Synaesthesia Discovery

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Temperature to Colour Synaesthesia


Temperature to Colour Synaesthesia is a rare form of synaesthesia. It has been rarely talked about as well. However, both of my children have this synaesthesia type. I have briefly mentioned it in two of my previous blogs “Rainbow” and “Synaesthetic Calculators”. Today, I will discuss this form a bit further.

According to my children’s experience, the most common inducers of Temperature to Colour Synaesthesia are hot water, cold water, hot weather and cold weather.

During winter, when they turn a water tap on, they first see either white or yellow due to the cold water temperature. When the water warms up and becomes hot, the colour can change to either red or black. Interestingly, they perceive the cold water and the hot water in the exact same colours, i.e., white or yellow for cold, and red or black for hot.

The week before this year’s Easter, we landed in Abu Dhabi for a few nights’ stay on the way to Europe. The hot weather triggered off a mango yellowish colour for Skye. Skye remembered that he saw the same colour when we were visiting Malaysia and Singapore a couple of years ago. He knew the reason behind this colour association. It was to do with tropical Mango drinks he had during his first visit to Malaysia when he was six.

When we finally arrived at Munich, our first European destination, it was freezing cold. The next morning, we woke up with a few inches of snow covering the whole city. We were so excited as rarely we saw snow in Australia. We made a snow man. Skye vividly saw the green colour in this freezing cold temperature. Thomas saw black which was not surprising as it was consistent with his reverse colour synaesthesia.

Skye calls himself a magician sometimes. He plays around our bathroom tap switching from cold to hot, and hot to cold. “See, I told you I am a magician!” My husband has a simple answer to his son’s special ‘talent’. “Only if you can afford a plumbing bill!”

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