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For a special 2 percent of the population, the world seems a little more surreal.

In a condition called synesthesia, there are extra connections among parts of the brain related to individual senses. The actual experience varies, but some say that numbers, letters, sounds or even faces appear to have colors associated with them that most people don see. For some, it just an association; others actually do think they see those colors. Here how color vision works, by the way.

Now, scientists have new clues about how the brains of people with synesthesia give rise to these bizarre seeming perceptions. Ramachandran of the University of California, San Diego, presented the findings this week in a press conference at Neuroscience 2010, the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Among the findings are that the hippocampus, a brain region essential for memory, has extra connections in people who say that certain numbers remind them of particular colors. In contrast, sensory areas of the brain show greater connectivity in those who believe that they are actually seeing these colors in the numbers. Thus, there are different neural mechanisms for these two kinds of synesthesia, finds RomkeRouw of the University of Amsterdam.

This study also found that people with synesthesia generally have more white matter, indicating increased connectivity, in the fusiform gyrus, a brain area involved in the processing color, numbers, letters and faces.

doesn get any better in neuroscience, when you get a quirky, odd, crazy psychological phenomenon and actually pin it down to changes on wiring in the brain, based on genes, Ramachandran said.

Research presented by David Brangat the University of California, San Diego suggests that the synesthesticbrain uses this increased connectivity to transfer information from one area to another. He and colleagues used magnetoencephalography, a method of recording neural activity. They showed that activity in the brains people with synesthesia flows from the visual areas to the visual processing areas in recognizing a number, and then to the brain color area about five to 10 milliseconds later. This did not happen in participants who do not have the condition.

Ramachandranand colleagues have also identified a gene that appears to be involved in the condition. Although synesthesia does not necessarily make people more artistic, but it does seem to pop up among noted creative people; for example, novelist Vladimir Nabokov, physicist Richard Feynman and composer Franz Liszt. Ramachandran theory is that, genetically, synesthesia has persisted throughout the centuries in humans because of its association with creativity.

Besides seeing colors where they wouldn be otherwise, other reported effects of synesthesia are even more mysterious: For example, some associate numbers with and parents of children with autism e mail Ramachandranand Brangasking them about a link between autism and synesthesia, because their children appear to have sensory abnormalities resembling synesthesia. The link has not been scientifically proven, but Brang believes there still could be some connection. Over the years,
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they contacted a few of the people I recommended to do this, and it has helped them to know they are not alone and they are not nuts. And please realize that real synesthesia is not learned nor imitated, but is a constant, lifelong condition for individuals experiencing it.

November 17, 2010 at 22:58

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I have synesthesia and so do most of the women in my family. When I was 15 I was falsely diagnosed with early onset skitzophrenia due to complaints about visions. I was convinced I could see peoples spirits and they were all different colors. I was put on a heavy dose of lithium which messed me up for YEARS before quitting cold turkey, ending up in a psycheward with withdrawls, running away, getting clean, and then YEARS later getting a therapist who diagnosed me properly. Now that I know what it is its a lot easier to deal with.

November 17, 2010 at 23:25

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There is no such condition as synesthesia. Are those real doctors names that are explaining this condition they surmised at exists in a new age group of persons. The rest of you conversing and adding comments and recounting experiences under that supposed illness condition are explaining some other set of problems. When did you fabricate that name and notice it relates to synthetics and synthesis which means it is some other condition. Theresa Noelle Younan YMMA III interpole galactica y research management i pic

November 18, 2010 at 08:41

I have a very small bit of this, but one I rarely see mentioned. I see color with some smells. With some smells I see purple, but there are small differences in these smells that have particular shades and hues of purple. Some are dark purple, others are paler versions of the same purple. Another set of smells make me see different browns, and another other set makes me see greens.

This is not to say that a when I see a color I smell a smell. It the other way around. This smell is that shade of purple, this smell is that shade of brown, and this smell is that shade of green. I seen brown with some smells all my life, but the smell that purple didn show up until the clear cassette tapes came along. They smell purple to me.

November 18, 2010 at 08:53

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I haven read each comment, but I haven seen anything about this that has to do with mixed sensations. I associate colors, smells and tastes with words, individual letters, numbers, groups of numbers and ordinary objects. Some objects have both smell and color associations. Most, in fact. Some of it, though, has to do with conditioning. For example, I automatically associate some known attributions to a few ordinary objects. If I think of the word I get the physical sensation, chills and all, of aluminum foil on a tooth filling (not pleasant). I can say I accept but that is because I don think I am abnormal. Just a little different. To me, this way of experiencing the world makes everything a little richer. My husband can see an object and experience it visually as it exists. I can see the same object and experience it as it sits, but with the addition of an associated color category (which is a terrific memory aid), smell and taste. I have been asked most of my life how I can remember ridiculous details from my whole life. Names of people I knew when I was a little girl, topics in a classroom from high school, textures of materials I handled as a child, items on a menu form a childhood vacation, lyrics from songs I haven heard in 20 years, and so on. I think the multi dimentional associations I make with everything give me a greater capacity for recall. It not something I discuss every day. Usually, I just go about my day with the understanding that smells like yellow. It makes sense to me.

November 18, 2010 at 09:00

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i had done cross correspondence and other psychic work in a school interpretation writing project and they extorted it to take credit for it. they done so much of this frauding and plagiarism surrounded by other crimes and plagiarism in other intellectual fields that it took me a long time to gather all the evidence, except they repeat offend en masse too. which proves they were guilty from the beginning of history. theresa noelle younan ymma iii i pic interpole galactica
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