Thursday, February 26, 2009


Regular readers may remember that I have grapheme-colour synaesthesia - a condition which means my brain links words with colours.

Scientists reckon it occurs when nerves in the brain have accidentally merged. Synaesthesia can occur between any senses, some people associate spatial characteristics with smells, or taste can be attributed to sounds... all sorts. I read a really interesting article about it all in T2 (but typically cannot now find it).

Anyway, I came across some research on a blog I enjoy, indicating how common my own form of synaesthesia is in children. Seems grapheme-colour synaesthesia occurs in 1.3% of children.

I am quite pleased with that 1.3%. It's small enough for me to feel special but but big enough (it equates to 170,000 children age 0–17 in the UK alone) for me not to feel too weird.

And in case you were wondering, Wednesday is green, Tuesday is pale yellow and Friday is canary yellow.


cardinalsin said...

I'm no synaesthetic, but I would agree that wednesday is green. I'm not sure why though. Could it be that everyone associates words with colours, but only in synaesthesia do the colours actually get perceived?

Also, a curious question if I may. What do you perceive when you read Wednesday?

(hope html works in comments!)

Em's mum said...

No, no, no. Wednesday is yellow Sunshine yellow. Thursday is dark green. Tuesday is sky blue, monday is red, Friday, funnily enough, doesn't seem to have a colour. Saturday is pink and Sunday is a creamy colour.
I can't think where you inherited it Em, although it's only the days of the week I 'see' in colour.
Numbers don't have a colour, but they do have position, and it's always horizontal,never vertical. They also have personalities. 7 is quite shy and 8 is brash. 9 is rather supercilious.
What a weird family we are!

@EmVicW said...

Cardinalsin I cannot see what your Wednesday is supposed to be... its just a blue underlined hyperlink, which goes nowhere.

But when I see Wednesday written in any colour other than green it looks wrong, if the blueness was your aim.

Blue looks less wrong than, say red, though.

Mum I didn't know you did this too! How funny. And I am with you that its not always colours. The year is an elipse and December is always nearer me than July, even when it is July.

Letter have personalities too, which is what makes me group them when I say things like "it's a B, D, P, L, , Q, G kind of word" and noone can work out what D has in common with G.

cardinalsin said...

Yeah I was just interested to know how you saw a word in the "wrong" colour. I did try to just change the colour but blogspot won't let me :o(

Also, I think I must just be very suggestible, because after I read your mum's post I immediately thought her set of colours sounded right.

@EmVicW said...

Why are my mum's suggestions more convincing than mine? Harrumph.

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