Synesthesia and the Synesthetic Experience

syn-es-the-sia n. Physiol. Sensation produced at a point other than
or remote from the point of stimulation, as of a color from hearing a
certain sound (fr. Gk, syn = together + aisthesis = to perceive).

[synesthetic geometries]

Synesthesia is an involuntary joining in which the real information of one sense is accompanied by a perception in another sense. In addition to being involuntary, this additional perception is regarded by the synesthete as real, often outside the body, instead of imagined in the mind's eye. It also has some other interesting features that clearly separate it from artistic fancy or purple prose. Its reality and vividness are what make synesthesia so interesting in its violation of conventional perception. Synesthesia is also fascinating because logically it should not be a product of the human brain, where the evolutionary trend has been for increasing separation of function anatomically.
R. Cytowic, "Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses" Springer-Verlag, NY (p.1)

[more synesthetic geometries]
This site provides information about the neurological condition called synesthesia. We hope to give viewers a sense of different synesthetes' personal perceptual abilities. Equally important, however, is the idea that a creative person can also use his/her unique synesthetic abilities to make a living and bring significant contributions to the world. Such talents as utilized by artists and other creative individuals are highlighted within. Because there are different forms of synesthesia, many links between the senses, we have also linked this page to others which communicate the synesthetic experience in different ways.

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This site was made possible by a donation from the Council for the Arts at MIT. Production and Programming by Oakbog Studios. Thanks to Carol Steen, Karen Chenausky and Roz Picard for valuable support and opinions throughout the process.

Last update 7 October 1997 v1.3