Synaesthesia Discovery

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Tasting Series: 4. Tasting Touch, Smells and Emotions


After some detour, I think I’d better finish off the Taste Series that I started off a couple weeks ago by posting two more blogs for the series. This particular blog tells Skye’s rare, but memorable taste synaesthetic experiences induced by touch, smells and emotions.

One cartwheel after another, Skye was watching a gymnastics performance with interest. A taste of ginger was elicited each time when the gymnast touched the ground. Those touch sensations were so unique. That seems to be a prerequisite to trigger off Skye’s Touch -> Flavour Synaesthesia.

Skye likes unique things. Although Touch -> Flavour is not one of his strong synaesthesia, unique touch can still evoke tastes. One of his favourite experiences is when somebody runs fast, then turns around 180 degrees, lifts a leg up with a hand touching the knee. This kind of touch gives him a taste of ginger beer with Chinese tea. To him, ginger is a unique flavour.

Similarly, strong and unusual smells can trigger off tastes. For example, the smell of a donkey gives Skye banana chips with a slight savory taste.

Two years ago, Grade 2 children were participating in a Mini Beast project at school. Each child brought in a live insect to share with the class. One of the girls invited Skye to look at her beatle (or perhaps something else). When she opened the lid, Skye thought he smelt the most disgusting smell he had ever come across in his life. He didn’t see the insect as he was too busy trying to get rid off a strong burnt pea taste in his mouth, the same taste he usually experiences when he has had a super annoying day.

Flavours accompanied with emotions vary according to the degree and intensity of how Skye feels. He is not the best organised boy in the world. Last term, he lost his school music recorder. The music teacher kindly lent him one for this term. However, he misplaced it and was a bit worried that the teacher would hit the roof. He started tasting a weird lemon drink before the music class began. But if he feels extremely worried or frightened, he tastes blueberry bubble gums.

The taste of a weird lemon drink also happens when he feels sad. However, when he feels very sad, he tastes an out of date fairy floss and sees white with a bit of black.

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