No, I didn’t just call myself a bad name. Not in this post anyway. To understand what this is about, we’ll have to go back a minute.
If you’ve spent any time here, or following me on Twitter and/or Facebook, you know I love discovering new bits of information–mostly of the useless variety. I educate and fill your head with fluff.
My generosity knows no bounds.
So when I came across a fun fact stating a small percentage of the human population (roughly 4%), called synesthetes, can taste shapes, see music, etc., I was titillated and went digging.
And discovered–shut. the. fridge. I am one.
Synesthesia is a neurologically based condition in which an individual involuntarily links one sensory perception with another. It’s more prevalent (6:1) in women.
So what does that mean? When seeing the number 2, I also see the color red. The number 3 is blue, 4 is a lemony-lime color, while 7 is canary yellow.
Apparently, I have a common form of this “disorder” (there are many different classifications) called color-graphemic synesthesia (1 in 90) where letters and numbers are perceived in colors. I thought everybody saw things this way.
What really pulled me in is that among artists the percentage of people with Synesthesia goes up to 25%, with many considering their colored experiences as a gift–a “hidden” sense they use in their creative process. A lot of these peeps also have a gift for memorizing, arithmetic, visual art, music and theater.
So…I’m a freak. But (flapping hands wildly) we knew that. Still, it was a surprise to learn that what I refer to as my “semi” photographic memory is a neurological condition with ties to both Autism and Savantism.
When it comes to numbers, I’m rain man with ovaries. Sorta. Every phone number I’ve ever heard, read or dialed is stuffed in my head. I can memorize a 20 digit number with a focused glance. Aren’t you impressed all the way down to your colon? Unfortunately, since I’m not into identity theft or counting cards, it’s not all that useful.
Arithmetic? Nah. Forget that shit. Not my cuppa tea.
Another who-gives-a-flying-fig-leaf benefit is I can identify a movie–if I’ve seen it–with a still shot of any scene. Truly, I’m gifted beyond all measure.
I will take your butt to da flo’ in Scene It!
Notable Synesthetes include the great Billy Joel, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett, Tori Amos, Marilyn Monroe, Geoffrey Rush, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Wonder.
Both Lady Gaga and Jimi Hendrix are proposed Synesthetes and under review by the American Synesthesia Association.
Got any weird genetic disorders you wanna share?
*all information found at psychologytoday.com and wikipedia.com