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Problems of synaesthesia: mixing of the senses

  1. Synesthesia is a condition that affects about five percent of people to a reasonable degree, and in fact that everyone notices something. Senses that influence each other. When you hear something, you see it too. The color blue sounds like a trumpet, or is that the color yellow? Do you have ideas like this, or others, like the letter 'b' which is definitely green, then you are a synestheet. That can cause problems.

Mathematics and Music

  1. Synesthetes differ from humans not so much in mathematical or musical understanding, but are disadvantaged in learning the skills for them. For example, it is difficult for number-form synesthetes to deal with simple arithmetic. They can logically very easily understand that 'five plus two' is seven, but for them, for example, five is green, two is yellow, and seven is orange. It is as if at 'five plus two' green and yellow come together, and then form orange. This makes maths confusing. Reading music can be difficult for sound-color synesthetes. They 'see' the music, and as a result they can no longer focus on the sheet music at all. Many musicians with synaesthesia therefore mainly play by ear and by heart. But, there are also advantages

Overstimulation

  1. Because synesthetes double, as it were, a sound also produces an image, they can easily become over-stimulated. So in crowded noisy places it is difficult for them to process all the impulses. Also, things like driving can be difficult, or even dangerous, due to an excess of stimuli. The driver must be well focused on the images he is receiving, and if these are disturbed by the loud sound of the example, it is very difficult. Sudden noises from traffic, such as honking, can also blur the image so much that the driver no longer has an overview of the road. The same problem arises with alarms in buildings, a fire alarm for example. Most people find this an annoying noise and run away, but for synesthetes, the noise can be so loud that finding the exit through the red flashing corridors is much more difficult. All kinds of senses can be affected by something so fierce.

  2. Because synesthetes double as it were, a sound also produces an image, for example, they can easily become over-stimulated. So in crowded noisy places it is difficult for them to process all the impulses. Also, things like driving can be difficult, or even dangerous, due to an excess of stimuli. The driver must be well focused on the images he is receiving, and if these are disturbed by the loud sound of the example, it is very difficult. Sudden noises from traffic, such as honking, can also blur the image so much that the driver no longer has an overview of the road. The same problem arises with alarms in buildings, a fire alarm for example. Most people find this an annoying noise and run away, but for synesthetes, the noise can be so loud that finding the exit through the red-flashing corridors is much more difficult. All kinds of senses can be affected by something so fierce.



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