I believe projections can also apply to flavours, odors, sounds, and touch.
I am giving three examples of image projection through this blog. They are likely to be at the extreme end of synaesthesia.
Thomas sees the word ‘Sky’ in the sky. If it is a sunny day, the projected word can travel downwards with the sunshine, and can land on the top of a car, or a building or the ground depending on where the sunlight lands.
As an associator, I don’t usually see images outside of my body. However, during a very hectic period of my work which I was creating a transformational roadmap, I started seeing a roadmap image in front of me on my left hand side. It was a rare experience for me. I think the cause was a combination of rich colours, and the timeline depicted on the roadmap diagram, and the intensity of work. I haven’t experienced the same projection since.
Like Thomas, Skye is also a strong projector. One day, I was telling the family at the dinner table about an article I read. Someone could say 26 letters of the alphabet backwards. Skye said that wouldn’t be very difficult. “Really? Have you tried before?” I asked him. He replied no. Before we could prepare ourselves, Skye had already done it, “zyxwvu…edcba”.
My husband, Thomas and I looked at each other, none of us knew if he did correctly or not. “Hang on, hang on, we were not ready.” I quickly instructed Thomas to get an alphabet sheet ready.
“Ready, set, go!” Skye started again. Within 10 to 15 seconds, he completed his second run without any error. “Wow!” We were quite amazed. Even his dad was impressed.
“What’s the secret?” We were all keen to know.
“Secret? There’s no secret. It’s just like counting from 26 to 1.” Skye explained.
“Really? But how?”
“With each letter, I see a number next to it. For example, ’1′ sits next to ‘A’, ’7′ sits next to ‘G’, and ’26′ is next to ‘Z’. So all what I did was reading out the letters instead of numbers to you.”
How come we have never thought about this before? Of course, Skye has a significant advantage of being a synaesthete projector who can project images from his mind to an external space. But we were still extremely astonished by his creativity and originality.