Synaesthesia Discovery

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Vision to Touch Synaesthesia

“Duck! Duck!” Gregory yelled out to his dad as he saw a stick flying towards them. Gregory’s dad misunderstood what his son meant. He looked through his binoculars trying to find real ducks, and asked, “Where? Where?”

That was a picture in Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Dog Days. What Skye felt immediately was the pain caused by the stick hitting his stomach even though the picture did not explicitly show the consequence of Gregory’s dad not ducking. What Skye has experienced was another extremely rare form of synaesthesia, i.e., Vision to Touch Synaesthesia.

A touch triggered by a picture or an image can be felt in any part of his body, but normally it happens where it most likely to happen. For Skye who has an extraordinary spatial sense, this synaesthesia usually is accompanied by a real feel of being at the theme.

The picture attached is a page from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Skye could feel that he was at Greg’s birthday party physically with other boys. When the boys started punching Greg, Skye felt the real punch. There is nothing negative about this touch synaesthesia. In fact, this is one of Skye’s favourite synaesthesia types which gives him plenty of positive and beautiful sensations.

Apart from experiencing vision to touch synaesthesia by looking at pictures or reading story books, he also participates it in watching other people or himself do things. Quite often, he feels the touch on or inside of his mouth, on his hands or fingers. This may be a common thing amongst this very small group of synaesthetes.

When Skye sees people do golf clapping, his hands become very magical with a sensation of traveling back to ancient China or Japan. But if he does this style of clapping himself, he feels as if his mouth was moving all over the place randomly. At the same time, he tastes strawberry. The normal style of clapping gives him a feel of a soft leaf touching his mouth from one end to the other which triggers an orange flavour inside of his mouth simultaneously.

The only unpleasant experience he has had with this synaesthesia was when he witnessed an adult whack a child. He felt a lollipop stick stuck in his mouth horizontally.

While I was talking to Skye this evening about Vision to Touch Synaesthesia, I discovered that he had Grapheme to Touch Synaesthesia as well. The strongest touch response he has, surprisingly, is towards his own invented language Gahooulian, something I will talk about in my next blog.

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